First inauguration of George Washington

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First Presidential Inauguration of George Washington
Washington's Inauguration.jpg
Date April 30, 1789; 224 years ago (1789-04-30)
Location Federal Hall,
New York City
Participants President of the United States, George Washington
Assuming office
Chancellor of New York, Robert Livingston
Administering oath
Vice President of the United States, John Adams
Assuming office

The first inauguration of George Washington as the first president of the United States took place on April 30, 1789.

The inauguration marked the commencement of the first four-year term of George Washington as president. John Adams had already taken office as vice president on April 21. Sworn in by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston during this first presidential inauguration, Washington became the first president of the United States following the ratification of the Constitution.


Federal Hall, location of inaugural ceremonies.

On April 30, 1789, the inaugural ceremony took place on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City,[1] then the first US Capitol and the first site where the 1st United States Congress met.

Since nearly first light a crowd of people had begun to gather around Washington's home, and at noon they made their way to Federal Hall by way of Queen Street and Great Dock (both now Pearl Street) and Broad Street.[2] Washington dressed in an American-made dark brown suit with white silk stockings and silver shoe buckles; he also wore a steel-hilted sword and dark red overcoat.[3]

Upon his arrival at Federal Hall, Washington was formally introduced to the House and Senate in the then Senate chamber, after which already sworn-in Vice President John Adams announced it time for the inauguration. Washington moved to the second-floor balcony where he took the presidential oath of office, administered by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston in view of throngs of people gathered on the streets.[4] The Bible used in the ceremony was from St. John's Masonic Lodge No.1, and due to haste, it was opened at random to Genesis 49:13.[3] Livingston shouted "Long live George Washington, President of the United States!" [5] to the crowd, which was replied to with cheers and a 13 gun salute.[6] The first inaugural address was subsequently delivered by Washington in the Senate chamber,[2] running 1419 words in length.[3]

At this time there were no inaugural balls for the day of the ceremony, though a week later on May 7 a ball was held in New York to honor the first president.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Presidential Oaths of Office". Library of Congress. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  2. ^ a b McMaster, John Bach (2006). A History of the People of the United States: From the Revolution to the Civil War. Cosimo, Inc. pp. 539–540. ISBN 978-1-59605-233-8. 
  3. ^ a b c "Inauguration of President George Washington, 1789". Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Retrieved 2009-01-21. 
  4. ^ "George Washington's Inaugural Address". The National Archives. Retrieved 2009-01-29. 
  5. ^ Senate Journal April 30, 1789.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Inaugural Ball". Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Retrieved 2009-01-22. 

External links[edit]