United States presidential inauguration

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For the most recent United States presidential inauguration, see Second inauguration of Barack Obama.
Inauguration Day 2009 on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol.
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush lead the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, 2005

The inauguration of the president of the United States is a ceremonial event marking the commencement of a new four-year term of a president of the United States. The day a presidential inauguration occurs is known as "Inauguration Day" and occurs on January 20 (or 21st if the 20th is a Sunday). (Prior to the Twentieth Amendment, the date was March 4, the day of the year on which the Constitution of the United States first took effect in 1789; the last inauguration to take place on the older date was Franklin D. Roosevelt's first one on March 4, 1933.) The most recent public presidential inauguration ceremony, the swearing in of President Barack Obama to begin his second four-year term in office, took place on Monday, January 21, 2013.

The only inauguration element mandated by the United States Constitution is that the president make an oath or affirmation before that person can "enter on the Execution" of the office of the presidency. However, over the years, various traditions have arisen that have expanded the inauguration from a simple oath-taking ceremony to a day-long event, including parades, speeches, and balls.

From the presidency of Andrew Jackson through that of Jimmy Carter, the primary Inauguration Day ceremony took place on the Capitol's East Portico.[1] Since the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan, the ceremony has been held at the Capitol's West Front. The inaugurations of William Howard Taft in 1909 and Reagan in 1985 were moved indoors at the Capitol due to cold weather. The War of 1812 and World War II caused two inaugurations to be held at other locations in Washington, D.C.

When George Washington was inaugurated, the oath was administered by Robert Livingston, Chancellor of New York State, in 1789, and by William Cushing, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, in 1793. Since Chief Justice Oliver Ellsworth swore in President John Adams, no chief justice has missed an Inauguration Day. When Inauguration Day has fallen on a Sunday, the chief justice has administered the oath to the president on the Sunday privately and then again the next day publicly.

When a new president takes over mid-term due to the death or resignation of a president, the oath of office is administered but formal, public inauguration events have not been held.

Inaugural ceremonies[edit]

The inauguration for the first U.S. president, George Washington, was held on April 30, 1789, at Federal Hall in New York City[2] where he was sworn in by Robert Livingston, the Chancellor of the State of New York.[3] In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first to be sworn in as president in Washington, D.C., which officially became the federal capital only on June 11, 1800.[4] Inauguration day was originally on March 4, four months after election day, but this was changed to noon on January 20 by the Twentieth Amendment in 1933.[4]

The inaugural celebrations usually last ten days, from five days before the inauguration to five days after. However, in 1973, the celebrations marking Richard Nixon's second inauguration were marred by the passing of former President Lyndon B. Johnson two days after the inauguration. The celebrations came to an end as Washington began preparations for the state funeral for Johnson. Because of the construction work on the center steps of the East Front, Johnson's casket was taken up the Senate wing steps of the Capitol when taken into the rotunda to lie in state.[5] When it was brought out, it came out through the House wing steps of the Capitol.[5]

Inauguration Day is a federal holiday observed by only the federal employees who work in the District of Columbia; Montgomery and Prince George's Counties in Maryland; Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria and Fairfax in Virginia, and who are regularly scheduled to perform non-overtime work on Inauguration Day. There is no in-lieu-of holiday for employees and students who are not regularly scheduled to work or attend school on Inauguration Day. The primary reason for the holiday is to relieve traffic congestion that occurs during this major event.

Organizers[edit]

Inauguration platform under construction for Woodrow Wilson's first inauguration in 1913

Since 1901, all inaugural ceremonies at the United States Capitol have been organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.[6]

The U.S. military have participated in Inauguration Day ceremonies since George Washington's, because the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Since the first inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, that participation has been coordinated by the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (now called the Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee).

The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) is the legal entity that raises and distributes funds for events other than the ceremony, such as the balls and parade.[7]

Locations[edit]

Most inaugural ceremonies were held at the Capitol Building. Washington gave his first address at Federal Hall in New York City and his second address in Congress Hall in Philadelphia. Adams also gave his in Congress Hall in Philadelphia. Jefferson gave both of his addresses at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Due to the restoration work on the Capitol, James Monroe's 1817 inauguration ceremonies took place outside the Old Brick Capitol.[8] Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth address was given at the White House. Depending on the weather, the ceremonial swearing-in is held outside or inside of the Capitol building.

Outdoor ceremonies were traditionally held at the eastern front of the U.S. Capitol. Ronald Reagan broke with this precedent at his first inauguration in 1981, requesting to face west, toward his home state of California. All outdoor inaugurations since have taken place on the Capitol's western front.

Dates[edit]

Public inaugural ceremonies have been held on five different calendar dates in the year: April 30, March 4 and 5, and January 20 and 21. Washington gave his first address on April 30, 1789, and his second one on March 4, 1793, which was the commencement date for presidential terms. This March 4 date was changed to January 20 by the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Sunday exceptions[edit]

From 1793 to 1933, the inaugurations were held on March 4, with only four exceptions. Because of March 4 falling on a Sunday, Presidents Monroe (2nd inauguration), Taylor, Hayes and Wilson (2nd inauguration) each gave an address on Monday, March 5. Since 1937, addresses have been given on January 20 with only three exceptions (other than following a premature end to the presidential term): Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Obama each gave an address on Monday, January 21 (2nd inauguration for each). The most recent inauguration day that fell on a Sunday was January 20, 2013; the next will be on January 20, 2041.

Attendees[edit]

In addition to the public, the attendees at the ceremony generally include Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, high-ranking military officers, former presidents, living Medal of Honor recipients, and other dignitaries.

The outgoing president customarily attends the inauguration, barring those cases where succession was due to his death. There have been four exceptions:

  • John Adams did not attend Jefferson's inauguration.
  • John Quincy Adams did not attend Jackson's inauguration.
  • Andrew Johnson did not attend Grant's inauguration.
  • Woodrow Wilson did not attend Harding's inauguration (but did ride to the Capitol with him).

Richard Nixon left Washington, D.C., before his resignation took effect and did not attend the swearing-in ceremony of Gerald Ford, who had no inauguration.

Ceremony elements[edit]

Inauguration procedure is governed by tradition rather than the Constitution, the only constitutionally required procedure being the presidential oath of office (which may be taken anywhere, with anyone in attendance who can legally witness an oath, and at any time prior to the actual beginning of the new president's term).[9] Traditionally, the president-elect arrives at the White House and proceeds to the inaugural grounds at the United States Capitol with the incumbent president. Only three have refused to accompany the president: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson.[9] Around or after 12 pm, the president takes the oath of office, usually administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, and then delivers the inaugural address.

Oaths of office[edit]

Bill Clinton takes the oath of office from Chief Justice William Rehnquist during his 1993 presidential inauguration on January 20, 1993.

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Since 1937, the vice president-elect takes the oath of office at the same ceremony as the president-elect; before then, the vice presidential oath was administered in the Senate. The vice-president-elect takes the oath first. Unlike the president, the United States Constitution does not specify an oath of office for the vice president. Several variants of the oath have been used since 1789; the current form, which is also recited by Senators, Representatives and other government officers, has been in use since 1884:

Immediately after the vice-presidential oath, the United States Marine Band will perform four ruffles and flourishes, followed by Hail, Columbia.

At noon, the new presidential term begins. At about that time, the president-elect takes the oath of office, traditionally administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, using the form mandated in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:

According to Washington Irving's biography of George Washington, in the first inauguration, President Washington added the words "so help me God" after accepting the oath. This is confirmed by Donald R. Kennon, Chief Historian, United States Capitol Historical Society.[11] However, the only contemporaneous source that fully reproduced Washington's oath completely lacks the religious codicil.[12] The first newspaper report that actually described the exact words used in an oath of office, Chester Arthur's in 1881,[13] repeated the "query-response" method where the words, "so help me God" were a personal prayer, not a part of the constitutional oath. The time of adoption of the current procedure, where both the chief justice and the president speak the oath, is unknown.

There is no requirement that any book, or in particular a book of sacred text, be used to administer the oath, and none is mentioned in the Constitution. With the use of the Bible being customary for oaths, at least in the 18th and 19th centuries, a Bible was generally used. Several presidents were sworn in on the George Washington Inaugural Bible.[citation needed] On some occasions, the particular passage to which it was opened has been recorded, as below. John Quincy Adams was sworn in on a book of laws.[14] At his 1963 swearing aboard Air Force One, Lyndon Johnson was sworn on a Catholic missal that belonged to his predecessor.[15][16] In addition, Franklin Pierce is definitely known to have affirmed rather than sworn by using a Law Book. There are conflicting reports concerning Herbert Hoover, but the use of a Bible is recorded and suggests that he swore in the usual fashion. Barack Obama used the Lincoln Bible for his oaths in 2009 and 2013.[17] In 2013 Obama also used a Bible that belonged to Martin Luther King, Jr..[18]


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The presidential oath has been administered by 15 chief justices, one associate justice, and two New York state judges (including only those administered at the inauguration).

Immediately after the presidential oath, the United States Marine Band will perform four ruffles and flourishes, followed by Hail to the Chief, while simultaneously, a 21-gun salute is fired using artillery pieces from the Presidential Guns Salute Battery, 3d United States Infantry Regiment "The Old Guard" located in Taft Park, north of the Capitol. The actual gun salute begins with the first ruffle and flourish, and 'run long' (i.e. the salute concludes after Hail to the Chief has ended).

Inaugural address[edit]

The first inaugural address, in full, made by Barack Obama after being sworn in as the forty-fourth President of the United States on January 20, 2009. (Duration: 18 minutes, 58 seconds)

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Newly sworn-in presidents usually give a speech referred to as an inaugural address. Until William McKinley's first inaugural address in 1897, the president elect traditionally gave the address before taking the oath; McKinley requested the change so that he could reiterate the words of the oath at the close of his address. Four presidents gave no address: Tyler, Fillmore, Andrew Johnson, and Arthur. Coolidge did not give a public address, but addressed Congress four months later.[9] In each of these cases, the incoming president was succeeding a president who had died in office, and was not elected as president in the next election. Gerald Ford addressed the nation via broadcast after taking the oath, but he characterized his speech as "Not an inaugural address, not a fireside chat, not a campaign speech—just a little straight talk among friends."[19] Fifty-four addresses have been given by thirty-seven presidents. George Washington's second address was the shortest (135 words), and William Henry Harrison delivered the longest (8,495 words).

Religious elements and poems[edit]

The Reverend Donn Moomaw delivers the invocation at the first inauguration of Ronald Reagan, 1981

Since 1937, the ceremony has incorporated two or more prayers. Musical works and poetry readings have been included on occasion.[20]

Other elements[edit]

Congressional luncheon[edit]

Since 1953, the president and vice president have been guests of honor at a luncheon held by the leadership of the United States Congress immediately following the inaugural ceremony. The luncheon is held in Statuary Hall and is organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, and attended by the leadership of both houses of Congress as well as guests of the president and vice president. By tradition, the outgoing president and vice president do not attend.

Presidential Procession to the White House[edit]

Since Thomas Jefferson's second inaugural on March 4, 1805, it has become a tradition for the president to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. The only president not to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue was Ronald Reagan in his second inauguration in 1985, due to freezing cold temperatures made dangerous by high winds. Reagan paraded down Pennsylvania Avenue during his first inauguration, in 1981, amid the celebrations that broke out across the country because of news just minutes into his term that the 52 American hostages held in Iran for the previous 444 days had been released. In 1977, Jimmy Carter walked from the Capitol to the White House, although for security reasons, subsequent presidents have walked only a part of the way.

Inaugural Parade[edit]

The Inaugural Parade on Pennsylvania Avenue passes the presidential reviewing stand in front of the White House in January 2005.

Following the arrival of the presidential entourage to the White House, it is customary for the president, vice-president, their respective families and leading members of the government and military to review an Inaugural Parade from an enclosed at the edge of the North Lawn. The parade, which proceeds along the 1.5 miles of Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the stand and the Front Lawn in view of the presidential party, features both military and civilian participants from all 50 states and the District of Columbia; this parade largely evolved from the post-inaugural procession to the White House, and occurred as far back as the second Jefferson inauguration, when shipmen from the Washington Navy Yard and musicians accompanied Jefferson on foot as he rode on horseback from the Capitol to the White House. This was expanded in 1837 with horse-drawn displays akin to parade floats being paraded with the president, and the 1847 inaugural ceremonies, including the procession, parade and festivities, were the first to be organized by an official organizing committee. However, the 1829 inauguration of Andrew Jackson saw serious overcrowding of the White House by well-wishers during the "Open House" held following the inauguration. The 1885 inauguration of Grover Cleveland saw the post-inaugural Open House evolve into a presidential review of the troops from a grandstand in front of the White House. Since 1885, the presidential review has included both military and civilian contingencies. The 1953 Parade was the largest, longest and most elaborate ever staged.[21] The presidential review has also made milestones, with the 1865 parade being the first to include African-Americans, the 1917 parade being the first to include female participants, and the 2009 parade being the first to include openly lesbian and gay participants.

Prayer service[edit]

A tradition of a national prayer service, usually the day after the inauguration, dates back to George Washington and since Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the prayer service has been held at the Washington National Cathedral.[22] This is not the same as the Inaugural Prayer, a tradition also began by Washington, when on June 1, 1789, Methodist Bishops Francis Asbury and Thomas Coke, Rev. John Dickins, the pastor of Old St. George's (America's oldest Methodist Church) and Major Thomas Morrell, one of President Washington’s former aide-de-camps called upon Washington in New York City.[23] This tradition resumed in 1985 with President Reagan and continues under the auspices of a Presidential Inaugural Prayer Committee based at Old St. Georges.

Security[edit]

The security for the inaugural celebrations is a complex matter, involving the Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, Federal Protective Service (DHS-FPS), all five branches of the Armed Forces, the Capitol Police, the United States Park Police (USPP), and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC). Federal law enforcement agencies also sometimes request assistance from various other state and local law-enforcement agencies throughout the United States.

Presidential medals[edit]

Beginning with George Washington, there has been a traditional association with Inauguration festivities and the production of a presidential medal. With the District of Columbia attracting thousands of attendees for inauguration, presidential medals were an inexpensive souvenir for the tourists to remember the occasion. However, the once-simple trinket turned into an official presidential election memento. In 1901, the first Inauguration Committee on Medals and Badges was established as part of the official Inauguration Committee for the re-election of President McKinley. The Committee saw official medals as a way to raise funding for the festivities. Gold medals were to be produced as gifts for the president, vice president, and committee chair; silver medals were to be created and distributed among Inauguration Committee members; and bronze medals would be for sale for public consumption. McKinley's medal was simple with his portrait on one side and writing on the other side.[24]

Unlike his predecessor, when Theodore Roosevelt took his oath of office in 1905, he found the previous presidential medal unacceptable. As an art lover and admirer of the ancient Greek high-relief coins, Roosevelt wanted more than a simple medal—he wanted a work of art. To achieve this goal, the president hired Augustus Saint-Gaudens, a famous American sculptor, to design and create his inauguration medal. Saint-Gaudens's obsession with perfection resulted in a forestalled release and the medals were distributed after the actual inauguration. However, President Roosevelt was very pleased with the result.

Saint-Gaudens' practice of creating a portrait sculpture of the newly elected president is still used today in presidential medal creation. After the president sits for the sculptor, the resulting clay sketch is turned into a life mask and plaster model. Finishing touches are added and the epoxy cast that is created is used to produce the die cuts. The die cuts are then used to strike the president's portrait on each medal. The most recent Presidential Inauguration Medal released was for President Obama in 2013.[25]

The Smithsonian Institution and The George Washington University hold the two most complete collections of presidential medals in the United States.

List of inaugural ceremonies[edit]

This is a list of the 57 inaugural ceremonies. Also noted (parenthetically) are the nine presidencies for which inaugurations were not celebrated. For a list of the 73 events when the presidential oath of office has been taken, see Oath of office of the President of the United States.

Date President Location Oath Administered by[26] Document Sworn On Inaugural Addresses Notes[27]
April 30, 1789 George Washington Balcony of Federal Hall
New York, New York
Robert Livingston
Chancellor of New York
Washington Bible opened at random to Genesis 49:13 due to haste.[28] George Washington's First Inaugural Address
March 4, 1793 George Washington Senate Chamber
Congress Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
William Cushing
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Unknown[29] George Washington's Second Inaugural Address Shortest inaugural address (135 words)
March 4, 1797 John Adams House Chamber
Congress Hall
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Oliver Ellsworth Unknown[29] John Adams' Inaugural Address First oath administered by the Chief Justice
March 4, 1801 Thomas Jefferson Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] Thomas Jefferson's First Inaugural Address First time Marine Band played (done in every inauguration since);
First time address printed on the morning of the inauguration (the National Intelligencer);
First inauguration not attended by outgoing president;
First to walk to and from swearing-in ceremony (instead of carriage)
March 4, 1805 Thomas Jefferson Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] Thomas Jefferson's Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1809 James Madison House Chamber, U.S. Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] James Madison's First Inaugural Address
March 4, 1813 James Madison House Chamber, U.S. Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] James Madison's Second Inaugural Address First Inaugural Ball (Long's Hotel, tickets $4)
March 4, 1817 James Monroe In front of Old Brick Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] James Monroe's First Inaugural Address First oath and inauguration held outdoors
March 5, 1821 James Monroe House Chamber, U.S. Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] James Monroe's Second Inaugural Address First inauguration to fall on a Sunday - switched to Monday
March 4, 1825 John Q. Adams House Chamber, U.S. Capitol John Marshall A book of US law[30] John Quincy Adams's Inaugural Address First president to wear long trousers instead of knee breeches
March 4, 1829 Andrew Jackson East Portico, U.S. Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] Andrew Jackson's First Inaugural Address Second inauguration not attended by outgoing president
March 4, 1833 Andrew Jackson House Chamber, U.S. Capitol John Marshall Unknown[29] Andrew Jackson's Second Inaugural Address Last oath administered by Marshall (nine total, from Adams to Jackson);
First time two Inaugural balls were held (Carusi's and Central Masonic Hall)
March 4, 1837 Martin Van Buren East Portico, U.S. Capitol Roger B. Taney Bible open to Proverbs 3:17[29][31] Martin Van Buren's Inaugural Address First president not born a British subject;
First time President & President-elect rode to the Capitol together for inauguration
March 4, 1841 William H. Harrison East Portico, U.S. Capitol Roger B. Taney Unknown[29] William Henry Harrison's Inaugural Address first president to arrive in Washington, D.C. by train;
First official inaugural planning committee;
Longest Inaugural address (8,445 words)
(1841) (John Tyler, no inauguration) William Cranch First of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President
March 4, 1845 James K. Polk East Portico, U.S. Capitol Roger B. Taney Unknown James K. Polk's Inaugural Address First Inauguration covered by telegraph;
First inauguration known to be illustrated in a newspaper (Illustrated London News)
March 5, 1849 Zachary Taylor East Portico, U.S. Capitol Roger B. Taney Unknown Zachary Taylor's Inaugural Address Second case of rescheduling from Sunday to Monday;
Three inaugural balls held
(1850) (Millard Fillmore, no inauguration) William Cranch Second of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President
March 4, 1853 Franklin Pierce East Portico, U.S. Capitol Roger B. Taney Law book[29][32] Franklin Pierce's Inaugural Address Oath affirmed (not sworn);
First speech recited entirely from memory;
Inaugural ball cancelled;
Vice President ill and sworn in while in Cuba
March 4, 1857 James Buchanan East Portico, U.S. Capitol Roger B. Taney Unknown[29] James Buchanan's Inaugural Address First inauguration known to have been photographed
March 4, 1861 Abraham Lincoln East Portico, U.S. Capitol Roger B. Taney Lincoln Bible opened at random[29] Abraham Lincoln's First Inaugural Address Procession surrounded by heavily armed cavalry and infantry (war imminent)
March 4, 1865 Abraham Lincoln East Portico, U.S. Capitol Salmon P. Chase Bible open to Matthew 7:1, Matthew 18:7, Revelation 16:7[33] Abraham Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address Blacks participated in parade for the first time
(1865) (Andrew Johnson, no inauguration) Salmon P. Chase Third of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President
March 4, 1869 Ulysses S. Grant East Portico, U.S. Capitol Salmon P. Chase Unknown[29] Ulysses S. Grant's First Inaugural Address Third inauguration not attended by outgoing president (Johnson remained at White House signing last-minute legislation)
March 4, 1873 Ulysses S. Grant East Portico, U.S. Capitol Salmon P. Chase Bible open to Isaiah 11:1-3[34] Ulysses S. Grant's Second Inaugural Address Coldest March inauguration (16 °F at noon)
March 5, 1877 Rutherford B. Hayes East Portico, U.S. Capitol Morrison R. Waite Bible open to Psalms 118:11-13[34] Rutherford B. Hayes's Inaugural Address (Inauguration moved to Monday)
March 4, 1881 James A. Garfield East Portico, U.S. Capitol Morrison R. Waite Bible open to Proverbs 21:1[34][35] James A. Garfield's Inaugural Address First president to review the inaugural parade from a stand built in front of the White House
(1881) (Chester A. Arthur, no inauguration) John R. Brady Fourth of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President
March 4, 1885 Grover Cleveland East Portico, U.S. Capitol Morrison R. Waite Bible opened at random by Chief Justice to Psalms 112:4-10[36] Grover Cleveland's First Inaugural Address
March 4, 1889 Benjamin Harrison East Portico, U.S. Capitol Melville W. Fuller Bible open to Psalms 121:1-6[34] Benjamin Harrison's Inaugural Address
March 4, 1893 Grover Cleveland East Portico, U.S. Capitol Melville W. Fuller Bible open to Psalms 91:12-16 Grover Cleveland's Second Inaugural Address
March 4, 1897 William McKinley In front of Original Senate Wing
U.S. Capitol
Melville W. Fuller Bible open to 2 Chronicles 1:10[37] William McKinley's First Inaugural Address First inauguration recorded by a motion picture camera;
First President with glass-enclosed reviewing stand for the parade
March 4, 1901 William McKinley East Portico, U.S. Capitol Melville W. Fuller Bible open to Proverbs 16[34] William McKinley's Second Inaugural Address First time House joined with Senate for planning (creating the JCCIC)
(1901) Theodore Roosevelt Buffalo, New York at the Ainsley Wilcox Mansion on Delaware Avenue John R. Hazel Fifth of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President
March 4, 1905 Theodore Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol Melville W. Fuller Bible open to James 1:22-23[34] Theodore Roosevelt's Inaugural Address First inauguration with telephone lines installed at the Capitol
March 4, 1909 William H. Taft Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol Melville W. Fuller Bible open to 1 Kings 3:9-11[34] William Howard Taft's Inaugural Address First Lady accompanied for first time on ride from the Capitol to the White House following inauguration;
Blizzard required major effort to clear for parade
March 4, 1913 Woodrow Wilson East Portico, U.S. Capitol Edward D. White Bible open to Psalm 119[34] Woodrow Wilsons First Inaugural Address Inaugural ball suspended for the first time since 1853 (upon Wilson's request)
March 5, 1917 Woodrow Wilson East Portico, U.S. Capitol Edward D. White Bible open to Psalm 46[38] Woodrow Wilson's Second Inaugural Address First President to take the oath of office on Sunday;
First Lady accompanied for first time both to and from the Capitol;
First time women participated in the parade
March 4, 1921 Warren G. Harding East Portico, U.S. Capitol Edward D. White Washington Bible open to Micah 6:8[34] Warren Harding's Inaugural Address Fourth (and most recent) inauguration not attended by outgoing president;
First time a president rode to and from event in an automobile
(1923) (Calvin Coolidge, no inauguration) John Calvin Coolidge, Sr. Sixth of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President;
Sworn in by his father (a state notary public)
March 4, 1925 Calvin Coolidge East Portico, U.S. Capitol William H. Taft Bible open to John 1[29] Calvin Coolidge's Inaugural Address First inaugural ceremony broadcast nationally by radio;
First oath administered by a former president (as Chief Justice)
March 4, 1929 Herbert C. Hoover East Portico, U.S. Capitol William H. Taft Bible open to Proverbs 29:18[34] Herbert Hoover's Inaugural Address First inaugural ceremony recorded by talking newsreel
March 4, 1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol Charles E. Hughes Bible open to

1 Corinthians 13:13[39]

Franklin Roosevelt's First Inaugural Address First morning worship service (St. John's Church)
January 20, 1937 Franklin D. Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol Charles E. Hughes Bible open to I Corinthians 13 Franklin Roosevelt's Second Inaugural Address First January inauguration (per 20th Amendment)
January 20, 1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol Charles E. Hughes Bible open to I Corinthians 13 Franklin Roosevelt's Third Inaugural Address Only case of 3rd term inauguration (no longer permitted, per 22nd Amendment)
January 20, 1945 Franklin D. Roosevelt South Portico, White House Harlan F. Stone Bible open to I Corinthians 13 Franklin Roosevelt's Fourth Inaugural Address Oldest oath Bible (1686) and the only one written in a modern foreign language (Dutch);
This bible was used by FDR for all four of his oaths;
No parade or formal celebration (wartime restrictions);
Only case of 4th term inauguration (no longer permitted, per 22nd Amendment)
(1945) (Harry S. Truman, no inauguration) Harlan F. Stone Seventh of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President
January 20, 1949 Harry S. Truman East Portico, U.S. Capitol
*First inauguration to be televised[40]
Frederick M. Vinson Bible open to Exodus 20:3-17 and Matthew 5:3-11Matthew 5:3–11[41] Harry S. Truman's Inaugural Address First televised inaugural ceremony
January 20, 1953 Dwight D. Eisenhower East Portico, U.S. Capitol Frederick M. Vinson Washington Bible open to Psalm 127:1 and a West Point Bible open to II Chronicles 7:14[42] Dwight Eisenhower's First Inaugural Address "Broke precedent by reciting his own prayer after taking the oath, rather than kissing the Bible"
January 21, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower East Portico, U.S. Capitol Earl Warren West Point Bible open to Psalm 33:12[43][44] Dwight Eisenhower's Second Inaugural Address Inauguration held on Monday after Sunday oath
January 20, 1961 John F. Kennedy East Portico, U.S. Capitol Earl Warren Closed family Bible[45][46] John F. Kennedy's Inaugural Address First poet participation (Robert Frost);
First and only Catholic president;
First color televised inaugural ceremony
(1963) (Lyndon B. Johnson, no inauguration) Air Force One Sarah T. Hughes Missal that belonged to President Kennedy[15][16] Last of eight Vice Presidents to assume Presidency upon the death of the President;
First and only presidential oath taken on an airplane;
First and only woman to administer oath (U.S. District Judge)
January 20, 1965 Lyndon B. Johnson East Portico, U.S. Capitol Earl Warren Closed family Bible[29][47] Lyndon Johnson's Inaugural Address First use of a bullet-proof limousine.
January 20, 1969 Richard M. Nixon East Portico, U.S. Capitol Earl Warren Bible open to Isaiah 2:4[39] Richard Nixon's First Inaugural Address Oath taken on two Bibles (family heirlooms);
Three-faith prayer service
January 20, 1973 Richard M. Nixon East Portico, U.S. Capitol Warren E. Burger Bible open to Isaiah 2:4[48] Richard Nixon's Second Inaugural Address
(1974) (Gerald R. Ford, no inauguration) Warren E. Burger Only Vice President to assume Presidency upon the resignation of the President;
First and only unelected president
January 20, 1977 Jimmy Carter East Portico, U.S. Capitol Warren E. Burger Bible open to Micah 6:8[49][50] Jimmy Carter's Inaugural Address First president to walk from the Capitol to the White House in the parade following the swearing-in ceremony;
Only president to have been sworn in using his nickname[51]
January 20, 1981 Ronald Reagan West Front, U.S. Capitol Warren E. Burger Family Bible open to 2 Chronicles 7:14[29] Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address Warmest inauguration on record (55 °F at noon)
January 21, 1985 Ronald Reagan Rotunda, U.S. Capitol Warren E. Burger Family Bible open to 2 Chronicles 7:14[29] Ronald Reagan's Second Inaugural Address Coldest inauguration on record (7 °F at noon);
Inauguration held on Monday after Sunday oath
January 20, 1989 George H. W. Bush West Front, U.S. Capitol William Rehnquist Washington Bible opened at random in the center and a family Bible on top opened to Matthew 5[29] George H. W. Bush's Inaugural Address
January 20, 1993 Bill Clinton West Front, U.S. Capitol William Rehnquist Bible open to Galatians 6:8[29] Bill Clinton's First Inaugural Address
January 20, 1997 Bill Clinton West Front, U.S. Capitol William Rehnquist Bible open to Isaiah 58:12[52] Bill Clinton's Second Inaugural Address First inauguration made available live on the internet
January 20, 2001 George W. Bush West Front, U.S. Capitol William Rehnquist Closed family Bible[29][53] George W. Bush's First Inaugural Address
January 20, 2005 George W. Bush West Front, U.S. Capitol William Rehnquist Open family bible; same one used in 1989 and 2001 open to Isaiah 40:31[29] George W. Bush's Second Inaugural Address First live webcam of inaugural platform construction;
First inauguration with secure inaugural credentials;
First anti-counterfeiting security designed into the tickets;
Largest inaugural platform to date.
January 20, 2009 Barack Obama[54] West Front, U.S. Capitol John G. Roberts Closed Lincoln Bible[55] Barack Obama's First Inaugural Address First black president;
Largest attendance of any event in the history of Washington, DC;
Highest viewership ever of the swearing-in ceremonies on the Internet;
First woman to emcee the ceremony (Sen. Dianne Feinstein);

First inaugural webcast to include captioning

January 21, 2013 Barack Obama [56] West Front, U.S. Capitol John G. Roberts Lincoln Bible and a Bible owned by Martin Luther King, Jr.[57] Barack Obama's Second Inaugural Address
ZZZDate ZZZPresident ZZZLocation ZZZAdministered by[26] Document Sworn On[29] Inaugural Addresses (Texts from Wikisource) Notes[27]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Presidential Inaugurations: Some Precedents and Notable Events". Memory.loc.gov. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Exhibit: President George Washington's inaugural address". National Archives and Records Administration. August 17, 1998. Retrieved January 22, 2009. George Washington's first inauguration took place at Federal Hall in New York City [...] George Washington's first inaugural address, April 30, 1789 
  3. ^ "President George Washington's first inaugural speech (1789)". National Archives. Retrieved January 22, 2009. Before the assembled crowd of spectators, Robert Livingston, Chancellor of the State of New York, administered the oath 
  4. ^ a b "Inaugural history: inauguration 2001". PBS. Retrieved January 22, 2009. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be sworn in as president in Washington DC, which did not officially become the US capital until 1801. [...] Inauguration Day was originally set for March 4, giving electors from each state nearly four months after Election Day to cast their ballots for president. In 1933, the day of inauguration was changed by constitutional amendment from February 4 to Jan. 290 to speed the changeover of administrations. 
  5. ^ a b Foley, Thomas (January 25, 1973). "Thousands in Washington Brave Cold to Say Goodbye to Johnson". Los Angeles Times. p. A1. 
  6. ^ "Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies – Official Website.". 
  7. ^ "PIC records". National Archives. 
  8. ^ Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, "First, Facts and Precedents". Accessed 2013-07-18
  9. ^ a b c Terri Bimes, ed. Michael A. Genovese, Encyclopedia of the American Presidency, p 262-63.
  10. ^ 5 U.S.C. § 3331
  11. ^ "Presidential Inaugurations Past and Present: A Look at the History Behind the Pomp and Circumstance". 2002-2009-fpc.state.gov. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  12. ^ Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, Vol. 15, pages 404–405
  13. ^ "The New Administration: President Arthur Formally Inaugurated" (PDF). The New York Times. September 22, 1881. Retrieved January 19, 2009. 
  14. ^ Malone, Noreen (January 19, 2009). "Why Doesn't Every President Use the Lincoln Bible?". Slate. Retrieved June 15, 2014. John Quincy Adams, according to his own letters, placed his hand on a constitutional law volume rather than a Bible to indicate where his fealty lay. 
  15. ^ a b Glass, Andrew J. (February 26, 1967). "Catholic Church Missal, Not Bible, Used by Johnson for Oath at Dallas". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ a b Usborne, Simon (November 16, 2013). "The LBJ missal: Why a prayer book given to John F Kennedy was used to swear in the 36th US President". The Independent. Retrieved June 15, 2014. 
  17. ^ "President-elect Barack Obama to be Sworn in Using Lincoln’s Bible". Presidential Inaugural Committee. December 23, 2008. 
  18. ^ Parnass, Sarah (January 10, 2013). "Obama Picks Lincoln, MLK Bibles for Inauguration". ABC News. Retrieved June 15, 2014. On the day of the Inaugural ceremony, President Obama will take the oath of office on two historic Bibles–one that belonged to Abe Lincoln and the other to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 
  19. ^ "Gerald R. Ford's Remarks on Taking the Oath of Office as President". Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. Retrieved November 18, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Presidential Inaugurations Past and Present: A Look at the History Behind the Pomp and Circumstance". 
  21. ^ [1]"The two and one-half hour inaugural parade was witnessed by an estimated 1 million persons, of whom 60,000 were in the grandstand in seats ranging in price from $3 to $15, according to location. About 22,000 service men and women and 5,000 civilians were in the parade, which included 50 state and organization floats costing $100,000. There were also 65 musical units, 350 horses, 3 elephants, an Alaskan dog team, and the 280-millimeter atomic cannon. It was the most elaborate inaugural pageant ever held."
  22. ^ Knowlton, Brian (January 21, 2009). "On His First Full Day, Obama Tackles Sobering Challenges". The New York Times. Retrieved January 28, 2009. 
  23. ^ I The Journal and Letters of Francis Asbury Chap. 18.
  24. ^ MacNeil, Neil. The President's medal, 1789–1977. New York: Published in association with the National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, by C. N. Potter, 1977.
  25. ^ Levine, H. Joseph. Collectors Guide to Presidential Medals and Memorabilia. Danbury, Conn.: Johnson & Jensen, 1981.
  26. ^ a b Individual named is the U.S. Chief Justice, unless otherwise indicated
  27. ^ a b http://www.inaugural.senate.gov/about/facts-and-firsts
  28. ^ Bowen, Clarence W. The History of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washington, N.Y. 1892, p. 72
  29. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y "Bibles and Scripture Passages Used by Presidents in Taking the Oath of Office". Architect of the Capitol. 
  30. ^ "Presidential Inaugurations Past and Present: A Look at the History Behind the Pomp and Circumstance". U.S. Department of State. January 13, 2005. 
  31. ^ Files of the Legislative Reference Service, Library of Congress
  32. ^ Affirmed instead of swearing the oath.
  33. ^ Wright, John. Historic Bibles in America, N.Y. 1905, p. 46
  34. ^ a b c d e f g h i j List compiled by Clerk of the Supreme Court, 1939
  35. ^ One source (The Chicago Daily Tribune, September 23, 1881, p. 5) says that Garfield and Arthur used the same passage, but does not indicate which one.
  36. ^ Opened at random by Chief Justice
  37. ^ Bible given to him by Methodist church congregation
  38. ^ Senate Document 116, 65th Congress, 1st Session, 1917
  39. ^ a b "Obama picks Bible for inauguration, but what verse?". CNN. December 24, 2008. 
  40. ^ "Inauguration of the President: Facts & Firsts". U.S. Senate. Retrieved December 13, 2008. 
  41. ^ Facts on File, Jan. 16–22, 1949, p. 21.
  42. ^ New York Times, January 21, 1953, p. 19
  43. ^ New York Times, January 22, 1957, p. 16.
  44. ^ "Inauguration of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957". Inaugural.senate.gov. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  45. ^ "John F. Kennedy and Ireland – John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum". Jfklibrary.org. Retrieved August 30, 2010. 
  46. ^ New York Times, January 21, 1961, p. 8, col. 1.
  47. ^ Office of the Clerk of the Supreme Court via phone July 1968
  48. ^ Washington Post, January 20, 1969, p. A1.
  49. ^ "Jimmy Carter Inaugural Address". Bartelby.com. January 20, 1977. 
  50. ^ Washington Post, January 21, 1977, p. A17
  51. ^ Democracy's Big Day: The Inauguration of Our President, by Jim Bendat
  52. ^ Washington Post, January 21, 1997, p. A14
  53. ^ Inauguration staff. George W. Bush had hoped to use the Masonic Bible that had been used both by George Washington in 1789, and by Bush's father, George H. W. Bush, in 1989. This historic Bible had been transported, under guard, from New York to Washington for the inauguration but, due to inclement weather, a family Bible was substituted instead.
  54. ^ Resworn in the Map Room of the White House to correct words transposed during the public ceremony. Shear, Michael (January 22, 2009). "Obama Sworn In Again, Using the Right Words". Washington Post. Retrieved January 21, 2009. 
  55. ^ "Obama chooses Lincoln's Bible for inauguration". 
  56. ^ "2013 inaugural ceremony to be pushed back a day". USA Today. March 28, 2012. Retrieved November 12, 2012. 
  57. ^ "Obama using MLK, Lincoln Bibles during oath". 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]