First inauguration of Harry S. Truman

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First Presidential Inauguration of Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman taking the oath of office.jpg
President Truman being sworn in, following Roosevelt's death, on April 12, 1945.
Date April 12, 1945; 72 years ago (1945-04-12)
Location The White House,
Washington, D.C.
Participants President of the United States, Harry S. Truman
Assuming office
Chief Justice of the United States,
Harlan Fiske Stone
Administering oath

The first inauguration of Harry S. Truman as the 33rd President of the United States was held at 7:00 pm on April 12, 1945, in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, D.C., following the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt earlier that day. The inauguration marked the commencement of the first term (a partial term of 3 years, 283 days) of Harry Truman as President.

Truman had just adjourned a session of the United States Senate and was on his way to share a drink with Sam Rayburn, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, when he was summoned to the White House. Upon his arrival, he was met by Eleanor Roosevelt, who informed him that President Roosevelt was dead. Shocked, Truman asked Mrs. Roosevelt, "Is there anything I can do for you?", to which she replied: "Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now."[1]

Chief Justice of the United States Harlan Fiske Stone administered the presidential oath of office. Among witnesses of this ceremony were Truman's wife Bess Truman, daughter Margaret Truman, Mrs. Roosevelt, Speaker Rayburn, and members of the cabinet. This was the second presidential inauguration in 1945, after the regularly scheduled inauguration for Roosevelt's fourth term earlier on January 20.


  • Robert J. Donovan, Conflict and Crisis. The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948. University of Missouri Press, 1996

ISBN 0-8262-1066-X, 9780826210661.