Inauguration of Zachary Taylor
|Date||March 5, 1849|
United States Capitol
|Participants||President Zachary Taylor
Vice President Millard Filmore
The inauguration of Zachary Taylor as the 12th President of the United States was held on Monday, March 5, 1849 (one day after his term Constitutionally began) at the eastern portico of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. This was the second instance (after 1821) of an inauguration being rescheduled due to March 4 falling on a Sunday, the Christian sabbath. The inauguration marked the commencement of Zachary Taylor's only term as President and of Millard Fillmore's only term as Vice President. Taylor died 1 year, 126 days into this term, and Fillmore succeeded to the presidency. The presidential oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. Inauguration Day started off being cloudy with snow flurries, but turned to heavy snow during the inaugural balls (three of which were held).
The "presidency" of David Rice Atchison
As neither Taylor nor Fillmore had taken the oath of office on March 4, some historians and Constitutional scholars have argued that neither of them had any legal authority as President in the interim until they did. They go on to argue that, as both President James K. Polk and Vice President George Dallas ceased to hold their offices at noon on March 4, the executive branch was officially empty, and President pro tempore of the United States Senate David Rice Atchison (who at the time was third in line to the presidency) was Acting President until the inauguration on March 5. At the time, friends jestingly pestered Atchenson for ambassadorships and cabinet positions, and he gleefully refused. Whether or not Atchison was actually Acting President or not has been a subject of debate ever since.
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