US Presidents
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U.S. Presidents
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George Washington
John Adams
Thomas Jefferson
James Madison
James Monroe
John Quincy Adams
Andrew Jackson
Martin Van Buren
William H. Harrison
John Tyler
James K. Polk
Zachary Taylor
Millard Fillmore
Franklin Pierce
James Buchanan
Abraham Lincoln
Andrew Johnson
Ulysses S. Grant
Rutherford B. Hayes
James A. Garfield
Chester A. Arthur
Grover Cleveland
Benjamin Harrison
William McKinley
Theodore Roosevelt
William H. Taft
Woodrow Wilson
Warren G. Harding
Calvin Coolidge
Herbert Hoover
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Harry S Truman
Dwight D. Eisenhower
John F. Kennedy
Lyndon B. Johnson
Richard M. Nixon
Gerald R. Ford
Jimmy Carter
Ronald Reagan
George Bush
Bill Clinton
George W. Bush
Barack Obama
Donald Trump



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NEW Facts about the Inaugurations

Nicknames for the Presidents

First Ladies

Presidents who died in office

Assassinations and Assassination Attempts

Vice Presidents who became Presidents

Presidential Salaries

Oldest living Presidents

Presidents' Military Service

Preidential Timeline of Key Dates

Books about U.S. President

Pets of the Presidents

Chronlogical (by Year) Order
Of the Presidents.

 




Presidential Inaugurations

The presidents took office later in the year than current presidents. Today all inaugurations are held on January 20th unless it falls on a Sunday. In the early years it took place in March. Transportation was slow so they gave the new president three months to get to the capitol.

There are traditionally nine events on inauguration day:

  1. Morning worship service. This tradition was started by Franklin Roosevelt.
  2. The president elect and the current president and their spouses travel to the Capital. They are escorted by by members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. The vice president elect and the vice president and the family follows the president.
  3. The vice president is then sworn into office.
  4. The president elect is sworn into office.
  5. The president gives the inaugural address. George Washington's second address was the shortest in history. It was only 135 words. Harrison gave the longest which last just under two hours (8,445 words) and some think lead to his death from pneumonia.
  6. The outgoing president leaves the Capitol.
  7. The new President and Vice President then return to the Capitol Building for the Inaugural luncheon hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
  8. President and Vice President will make their way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. The President, Vice President, their spouses and special guests watch parade as it passes in front of the Presidential Reviewing Stand.
  9. Inaugural Ball takes place in the evening. Inaugural balls are planned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Most president's had one ball, but starting with Eisenhower there were often more. Kennedy had five.
Dates
President
Facts and Trivia
April 30, 1789 George Washington
  • First Inauguration
  • Took place in Federal Hall, New York, NY
  • The Holy Bible from St. John's Masonic Lodge was used.
March 4, 1793 George Washington
  • First inauguration in Philadelphia, PA. in Congress Hall
  • Delivered the shortest inaugural address at just 135 words
  • Honorable William Cushing, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court lead the oath.
March 4, 1797 John Adams
  • First president to receive the oath of office from a Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court. Honorable Oliver Ellsworth, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court presented the oath.
  • The ceremony to place at the House of Representatives Chamber, Congress Hall Philadelphia, PA
March 4, 1801 Thomas Jefferson
  • First inauguration in Washington, DC
  • He broke precedent by walking to and from his swearing-in ceremony, rather than riding in a carriage as his predecessors did.
  • The Marine Band played at the Inauguration for the first time. (It has played at every Inauguration since.)
  • For the first time, a newspaper (the National Intelligence) printed the Inaugural address the morning of the Inauguration.
  • The oath of office was administered by the Honorable John Marshall, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The ceremony to place in Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC.
  • President John Adams didn't like Jefferson and left Washington before the inauguration.
  • He waited to weeks before he moved in the the Presidentional quarters.
March 4, 1805 Thomas Jefferson
  • The inauguration was held in the Chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives
March 4, 1809 James Madison
  • Administered to James Madison by the Honorable John Marshall, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • The first Inaugural Ball was held the evening after the swearing-in ceremony. It took place at Long's Hotel and tickets cost $4 each.
March 4, 1813 James Madison
  • Administered to James Madison by the Honorable John Marshall, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. 
March 4, 1817 James Monroe
  • Administered to James Madison by the Honorable John Marshall, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • First President to take the oath of office and deliver the Inaugural address outdoors; ceremony took place on platform in front of the temporary Brick Capitol (where Supreme Court now stands).
  • The original plan for Madison's second Inauguration called for a ceremony in the House chamber of the temporary Capitol, but when a small feud ensued between the Senate and the House of Representatives over what chairs would be used in the House chamber, the venue changed to an outdoor platform in front of the building.
March 4(5), 1821  James Monroe
  • Monroe's Inauguration was the first inauguration to fall on a Sunday. Monroe decided to hold the Inaugural ceremony on Monday, March 5, after consulting with Supreme Court justices. 
  • Snow began on Saturday evening, March 3, making Washington snowbound by Sunday afternoon. It continued through Inauguration day forcing Monroe to take his oath of office in the House chamber.
March 4, 1825  John Quincy Adams
  • Adams was the first to wear long trousers, rather than knee breeches.
  • John Quincy Adams did not use a bible. He used a "volume of law."
March 4, 1829 Andrew Jackson
  • First President to take the oath of office on the east front portico of the U.S. Capitol.
  • Outgoing President John Quincy Adams did not attend his successor's Inaugural Ceremony. Relations between the two men were not good after the bitter campaign of 1828. Jackson blamed the verbal attacks made by Adams and his political allies for the death of his wife. (His father did not attend Jefferson's Inauguration.)
  • The party at the White House was open to the public. It was so crowded that people left via the windows.
  • At the party after the inauguration, Jackson served a 1,400 pound cheese that was sent to him.
March 4, 1833  Andrew Jackson
  • This was the last time Chief Justice John Marshall administered the oath office; he presided over nine Inaugurations, from Adams to Jackson.
  • Jackson's second Inauguration was the first time two Inaugural balls were held, one at Carusi's, and one at the Central Masonic Hall. 
  • It was a stormy day so they didn't have a paraded.
  • By this time Jackson had lost all of his front teeth.
March 4, 1837  Martin Van Buren
  • First President who was not born a British subject
  • First time the President and President-elect rode to the Capitol together for the Inauguration 
  • Van Buren and Jackson road to the Capitol in a coach made from the timbers of the USS Constitution.
  • Oath was administered to Martin Van Buren by the Honorable Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • He was the first president to ever mention slavery in a inaugural address.
  • Cherokee and Pottowatamie chiefs were in the parade. The wore their native costume including feathers beeds and paint.
March 4, 1841 William H. Harrison
  • Harrison Didn't wear overcoat, hat, nor gloves during swearing-in ceremony
  • Harrison was the first President to arrive in Washington, D.C. by train.
  • The first official Inaugural committee was formed by citizens of D.C. to plan the parade and Inaugural ball.
  • Harrison delivered the longest Inaugural address (8,445 words). His speech took all most two hours. (It was only 48 degrees that day.)
  • He died of pneumonia one month later, believed to have been brought on by prolonged exposure to bad weather at his March 4 Inauguration.
April 6, 1841 John Tyler
  • The oath was given by the Honorable William Cranch, Chief Judge of the U.S. Circuit Court. 
  • The inauguration was on Sixth Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Brown's Hotel Washington, DC
  • First Vice President to assume Presidency upon the death of the President.
March 4, 1845  James K. Polk
  • First Inauguration covered by telegraph.
  • First known Inauguration featured in a newspaper illustration; illustration appeared in the Illustrated London News. 
March 5 1849 Zachary Taylor
  • March 4, 1849 fell on a Sunday, so following precedent, Taylor was Inaugurated the next day, Monday, March 5, 1849.
  • Three Inaugural balls were held that evening, and Taylor attended all of them. 
July 10, 1850  Millard Fillmore 
  • Location: House of Representatives Chamber, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • He replaced Zachary Taylor who died in office on July 9, 1850, of apparent food poisoning.
  • He was sworn in on July 10, 1850.
  • There were no speeches or celebrations.
  • Fillmore was sworn in by William Cranch, Circuit Court head judge for Washington D.C. Cranch was 81 and had been appointed judge by President Adams.

 

March 4, 1853  Franklin Pierce 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was given by the Honorable Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Affirmed the oath of office rather than swear it.
  • Pierce was the first President to recite his speech entirely from memory.
  • Cancelled the inaugural ball.
  • Pierce's Vice President, William R. King did not attend the Inaugural ceremonies. He was very ill and and had gone to Cuba to try to recover at the time of the Inauguration, and was sworn into office there on March 24, 1853. He died on April 18, 1853, one day after returning to his home in Alabama. 
March 4, 1857  James Buchanan 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to James Buchanan by the Honorable Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. 
  • First Inauguration known to have been photographed.
  • Buchnan and outgoing president Pierce road in the parade behind a huge float drawn by 6 white horses. The float carried the Goddess of Liberty.
  • Behind them in the parade was a large ship on wheels with young boys dressed as sailors waving flags.
March 4, 1861  Abraham Lincoln 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Abraham Lincoln by the Honorable Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • Lincoln's procession to the Capitol was surrounded by heavily armed calvary and infantry, providing an unprecedented amount of protection for the President-elect as the nation stood on the brink of war.
March 4, 1865  Abraham Lincoln 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Abraham Lincoln by the Honorable Salmon P. Chase, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • African Americans participated in the Inaugural parade for the first time.
April 15, 1865  Andrew Johnson 
  • Location: Twelfth Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Kirkwood Hotel Washington, DC
  • Abraham Lincoln had been shot at Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. He died the next day. Johnson took the oath of office in the presence of cabinet members, several Senators and House members, and other dignitaries.
  • Mary Todd Lincoln did not move out of the White House until June 9th of 1865. Johnson lived in a hotel until that time.
March 4, 1869  Ulysses S. Grant 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Ulysses S. Grant by the Honorable Salmon P. Chase, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Grant refused to have President Johnson ride with him to the Capitol Building.
  • Andrew Johnson, feeling snubbed by Grant, did not accompany President-elect Grant to the Capitol, nor did he attend the Inaugural ceremonies. Instead, he remained at the White House signing last-minute legislation. He left the White House quitly that afternoon.
March 4, 1873  Ulysses S. Grant 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Ulysses S. Grant by the Honorable Salmon P. Chase, Chief Justice of the United States. 
  • Coldest March 4 Inauguration Day; the noon temperature was 16
March 5, 1877  Rutherford B. Hayes 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Rutherford B. Hayes by the Honorable Morrison R. Waite, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • March 4, 1877 fell on Sunday, so Hayes privately took oath of office on Saturday, March 3 in the White House Red Room to ensure peaceful transition of power; the public Inauguration was on Monday, March 5.
  • The Bible was provided by D. W. Middleton, Clerk of the Supreme Court, open to Psalm 118:11-13.
March 4, 1881  James A. Garfield 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to James A. Garfield by the Honorable Morrison R. Waite, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Garfield was the first President to review the Inaugural parade from a stand built in front of the White House.
  • The Bible was provided by James H. McKenney, Clerk of the Supreme Court, open to Proverbs 21:1.
September 20, 1881  Chester A. Arthur 
  • Location: 123 Lexington Ave., Chester Arthur's Private Residence New York, NY
  • Arthur became President upon the assassination of James Garfield, who was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, in Washington, D.C., and died on September 19, 1881.
  • Former Presidents Hayes and Grant were both present for the swearing-in ceremony on September 22.
  • He was sworn in by a New York judge at 2:15 a.m. on September 20, 1881.
  • He was sworn in again when he reached Washington, DC by the Honorable Morrison R. Waite, Chief Justice of the United States.
March 4, 1885  Grover Cleveland 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Grover Cleveland by the Honorable Morrison R. Waite, Chief Justice of the United States. He had just recently be confirmed as Chief Justice.
  • Grover Cleveland is the only President to have served two non-consecutive terms, first in 1885 and again later in 1893. He is, therefore, referred to as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States.
  • The Bible was given to him at age 15 by his mother. This Bible was opened by Chief Justice Waite and by chance it fell to Psalm 112:4-10.
  • He memorized his speech and gave his Inaugural Address by memory. That startled the audience.
  • Cleveland reversed the order and gave his Inaugural Address before being swarn in as president.
  • John Philip Sousa's Marine Band played at the Inaugural Ball.
  • The Ball was held in Great Hall of the National Building Museum. It was a new building and he was the first president to have his ball held there. It began a tradition that is still followed today of holding presidential festivities in the Great Hall.
March 4, 1889  Benjamin Harrison 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Benjamin Harrison by the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States. 
  • Harrison wore a double breasted frock coat, striped trousers.
  • It rained all day.
  • They road to the Capitol building in an open carriage.
  • Cleveland held an umbrella over Harrison head to keep him dry while he was giving his address.
  • The Harrison's disapproved of dancing so the Inaugural Party just had music.
March 4, 1893  Grover Cleveland
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Grover Cleveland by the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • It was a cold, snowy day. The crowds were small and some events were cancelled.
  • It snow so hard that some of the viewing stands collapsed.
  • Cleveland again gave his speech from memory and before he was sworn into office.
March 4, 1897  William McKinley 
  • Location: In front of the Original Senate Wing, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to William McKinley by the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Bible presented to him by the Bishops of the African Methodist Episcopal Church; II Chronicles 1:10 is marked.
  • First Inaugural ceremony recorded by a motion picture camera
  • First President to have a glass-enclosed reviewing stand for the Inaugural parade
  • First Inauguration at which Congress hosted a luncheon for the President and Vice President
  • After lunch Cleveland left the White House by a side door.
March 4, 1901  William McKinley
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to William McKinley by the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
  • The Bible was provided to him by the Clerk of the Supreme Court, open to Proverbs 16:20-21
  • First time the U.S. House joined with the U.S. Senate, creating the JCCIC, to make Inaugural arrangements.
  • The parade featured soldiers from the campaigns in Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines.
  • An inaugural ball was held that evening in the Pension Building.
September 14, 1901  Theodore Roosevelt 
  • Location: Ansley Wilcox Residence, Buffalo, NY
  • The oath was administered to Theodore Roosevelt by the Honorable John R. Hazel, U.S. District Judge of the Western District of New York.
  • A Bible was not used in the inauguration.
  • Roosevelt became President upon the assassination of William McKinley, who was shot by Leon F. Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901. McKinley died on September 14, 1901.
March 4, 1905  Theodore Roosevelt 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Theodore Roosevelt by the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • This was the first time telephone lines were installed at the U.S. Capitol for an Inauguration.
  • The inaugural celebration was the largest and most diverse of any in memory—cowboys, Indians (including the Apache Chief Geronimo), coal miners, soldiers, and students were some of the groups represented.
March 4, 1909  William H. Taft 
  • Location: Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to William H. Taft by the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Century-old Bible belonging to the Supreme Court, open to I Kings 3:9-11 was used.
  • Inauguration took place in the Senate chamber because of blizzard. Strong winds toppled trees and telephone poles, trains were stalled and city streets impassable. City workers shoveled sand and snow through half the night. It took 6,000 men and 500 wagons to clear 58,000 tons of snow and slush from the parade route.
  • The had 10" of snow that day.
  • Taft joked, "I always said it would be a cold day when I got to be President.
  • Helen Taft was the first First Lady to ride in the carriage with her husband during the Inaugural Parade. (Every First Lady since then have accompanied their husband in the parade.)
  • After his speech Teddy Roosevelt said "God Bless you, old man. It was a great state document."
  • After attending the inaugural ball, Taft went to bed early.
March 4, 1913  Woodrow Wilson 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Woodrow Wilson by the Honorable Edward D. White, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Inaugural ball was suspended for the first time since 1853. Wilson requested that the ball be cancelled because he found it inappropriate for the solemn occasion.
  • He used the same Bible used when he was sworn in as Governor of New Jersey, open to Psalm 119:43-46. When he was done saying the oath Wilson kissed the Bible.
  • Taft gave the Wilson's and informal luncheon. At 3:00 p.m. Taft left for a vacation in Agusta, Georgia. (A golfing vaction.)
  • The Wilson's had a family dinner that night and watched the fireworks on the Mall through the windows of the White House.
March 5, 1917  Woodrow Wilson 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Woodrow Wilson by the Honorable Edward D. White, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • The same Bible was used.
  • First President to take the oath of office on Sunday. March 4, 1917 fell on a Sunday, so Wilson was sworn in privately on that day in the President's Room in the U.S. Capitol by Chief Justice Edward D. White.
  • His public inauguration was held on Monday, March 5.
  • Edith Bolling Galt Wilson was the first First Lady to accompany the President both to and from the Capitol.
  • It was first time women participated in the Inaugural Parade.
  • After dinner his wife Edith and Secretary of State House watched the fireworks from an upstairs window in the White House.
  • Later Wilson insisted on taking a ride around town. People recognized the president and cheered. It made House nervous and he sat with a pistol in his hand in case of problems.
March 4, 1921  Warren G. Harding 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Warren G. Harding by the Honorable Edward D. White, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • The Bible used was the same Bible used by George Washington, belonging to St. John's Masonic Lodge No. 1, open to Micah 6:8
  • First President to ride to and from his Inauguration in an automobile. President Wilson, road to the capitol with Harding.
  • He was the first president to have his address amplified by speakers.
  • It was also the first inauguration to be broadcast via radio.
  • President and Mrs. Harding and their immediate family ate lunch at the White House immediately following the inauguration.
  • The luncheon was arranged by outgoing President and Mrs. Wilson, following the tradition established in 1889, when President and Mrs. Cleveland invited the Harrison's to eat lunch at the White House before the parade.
August 3, 1923  Calvin Coolidge 
  • Location: His father’s residence, Plymouth, VT at 2:37 a.m., Coolidge's father, a notary republic, administered the oath of office to his son by the light of a kerosene lamp.
  • He is the only president to be sworn in by his father.
  • Coolidge assumed the Presidency upon the death of Warren G. Harding. Harding died of an apparent stroke on August 2, 1923, in San Francisco, California.
March 4, 1925  Calvin Coolidge 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Calvin Coolidge by the Honorable William H. Taft, Chief Justice of the United States. 
  • First Inaugural ceremony broadcast nationally by radio
  • First time a former President, William H. Taft, administered the oath of office as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
March 4, 1929  Herbert C. Hoover 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Herbert C. Hoover by the Honorable William H. Taft, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • First Inaugural ceremony recorded by talking newsreel.
  • President and Mrs. Hoover, Vice President Curtis, members of the JCCIC, members of the PIC, cabinet members, Chief Justice and Mrs. Taft, Speaker and Mrs. Longworth, and the G.A.R. guard of honor returned to the White House for a private luncheon before the parade.
  • A heavy rain began just before the oath of office was administered, and the Capitol grounds and parade route were so crowded that it was impossible for anyone to run for cover. By the time he completed his inaugural address, President Hoover was soaking wet.
  • Dirigibles and aircraft flew over the Capitol to mark the occasion.
March 4, 1933  Franklin D. Roosevelt 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The Bible used was a Roosevelt family Bible, the same one used when Roosevelt was sworn in as Governor of New York in 1928 and 1930, open to I Corinthians 13
  • Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt begin tradition of morning worship service by attending St. John's Church.
  • FDR used the same Bible for all four of his Presidential Inaugurations. It is the oldest Inaugural Bible, printed in 1686, and the only one written in a modern foreign language: Dutch.
  • The Roosevelt's had planned to host a buffet luncheon at the White House for several hundred guests, but Mrs. Roosevelt cancelled the luncheon at the last minute out of respect for Senator Thomas J. Walsh, who died several days before. Senator Walsh had been chosen by Roosevelt to serve as attorney general.
January 20, 1937  Franklin D. Roosevelt 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Franklin D. Roosevelt by the Honorable Charles E. Hughes, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • First President Inaugurated on January 20th, a change made by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution.
  • First time the Vice President was sworn-in outdoors on the same platform with the President.
  • The President and First Lady hosted around 600 guests for a buffet luncheon at the White House in the state dining room and East Room. They served hot coffee, sandwiches, and cake.
January 20, 1941 

 

Franklin D. Roosevelt 

  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Franklin D. Roosevelt by the Honorable Charles E. Hughes, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • First and last time a President was Inaugurated for a third term. (The 22nd Amendment to the Constitution limited Presidential terms to two.)
  • President and Mrs. Roosevelt hosted 1,200 guests at the White House for a buffet luncheon consisting of tomato soup, salad, beef, ham, tongue, cake, ice cream, and coffee.
January 20, 1945  Franklin D. Roosevelt 
  • Location: South Portico, The White House Washington, DC
  • First and only President sworn in for a fourth term; had simple Inaugural ceremony at the White House.
  • At the height of WWII, Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth Inauguration was simple and austere with no fanfare or formal celebration following the event.
  • There was no parade because of gas rationing and a lumber shortage.
  • Roosevelt was the first president to take the oath of office four times. Obama also took the oath four times.
April 12, 1945  Harry S. Truman 
  • Location: Cabinet Room, The White House Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Harry S. Truman by the Honorable Harlan F. Stone, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • According to Truman, "There was much scurrying around to find this book on which to take the oath." It was closed while he repeated the oath, and he kissed the book when he finished.
  • Truman took the oath of office just two hours after he received word of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's death, which was caused by cerebral stroke.
January 20, 1949  Harry S. Truman 
  • Location:
  • The oath was administered to Harry S. Truman by the Honorable Frederick Vinson, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • The National Anthem was performed by Phil Regan of Brooklyn, NY accompanied by the United States Marine Band, led by Maj. William F. Santelmann
  • Reverend Edward Hughes Pruden, minister, First Baptist Church, Washington, DC said the prayer.
  • Truman used two Bibles: the first was the same Bible he used in 1945 when he was sworn in upon the death of Franklin Roosevelt, open to Matthew 5 (Beatitudes). The second was a Gutenberg facsimile given to him by the Independence, Missouri Chamber of Commerce, opened to Exodus 20 (the Ten Commandments).
  • When the band played "I'm Just Wild about Harry," The president danced a little jig.
  • For the first time in history, The President invited African Americans to the main events.
  • Fleets of bombers flew over the event.
  • First televised Inaugural ceremony Truman reinstated the Inaugural Ball. He stayed at the party until 3:00 am. He still went to work at 5:00 am.
January 20, 1953  Dwight D. Eisenhower 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • Prayer/Invocation: The Most Reverend Patrick A. O'Boyle, Archbishop of Washington
  • National Anthem: Performed by Dorothy Maynor accompanied by the United States Marine Band, led by Lt. Col. William F. Santelmann
  • Broke precedent by reciting his own prayer after taking the oath, rather than kissing the Bible.
  • First time the JCCIC hosted the Inaugural luncheon at the Capitol.
January 20, 1957  Dwight D. Eisenhower 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The National Anthem was performed by Marian Anderson, an African American opera singer.
  • Invocation/prayer was given by the Reverend Dr. Edward L.R. Elson, National Presbyterian Church of Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Dwight D. Eisenhower by the Honorable Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • January 20, 1957 fell on a Sunday, so Eisenhower was sworn in privately that day by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the White House East Room.
  • His public Inauguration was held on Monday, January 21, 1957.
  • President’s personal Bible from West Point was used in the Inauguration.
January 20, 1961  John F. Kennedy 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to John F. Kennedy by the Honorable Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Fitzgerald family Bible (his mother's family), closed
  • First time a poet, Robert Frost, participated in the Inaugural program
  • First Roman Catholic to become President of the United States.
November 22, 1963  Lyndon Baines Johnson 
  • Location: Conference Room aboard Air Force One, Love Field Dallas, TX
  • The oath was administered to Lyndon Baines Johnson by the Honorable Sarah T. Hughes, U.S. District Judge of the Northern District of Texas.
  • Johnson assumed the Presidency upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
  • First time a woman administered the oath of office (U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in Johnson on Air Force One).
  • First and only time a President took the oath of office on an airplane.
January 20, 1965  Lyndon Baines Johnson 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • Invocation was delivered by the Most Reverend Robert E. Lucey, S.T.D., archbishop of San Antonio
  • Administered to Lyndon Baines Johnson by the Honorable Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Security for Johnson's Inauguration was tight following the assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963.
  • For the first time, the President rode in a bullet-proofed limousine.
  • The National Anthem was performed by the United States Marine Band
January 20, 1969  Richard M. Nixon 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • Invocation was given by the Right Reverend Charles Ewbank Tucker, presiding bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • The oath was administered to Richard M. Nixon by the Honorable Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Two brown leather family Bibles, both open to Isaiah 2:4 were used, both family heirlooms.
  • Nixon's Inauguration included an official, three-faith prayer service, open to the public, in the West Auditorium of the State Department.
  • The address was televised by satellite around the world.
  • Some protesters swore and threw beer cans at Nixon's car during the parade.
January 20, 1973  Richard M. Nixon 
  • Location: East Portico, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Richard M. Nixon by the Honorable Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Nixon's Inaugural address was short. It was 1,855 words long.
  • Lyndon Baines Johnson died two days later.
  • Richard Nixon became the first President to resign on August 9, 1974.
August 9, 1974  Gerald R. Ford 
  • The oath was administered to Gerald R. Ford by the Honorable Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • The Bible Used: Bible held by his wife, open to Proverbs 3:5-6
  • First unelected Vice President to become President. Ford assumed the Presidency upon the resignation of Richard M. Nixon. Facing impeachment proceedings for his role in the Watergate scandal and alleged cover-up, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.
January 20, 1981  Ronald W. Reagan 
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Ronald W. Reagan by the Honorable Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • First Inauguration held on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.
  • Reagan's first Inauguration was also the warmest on record with a noon temperature of 55.
  • On inauguration day, American hostages held by the revolutionary government of Iran were released.
January 21, 1985 Ronald W. Reagan 
  • Location: Rotunda, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The first time a President took the oath of office in the Capitol Rotunda.
  • Coldest Inauguration day on record, with a noon temperature of 7°F.
  • January 20th fell on Sunday, so Reagan was privately sworn in that day at the White House.
  • The public Inauguration was held on January 21st took place in the Capitol Rotunda, due to freezing weather

 

January 20, 1989  George H.W. Bush 
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • Administered to George H.W. Bush by the Honorable William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • The family Bible, opened to Matthew 5, and the Bible used by George Washington (belonging to St. John's Masonic Lodge No. 1)
  • The 200th anniversary of the Presidency was observed as George Bush took the executive oath
January 20, 1993  William J. Clinton 
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • Administered to William J. Clinton by the Honorable William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States. 
  • The Fleetwood Mac band reunited to perform at his inauguration.
January 20, 1997 William J. Clinton 
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • Administered to William J. Clinton by the Honorable William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States. 
  • A King James Bible, given to him by grandmother, open to Galatians 6:8
  • First Inaugural ceremony broadcast live on the Internet.
January 20, 2001  George W. Bush 
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The Oath was administered to George W. Bush by the Honorable William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who had also sworn in his father.
  • George W. Bush had hoped to use the Masonic Bible that had been used both by George Washington in 1789, and by his father, George H. W. Bush, in 1989. This historic Bible had been transported, under guard, from New York to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration but, due to inclement weather, a family Bible was substituted instead.
January 20, 2005 George W. Bush 
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to George W. Bush by the Honorable William Rehnquist, Chief Justice of the United States.
  • The family Bible, open to Isaiah 40:31
  • Largest inaugural platform to date.
  • First time anti-counterfeiting security has been designed into the tickets.
  • First live Web Cam of inaugural platform construction.
  • First inauguration with secure inaugural credentials.
January 20, 2009  Barack H. Obama  
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Barack H. Obama by the Honorable John G. Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the United States.
  • The Lincoln Bible. The Lincoln Bible was the Bible used by president Abraham Lincoln at his presidential inauguration.
  • Largest attendance of any event in the history of Washington, DC Largest attendance of any Presidential Inauguration in U.S. history
  • First African American to hold the office of President of the United States
  • First citizen born in Hawaii to hold the office Highest viewer ship ever of the swearing-in ceremonies on the Internet
  • First woman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to emcee the ceremony
  • First inaugural webcast to include captioning First swearing-in ceremony to include an audio description
January 21, 2009  Barack H. Obama  
  • Location: West Front, U.S. Capitol Washington, DC
  • The oath was administered to Barack H. Obama by the Honorable John G. Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the United States.
  • Richard Blanco was named the inaugural poet for Barack Obama's second inauguration. He is the first Latino and first gay inaugural poet.
  • Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers will deliver the invocation at President Barack Obama's Jan. 21 inaugural. Her husband, Megar Evers was a civil rights leader who was shot to death in Jackson, Miss.
  • Beyonce will sing the national anthem, Kelly Clarkson will perform "My Country 'Tis of Thee" and James Taylor will sing "America the Beautiful." They said the president personally selected the performers.
  • Obama for his second term will place his hand on a single Bible but on two – one owned by Martin Luther King Jr. and one by Abraham Lincoln. Michelle Obama will hold the bibles. (It is fitting since the ceremony will be held on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. (He will be the 4th president to use two bibles.)
  • President Obama was the first president to mention Gay Rights in his inaugural address.
  • He was the first two term president to say the oath of office four times. Details can be found on this page.
  • Ex-presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter attended the inauguration. The older Bush was ill and George W. stayed with his father.
  • First, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath of office to Vice President Joe Biden. Nominated by Obama, Sotomayor is the first Latina justice. She was the first Latino and first woman to administer the oath.
January 20, 2017 Donald Trump  

 



Sources:

The Presidents of the United States. 22 September 2004: http://www.whitehouse.gov/history/presidents/

Davis, Gibbs and Ilus. David A. Johnson. Wackiest White House Pets. New York: Scholastic Press, October 2004

James, Barber and Amy Pastan. Smithsonian Presidents and First Ladies. New York: DK Publishing, 2002

Kane, Joseph Natan. Facts about the Presidents from Washington to Johnson. New York: H.W. Wilson Company, 1964.

McCullough, Noah, The Essential Book of Presidential Trivia. Random House, USA, 2006

Pine, Joslyn, Presidential Wit and Wisdom: Memorable Quotes from George Washington to Barack Obama . Dover Publications, Mineola, New York, 2009

Huffington Post web site.

Lang, Stephen, The Complete Book of Presidential Trivia, Pelican Publishing Company, Gretna, 2011

O'Reilly, Bill, and Dugard, Martin, Killing Lincoln: The Shocking Assassination that Changed America Forever, Henry Holt and Company, New York, 2011

St. George, Judith In the Line of Fire: Presidents' Lives at Stake , Scholastic Inc. New York, 2001

In addition to these books, I have also read and have used information from those listed on my Books About Presidents page.

 


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This page was last updated on Saturday, December 10, 2016

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