United States presidential inauguration

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Presidential inauguration at the eastern front of the U.S. Capitol (Lyndon B. Johnson, 1965)

The inauguration of the President of the United States is a ceremony to mark the commencement of a new four-year term of the President of the United States. This ceremony takes place for each new presidential term, even if the president is continuing in office for a second term. Since 1937, it has taken place on January 20, which is 72 to 78 days after the November presidential election (on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November). The term of a president commences at noon (ET) on that day, when the Chief Justice of the United States administers the oath of office to the president. However, when January 20 falls on a Sunday, the chief justice administers the oath to the president on that day privately and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21. The most recent presidential inauguration ceremony was the swearing in of Donald Trump to a four-year term of office on Friday, January 20, 2017.

Recitation of the presidential oath of office is the only component in this ceremony mandated by the United States Constitution (in Article II, Section One, Clause 8). 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 and multiple social gatherings. The inauguration is carried live via the major U.S. commercial television networks, as well as cable news networks, which provide all-day coverage. Additionally, various networks streamed the ceremony live on their websites.

Since the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan, the ceremony has been held at the west front of the United States Capitol. Other swearing-in ceremonies have taken place at the Capitol's east portico, inside the Old Senate Chamber, the House chamber, and the Rotunda. [45] Additionally, on two occasions—in 1817 and 1945—they were held at other locations in Washington, D.C..

Though it’s not a constitutional requirement, the chief justice typically administers the presidential oath of office. Since 1789, the oath has been administered at 58 scheduled public inaugurations, by 15 chief justices, one associate justice, and one New York state judge. Others, in addition to the chief justice, have administered the oath of office to several of the nine vice presidents who succeeded to the presidency upon their predecessor's death or resignation intra-term. When a new president assumed office under these circumstances the inauguration is conducted without pomp or fanfare.

Inaugural ceremonies


The first inauguration, that of George Washington, took place on April 30, 1789. All subsequent (regular) inaugurations from 1793 until 1933, were held on March 4, the day of the year on which the federal government began operations under the U.S. Constitution in 1789. The exception to this pattern being those years in which March 4 fell on a Sunday. When it did, the public inauguration ceremony would take place on Monday, March 5. This happened on four occasions, in 1821, 1849, 1877, and 1917. Inauguration Day moved to January 20, beginning in 1937, following ratification of the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, where it has remained since. A similar Sunday exception and move to Monday is made around this date as well (which happened in 1957, 1985, and 2013).

Inauguration Day, while not a federal holiday, is observed as a holiday by 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. [46] There is no in-lieu-of holiday for employees or students who are not regularly scheduled to work or attend school on Inauguration Day.


Most presidential inaugurations since 1801 have been held in Washington D.C. at the Capitol Building. Prior inaugurations were held, first at Federal Hall in New York City (1789), and then at Congress Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1793 and 1797). Each city was, at the time, the nation's capital. The location for James Monroe's 1817 swearing in was moved to the Old Brick Capitol in Washington due to on-going restoration work at the Capitol building following the War of 1812. In 1909, William H. Taft's inauguration was moved to the Senate Chamber due to a blizzard. Three other inaugurations— Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth (1945), Harry S. Truman's first (1945), and Gerald Ford's (1974)—were held at the White House. Presidential inaugurations (not including intra-term ceremonies following the death or resignation of a president) have traditionally been outdoor public ceremonies. Andrew Jackson, in 1829, was the first of 35 held on the east front of the Capitol. Since the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan, they have been held on the Capitol's west front; a move designed to both cut costs and to provide more space for spectators.


Inauguration Day 2005: President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush lead the inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House

Prior to Inauguration Day, the president-elect will name a Presidential Inaugural Committee. This committee is the legal entity responsible for fundraising for and the planning and coordination of all official events and activities surrounding the inauguration of president and vice president (other than the ceremony), such as the balls and parade.

Since 1901, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol. [47] Since 1953, the committee has also hosted a luncheon at the Capitol for the new president, vice president, and guests.

The Joint Task Force National Capital Region, composed of service members from all branches of the United States Armed Forces, including Reserve and National Guard components, is responsible for all military support to ceremonies and to civil authorities for the inaugural period (in 2017, January 15–24). U.S. military personnel have participated in Inauguration Day ceremonies since 1789 when members of the Continental Army, local militia units and Revolutionary War veterans escorted George Washington to his first inauguration ceremony. Their participation traditionally includes musical units, color guards, salute batteries and honor cordons. Military support to the inauguration honors the new president, who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and recognizes civilian control of the military. [48]


In addition to the public, the attendees at the ceremony generally include the vice president, 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 president-elect's inauguration. Only five have chosen not to do so. John Adams, still smarting over the outcome of the election of 1800, did not remain in Washington to witness the inauguration of Thomas Jefferson, his successor. In 1829, John Quincy Adams also left town, unwilling to be present to see Andrew Jackson's accession to the White House. In 1869, Andrew Johnson was angrily conducting a cabinet meeting even as his successor, Ulysses S. Grant, was being inaugurated. [45] More recently, Woodrow Wilson did not attend Warren G. Harding's 1921 inauguration (though he rode to the Capitol with him), nor did Richard Nixon attend Gerald Ford's 1974 inauguration (having left Washington, D.C., prior to his resignation taking effect).


The way inauguration ceremony events are communicated to the public has changed over the years with each advance in technology. Improvements in mass media technologies have allowed presidents to reach substantially greater numbers of their constituents. In 1829, Andrew Jackson spoke to approximately 10,000 people at his inauguration. [45] Most recently, in 2017, it is estimated that about 160,000 people were in the National Mall areas in the hour leading up to Donald Trump's swearing in. [51] An additional 30.6 million people in the United States watched it on television, [45] and more than 6.8 million worldwide streamed it live on Twitter. [45] Among the inauguration mass communication milestones are: [54]

Ceremony elements

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). 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 incumbent presidents have refused to accompany the president-elect: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and Andrew Johnson. Around or after 12 noon, 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

The vice president is sworn into office in the same ceremony as the president. Prior to 1937, the vice presidential oath was administered in the Senate Chamber (in keeping with the vice president's position as President of the Senate). The oath is administered to the vice president first. Immediately afterwards, the United States Marine Band will perform four ruffles and flourishes, followed by Hail, Columbia. Unlike the presidential oath, however, the Constitution does not specify specific words that must be spoken. 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:

At noon, the new presidential and vice presidential terms begin. At about that time, the president recites the constitutionally mandated oath of office:

According to Washington Irving's biography of George Washington, after reciting the oath at his (and the nation's) first inauguration, Washington added the words "so help me God". [45] However, the only contemporaneous source that fully reproduced Washington's oath completely lacks the religious codicil. [45] The first newspaper report that actually described the exact words used in an oath of office, Chester Arthur's in 1881, 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.

The oath of office was administered to Washington in 1789 by Robert Livingston, Chancellor of New York State. Four years later, the oath was administered by Supreme Court Associate Justice William Cushing. Since the 1797 inauguration of John Adams, it has become customary for the new president to be sworn into office by the Supreme Court's Chief Justice. Others have administered the oath on occasions when a new president assumed office intra-term due to the incumbent's death or resignation. William Cranch, chief judge of the U.S. Circuit Court, administered the oath of office to John Tyler in 1841 when he succeeded to the presidency upon William Henry Harrison's death, and to Millard Fillmore in 1850 when Zachary Taylor died. In 1923, upon being informed of Warren Harding's death, while visiting his family home in Plymouth Notch, Vermont, Calvin Coolidge was sworn in as president by his father, John Calvin Coolidge, Sr., a notary public. [55] Most recently, Federal Judge Sarah T. Hughes administered the oath of office to Lyndon B. Johnson aboard Air Force One after John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963.

Since 1789 there have been 58 inaugural ceremonies to mark the commencement of a new four-year term of a president of the United States, and an additional nine marking the start of a partial presidential term following the intra-term death or resignation of an incumbent president. With the 2017 inauguration of Donald Trump, the oath has been taken 75 different times by 44 persons. This numerical discrepancy results chiefly from two factors: a president must take the oath at the beginning of each term of office, and, because the day of inauguration has sometimes fallen on a Sunday, five presidents have taken the oath privately before the public inaugural ceremonies. In addition, three have repeated the oath as a precaution against potential later constitutional challenges. [54]

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. By convention, incoming presidents raise their right hand and place the left on a Bible or other book while taking the oath of office. While most have, Theodore Roosevelt did not use a Bible when taking the oath in 1901; [56] neither did John Quincy Adams in 1825. [57] In 1853, Franklin Pierce affirmed the oath of office rather than swear it. [58] More recently, a Catholic missal was used for Lyndon Johnson's 1963 swearing in ceremony. [18]

Bibles of historical significance have sometimes been used at inaugurations. George H. W. Bush, Jimmy Carter and Dwight D. Eisenhower used the George Washington Inaugural Bible. Barack Obama placed his hand upon the Lincoln Bible for his oaths in 2009 and 2013, [16] as did Donald Trump in 2017. [59]

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). The Marine Band, which is believed to have made its inaugural debut in 1801 for Thomas Jefferson's first inauguration, is the only musical unit to participate in all three components of the Presidential inauguration: the swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural parade, and an inaugural ball. During the ceremony, the band is positioned directly below the presidential podium at the U.S. Capitol. [60]

Inaugural address

Newly sworn-in presidents usually give a speech referred to as an inaugural address. As with many inaugural customs, this one was started by George Washington in 1789. After taking his oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall, he proceeded to the Senate chamber where he read a speech before members of Congress and other dignitaries. Every President since Washington has delivered an Inaugural address. While many of the early Presidents read their addresses before taking the oath, current custom dictates that the chief justice administer the oath first, followed by the president's speech. [47] William McKinley requested the change in 1897, so that he could reiterate the words of the oath at the close of his first inaugural address.

William Henry Harrison delivered the longest inaugural address, at 8,445 words, in 1841. John Adams' 1797 address, which totaled 2,308 words, contained the longest sentence, at 737 words. In 1793, Washington gave the shortest inaugural address on record, just 135 words. [47]

Most presidents use their inaugural address to present their vision of America and to set forth their goals for the nation. Some of the most eloquent and powerful speeches are still quoted today. In 1865, in the waning days of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln stated, "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations." In 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt avowed, "we have nothing to fear but fear itself." And in 1961, John F. Kennedy declared, "And so my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country." [47]

On the eight occasions where the new president succeeded to the office upon their predecessor's death intra-term, none gave an address, but each did address Congress soon thereafter. When Gerald Ford became president in 1974, following the resignation of Richard Nixon, he addressed the nation 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." (Full text )


Since 1937, the ceremony has incorporated one or more prayers. Since 1933 an associated prayer service either public or private attended by the President-elect has often taken place on the morning of the day. At times a major public or broadcast prayer service takes place after the main ceremony most recently on the next day.


Five inaugural ceremonies since 1961 have included a reading by a poet. [61] The following poetry readings have taken place:

Other elements

Over the years, various inauguration traditions have arisen that have expanded the event from a simple oath-taking ceremony to a day-long one, including parades, speeches, and balls. In fact, contemporary inaugural celebrations typically span 10 days, from five days before the inauguration to five days after. On some occasions however, either due to the preferences of the new president or to other constraining circumstances, they have been scaled back. Such was the case in 1945, because of rationing in effect during World War II. More recently, in 1973, the celebrations marking Richard Nixon's second inauguration were altered because of the death of former President Lyndon B. Johnson two days after the ceremony. All pending events were cancelled so preparations for Johnson's state funeral could begin. 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. When it was brought out, it came out through the House wing steps of the Capitol.

Congressional luncheon

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.

Inaugural parade

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

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 stand at the edge of the North Lawn, a custom begun by James Garfield in 1881. 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 Jefferson's second inauguration in 1805, when workers from the Washington Navy Yard, accompanied by military music, marched with the president [64] on foot as he rode on horseback from the Capitol to the White House. By the time of William Henry Harrison's inauguration in 1841, political clubs and marching societies would regularly travel to Washington for the parade. That year was also the first in which floats were part of the parade. It was at Lincoln's second inauguration, in 1865, that Native Americans and African Americans participated in the inaugural parade for the first time. [65] Women were involved for the first time in 1917. [66]

In 1829, following his first inaugural parade, Andrew Jackson held a public reception at the White House, during which 20,000 people created such a crush that Jackson had to escape through a window. Nevertheless, White House receptions continued until lengthy afternoon parades created scheduling problems. Reviving the idea in 1989, President George H. W. Bush invited the public to a "White House American Welcome" on the day after the inaugural. [67]

Grover Cleveland ’s 1885 inaugural parade lasted three hours and showcased 25,000 marchers. Eighty years later, Lyndon Johnson ’s parade included 52 select bands. [67] Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1953 parade included about 22,000 service men and women and 5,000 civilians, 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.

In 1977, Jimmy Carter became the first president to set out by foot for more than a mile on the route to the White House. The walk has become a tradition that has been matched in ceremony if not in length by the presidents who followed. [68]

Twice during the 20th century, an inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue was not held. In 1945, at the height of World War II, 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. [69] In 1985, as temperatures hovered near zero, all outdoor events for Ronald Reagan's second inauguration were canceled or moved indoors. [64] The obverse had been the case four years earlier for Reagan's first inauguration, as the noontime temperature was an unseasonably 55 degrees. [66] That parade was held as breaking news spread across Washington, D.C. and the rest of the nation that the 52 American hostages held in Iran for the previous 444 days had been released.

Prayer service

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. This is not the same as the Inaugural Prayer, a tradition also begun 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 aides-de-camp called upon Washington in New York City. This tradition resumed in 1985 with President Reagan and continues under the auspices of a Presidential Inaugural Prayer Committee based at Old St. George's.

Inaugural balls

The first Inaugural Ball was held on the night of James Madison's first inauguration in 1809. Tickets were $4 and it took place at Long’s Hotel. [66]


Maya Angelou delivering her poem " On the Pulse of Morning " at Bill Clinton's inauguration in 1993

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

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 [70] 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.

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. Nonetheless, President Roosevelt was very pleased with the result. Saint Gardens' design, executed by Adolph A. Weinman, was cast by Tiffany & Company and was proclaimed an artistic triumph. [71] 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.

From 1929 through 1949, the official medal was struck by the U.S. Mint. This changed in 1953 when the Medallic Art Company was chosen to strike Walker Hancock's portrait of President Eisenhower. The official medals have been struck by private mints ever since. [71] 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

The 58 inaugural ceremonies marking the start of a new four-year presidential term of office and also the nine marking the start of a partial presidential term following the intra-term death or resignation of an incumbent president are listed in the table below.

No. Date Event Location Oath Administered by Address length [72]
01 ! 1st 000000001789-04-30-0000 April 30, 1789 (Thursday) washingtona ! First inauguration of George Washington Front balcony, Federal Hall New York, New York livingston ! Robert Livingston, Chancellor of New York 1431 words
Barack Obama's 2009 inaugural luncheon
02 ! 2nd 000000001793-03-04-0000 March 4, 1793 (Monday) washingtonb ! Second inauguration of George Washington Senate Chamber, Congress Hall Philadelphia, Pennsylvania cushing ! William Cushing, Associate Justice, U.S. Supreme Court 135 words Full text
03 ! 3rd 000000001797-03-04-0000 March 4, 1797 (Saturday) adamsa ! Inauguration of John Adams House Chamber, Congress Hall ellsworth ! Oliver Ellsworth, Chief Justice of the United States 2308 words
The Inaugural parade on Pennsylvania Avenue passes the presidential reviewing stand in front of the White House in January 2005.
04 ! 4th 000000001801-03-04-0000 March 4, 1801 (Wednesday) jeffersona ! First inauguration of Thomas Jefferson Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol Washington, D.C. marshalla ! John Marshall,Chief Justice of the United States 1730 words
Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and Jill Biden at the 2013 National Prayer Service
05 ! 5th 000000001805-03-04-0000 March 4, 1805 (Monday) jeffersonb ! Second inauguration of Thomas Jefferson Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol marshallb ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 2166 words Full text
06 ! 6th 000000001809-03-04-0000 March 4, 1809 (Saturday) madisona ! First inauguration of James Madison House Chamber, U.S. Capitol marshallc ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 1177 words
A U.S. Customs and Border Protection boat patrolling the waterways around Washington, D.C. prior to the inauguration of Donald Trump
07 ! 7th 000000001813-03-04-0000 March 4, 1813 (Thursday) madisonb ! Second inauguration of James Madison House Chamber, U.S. Capitol marshalld ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 1211 words
A presidential medal from the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt in 1905
08 ! 8th 000000001817-03-04-0000 March 4, 1817 (Tuesday) monroea ! First inauguration of James Monroe Front steps, Old Brick Capitol marshalle ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 3375 words Full text
09 ! 9th 000000001821-03-05-0000 March 5, 1821 (Monday) monroeb ! Second inauguration of James Monroe House Chamber, U.S. Capitol marshallf ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 4472 words Full text
10 ! 10th 000000001825-03-04-0000 March 4, 1825 (Friday) adamsq ! Inauguration of John Quincy Adams House Chamber, U.S. Capitol marshallg ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 2915 words Full text
11 ! 11th 000000001829-03-04-0000 March 4, 1829 (Wednesday) jacksona ! First inauguration of Andrew Jackson East Portico, U.S. Capitol marshallh ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 1128 words Full text
12 ! 12th 000000001833-03-04-0000 March 4, 1833 (Monday) jacksonb ! Second inauguration of Andrew Jackson House Chamber, U.S. Capitol marshalli ! John Marshall,Chief Justice 1176 words Full text
13 ! 13th 000000001837-03-04-0000 March 4, 1837 (Saturday) vanburen ! Inauguration of Martin Van Buren East Portico, U.S. Capitol tanneya ! Roger B. Taney,Chief Justice of the United States 3843 words Full text
14 ! 14th 000000001841-03-04-0000 March 4, 1841 (Thursday) harrisonw ! Inauguration of William Henry Harrison East Portico, U.S. Capitol tanneyb ! Roger B. Taney,Chief Justice 8640 words Full text
80 !
000000001841-04-06-0000 April 6, 1841 (Tuesday) tyler ! Inauguration of John Tyler (Extraordinary inauguration) Brown’s Indian Queen Hotel, Washington, D.C. crancha ! William Cranch Chief Judge, U.S. Circuit Court of the District of Columbia
15 ! 15th 000000001845-03-04-0000 March 4, 1845 (Tuesday) polk ! Inauguration of James K. Polk East Portico, U.S. Capitol tanneyc ! Roger B. Taney,Chief Justice 4809 words Full text
16 ! 16th 000000001849-03-05-0000 March 5, 1849 (Monday) taylor ! Inauguration of Zachary Taylor East Portico, U.S. Capitol tanneyd ! Roger B. Taney,Chief Justice 1090 words Full text
81 !
000000001850-07-10-0000 July 10, 1850 (Wednesday) fillmore ! Inauguration of Millard Fillmore (Extraordinary inauguration) House Chamber, U.S. Capitol cranchb ! William CranchCircuit Court Judge
17 ! 17th 000000001853-03-04-0000 March 4, 1853 (Friday) pierce ! Inauguration of Franklin Pierce East Portico, U.S. Capitol tanneye ! Roger B. Taney,Chief Justice 3336 words Full text
18 ! 18th 000000001857-03-04-0000 March 4, 1857 (Wednesday) buchanan ! Inauguration of James Buchanan East Portico, U.S. Capitol tanneyf ! Roger B. Taney,Chief Justice 2831 words Full text
19 ! 19th 000000001861-03-04-0000 March 4, 1861 (Monday) lincolna ! First inauguration of Abraham Lincoln East Portico, U.S. Capitol tanneyg ! Roger B. Taney,Chief Justice 3637 words Full text
20 ! 20th 000000001865-03-04-0000 March 4, 1865 (Saturday) lincolnb ! Second inauguration of Abraham Lincoln East Portico, U.S. Capitol chasea ! Salmon P. Chase,Chief Justice of the United States 700 words Full text
82 !
000000001865-04-15-0000 April 15, 1865 (Saturday) johnsona ! Inauguration of Andrew Johnson (Extraordinary inauguration) Kirkwood House Hotel, Washington, D.C. chaseb ! Salmon P. Chase,Chief Justice
21 ! 21st 000000001869-03-04-0000 March 4, 1869 (Thursday) granta ! First inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant East Portico, U.S. Capitol chasec ! Salmon P. Chase,Chief Justice 1127 words Full text
22 ! 22nd 000000001873-03-04-0000 March 4, 1873 (Tuesday) grantb ! Second inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant East Portico, U.S. Capitol chased ! Salmon P. ChaseChief Justice 1339 words Full text
23 ! 23rd 000000001877-03-05-0000 March 5, 1877 (Monday) hayes ! Inauguration of Rutherford B. Hayes East Portico, U.S. Capitol waitea ! Morrison Waite,Chief Justice of the United States 2486 words Full text
24 ! 24th 000000001881-03-04-0000 March 4, 1881 (Friday) garfield ! Inauguration of James A. Garfield East Portico, U.S. Capitol waiteb ! Morrison Waite,Chief Justice 2979 words Full text
83 !
000000001881-09-20-0000 September 20, 1881 (Tuesday) arthur ! Inauguration of Chester A. Arthur (Extraordinary inauguration) Chester A. Arthur Home, New York, New York brady ! John R. Brady,Justice of the New York Supreme Court
25 ! 25th 000000001885-03-04-0000 March 4, 1885 (Wednesday) clevelanda ! First inauguration of Grover Cleveland East Portico, U.S. Capitol waitec ! Morrison Waite,Chief Justice 1686 words Full text
26 ! 26th 000000001889-03-04-0000 March 4, 1889 (Monday) harrisonb ! Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison East Portico, U.S. Capitol fullera ! Melville Fuller,Chief Justice of the United States 4392 words Full text
27 ! 27th 000000001893-03-04-0000 March 4, 1893 (Saturday) clevelandb ! Second inauguration of Grover Cleveland East Portico, U.S. Capitol fullerb ! Melville Fuller,Chief Justice 2015 words Full text
28 ! 28th 000000001897-03-04-0000 March 4, 1897 (Thursday) mckinleya ! First inauguration of William McKinley Front of original Senate Wing U.S. Capitol fullerc ! Melville Fuller,Chief Justice 3968 words Full text
29 ! 29th 000000001901-03-04-0000 March 4, 1901 (Monday) mckinleyb ! Second inauguration of William McKinley East Portico, U.S. Capitol fullerd ! Melville Fuller,Chief Justice 2218 words Full text
84 !
000000001901-09-14-0000 September 14, 1901 (Saturday) rooseveltta ! First inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt (Extraordinary inauguration) Ainsley Wilcox Home, Buffalo, New York hazel ! John R. Hazel,Judge, U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York
30 ! 30th 000000001905-03-04-0000 March 4, 1905 (Saturday) roosevelttb ! Second inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol fullere ! Melville Fuller,Chief Justice 984 words Full text
31 ! 31st 000000001909-03-04-0000 March 4, 1909 (Thursday) taft ! Inauguration of William Howard Taft Senate Chamber, U.S. Capitol fullerf ! Melville Fuller,Chief Justice 5434 words Full text
32 ! 32nd 000000001913-03-04-0000 March 4, 1913 (Tuesday) wilsona ! First inauguration of Woodrow Wilson East Portico, U.S. Capitol whitea ! Edward D. White,Chief Justice of the United States 1704 words Full text
33 ! 33rd 000000001917-03-05-0000 March 5, 1917 (Monday) wilsonb ! Second inauguration of Woodrow Wilson East Portico, U.S. Capitol whiteb ! Edward D. WhiteChief Justice 1526 words Full text
34 ! 34th 000000001921-03-04-0000 March 4, 1921 (Friday) harding ! Inauguration of Warren G. Harding East Portico, U.S. Capitol whitec ! Edward D. WhiteChief Justice 3329 words Full text
85 !
000000001923-08-03-0000 August 3, 1923 (Friday) coolidgea ! First inauguration of Calvin Coolidge (Extraordinary inauguration) Coolidge Homestead, Plymouth Notch, Vermont coolidge ! John Calvin Coolidge Notary public
35 ! 35th 000000001925-03-04-0000 March 4, 1925 (Wednesday) coolidgeb ! Second inauguration of Calvin Coolidge East Portico, U.S. Capitol tafta ! William Howard Taft Chief Justice of the United States 4055 words Full text
36 ! 36th 000000001929-03-04-0000 March 4, 1929 (Monday) hoover ! Inauguration of Herbert Hoover East Portico, U.S. Capitol taftb ! William H. TaftChief Justice 3672 words Full text
37 ! 37th 000000001933-03-04-0000 March 4, 1933 (Saturday) rooseveltfa ! First inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol hughesa ! Charles E. Hughes Chief Justice of the United States 1880 words Full text
38 ! 38th 000000001937-01-20-0000 January 20, 1937 (Wednesday) rooseveltfb ! Second inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol hughesb ! Charles E. HughesChief Justice 1800 words Full text
39 ! 39th 000000001941-01-20-0000 January 20, 1941 (Monday) rooseveltfc ! Third inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt East Portico, U.S. Capitol hughesc ! Charles E. HughesChief Justice 1359 words Full text
40 ! 40th 000000001945-01-20-0000 January 20, 1945 (Saturday) rooseveltfd ! Fourth inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt South Portico, White House stonea ! Harlan F. Stone Chief Justice of the United States 559 words Full text
86 !
000000001945-04-12-0000 April 12, 1945 (Thursday) trumana ! First inauguration of Harry S. Truman (Extraordinary inauguration) Cabinet Room, White House stoneb ! Harlan F. Stone Chief Justice
41 ! 41st 000000001949-01-20-0000 January 20, 1949 (Thursday) trumanb ! Second inauguration of Harry S. Truman East Portico, U.S. Capitol vinsona ! Fred M. Vinson Chief Justice of the United States 2273 words Full text
42 ! 42nd 000000001953-01-20-0000 January 20, 1953 (Tuesday) eisenhowera ! First inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower East Portico, U.S. Capitol vinsonb ! Fred M. VinsonChief Justice 2459 words Full text
43 ! 43rd 000000001957-01-21-0000 January 21, 1957 (Monday) eisenhowerb ! Second inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower East Portico, U.S. Capitol warrena ! Earl Warren Chief Justice of the United States 1658 words Full text
44 ! 44th 000000001961-01-20-0000 January 20, 1961 (Friday) kennedy ! Inauguration of John F. Kennedy East Portico, U.S. Capitol warrenb ! Earl WarrenChief Justice 1366 words Full text
87 !
000000001963-11-22-0000 November 22, 1963 (Friday) johnsonla ! First inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson (Extraordinary inauguration) Air Force One, Dallas Love Field, Dallas, Texas hughes ! Sarah T. Hughes Judge, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
45 ! 45th 000000001965-01-20-0000 January 20, 1965 (Wednesday) johnsonlb ! Second inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson East Portico, U.S. Capitol warrenc ! Earl WarrenChief Justice 1507 words Full text
46 ! 46th 000000001969-01-20-0000 January 20, 1969 (Monday) nixona ! First inauguration of Richard Nixon East Portico, U.S. Capitol warrend ! Earl WarrenChief Justice 2128 words Full text
47 ! 47th 000000001973-01-20-0000 January 20, 1973 (Saturday) nixonb ! Second inauguration of Richard Nixon East Portico, U.S. Capitol burgera ! Warren Burger Chief Justice of the United States 1803 words Full text
88 !
000000001974-08-09-0000 August 9, 1974 (Friday) ford ! Inauguration of Gerald Ford (Extraordinary inauguration) East Room, White House burgerb ! Warren BurgerChief Justice
48 ! 48th 000000001977-01-20-0000 January 20, 1977 (Thursday) carter ! Inauguration of Jimmy Carter East Portico, U.S. Capitol burgerc ! Warren BurgerChief Justice 1229 words Full text
49 ! 49th 000000001981-01-20-0000 January 20, 1981 (Tuesday) reagana ! First inauguration of Ronald Reagan West Front, U.S. Capitol burgerd ! Warren BurgerChief Justice 2427 words Full text
50 ! 50th 000000001985-01-21-0000 January 21, 1985 (Monday) reaganb ! Second inauguration of Ronald Reagan Rotunda, U.S. Capitol burgere ! Warren BurgerChief Justice 2561 words Full text
51 ! 51st 000000001989-01-20-0000 January 20, 1989 (Friday) bushh ! Inauguration of George H. W. Bush West Front, U.S. Capitol rehnquista ! William Rehnquist Chief Justice of the United States 2320 words Full text
52 ! 52nd 000000001993-01-20-0000 January 20, 1993 (Wednesday) clintona ! First inauguration of Bill Clinton West Front, U.S. Capitol rehnquistb ! William RehnquistChief Justice 1598 words Full text
53 ! 53rd 000000001997-01-20-0000 January 20, 1997 (Monday) clintonb ! Second inauguration of Bill Clinton West Front, U.S. Capitol rehnquistc ! William RehnquistChief Justice 2155 words Full text
54 ! 54th 000000002001-01-20-0000 January 20, 2001 (Saturday) bushwa ! First inauguration of George W. Bush West Front, U.S. Capitol rehnquistd ! William RehnquistChief Justice 1592 words Full text
55 ! 55th 000000002005-01-20-0000 January 20, 2005 (Thursday) bushwb ! Second inauguration of George W. Bush West Front, U.S. Capitol rehnquiste ! William RehnquistChief Justice 2071 words Full text
56 ! 56th 000000002009-01-20-0000 January 20, 2009 (Tuesday) obamaa ! First inauguration of Barack Obama West Front, U.S. Capitol robertsa ! John Roberts Chief Justice of the United States 2395 words Full text
57 ! 57th 000000002013-01-21-0000 January 21, 2013 (Monday) obamab ! Second inauguration of Barack Obama West Front, U.S. Capitol robertsb ! John RobertsChief Justice 2096 words Full text
58 ! 58th 000000002017-01-20-0000 January 20, 2017 (Friday) trump ! Inauguration of Donald Trump West Front, U.S. Capitol robertsc ! John RobertsChief Justice 1433 words Full text


  1. Events (Inaugurations) sort alphabetically by president's last name.
  2. Term began Sunday, March 4.
  3. Term began when President Harrison died on April 4.
  4. Term began when President Taylor died on July 9.
  5. Term began when President Garfield died on September 19.
  6. Term began when President Harding died on August 2.
  7. Term began Sunday, January 20.

See also

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