Vice President Harry S. Truman swearing in hours after the sudden death of President |public domain1/9 Vice President Harry S. Truman swearing in hours after the sudden death of President |public domain
Bill and Hillary Clinton with Tipper Gore and Vice President Al Gore|public domain2/9 Bill and Hillary Clinton with Tipper Gore and Vice President Al Gore|public domain
Inauguration of George Washington at Federal Hall, New York City, April, 1789.|public domain/painting by Alonzo Chappel3/9
Inauguration of George Washington at Federal Hall, New York City, April, 1789.|public domain/painting by Alonzo Chappel
From JFK's inauguration|public domain4/9 From JFK's inauguration|public domain
JFK's handwritten draft of his inaugural speech|public domain5/9 JFK's handwritten draft of his inaugural speech|public domain
John Wilkes Booth, who later assassinated Abe Lincoln, was at the president's second |public domain6/9 John Wilkes Booth, who later assassinated Abe Lincoln, was at the president's second |public domain
U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, 1937|public domain7/9 U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt, 1937|public domain
President Harry S. Truman and Vice President Alben W. Barkley|public domain8/9 President Harry S. Truman and Vice President Alben W. Barkley|public domain
Eisenhower was sworn to succeed President Harry S. Truman|public domain9/9 Eisenhower was sworn to succeed President Harry S. Truman|public domain
President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration is fast approaching, so we thought we'd take a look back in time to former POTUS inaugurations.
Donald Trump’s “45th president” merchandise is ruined.
President-elect Donald Trump isn’t really the 45th person to be elected to the office of U.S. president.
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In 1888, after Grover Cleveland’s first term in office, he won the popular vote, but lost the electoral college. After Republican Benjamin Harrison’s term, Cleveland was elected to his second, nonconsecutive term and is counted twice.
Abraham Lincoln was the first president to include African-Americans in his 1865 inaugural parade.
The first woman to ride with her husband in the inauguration day procession from the Capitol to the White House was William Taft's wife, Helen Herron Taft, in 1909.
Woodrow Wilson was the first to include women in his second inaugural parade in 1917.
In 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson was the first and only president to be sworn in by a woman. U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes did the honors aboard Air Force One after the Kennedy assassination.
Keeping it real.
Thomas Jefferson walked to and from his inauguration. He was the only president to do so.
In 1977, Jimmy Carter and his wife broke with tradition and exited the motorcade, sparking a new tradition of walking from the Capitol to the White House.
Warren G. Harding stepped up the presidential game by being the first president to take the trip in an automobile.
Mom always says you’ll catch your death in the rain.
William Henry Harrison, not one of history’s most recognized names, was only in office for a month. The ninth president was 68 at the time and gave the longest inaugural address by a president – 8,445 words which ran about 100 minutes – in the freezing rain without a coat, hat, gloves or anything else your mother would have insisted you wear.
Some historians dispute the reported cause of death, pneumonia, and blame sewage that was dumped in a marsh close to the White House. Tainted water might have been what did Harrison in.
Fourth time is a charm.
When Barack Obama took the oath from Chief Justice John Roberts in 2009, the judge made a boo boo. Instead of saying, “I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States,” he said “I will execute the Office of President of the United States faithfully.”
To avoid any challenges to Obama’s legitimacy as POTUS, the judge and No. 44 redid the swearing in behind closed doors. In the interest of transparency, a third recitation took place at a public ceremony within the same week.
Obama’s fourth oath took place after he was reelected in 2012.
The only other president to take the oath that many times, was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who was elected to serve four terms. Those were the days before the 22nd amendment that limits the number of terms a president can serve.
Presidents do not have to swear on a Bible.
John Quincy Adams took his oath on a stack of U.S. law books. The sixth president was Christian, but believed wholeheartedly in the separation of church and state.
After the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901, Teddy Roosevelt did not use a prop when he took the oath. No reason was given.
Lyndon B. Johnson thought he was swearing in on a Bible after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, but he mistook a leather-bound book of Catholic prayers for a Bible during the chaos of the day.
Donald Trump plans to swear in using Lincoln's bible, the same book used by Barack Obama to take his oaths.
The first inauguration to be photographed was James Buchanan's in 1857. The first to be captured on video was William McKinley's four decades later.
Harry Truman's was the first to be televised in 1949 and Bill Clinton's second inauguration in 1997 was the first to be streamed live on the internet.
In more TV troubles, Ronald Reagan's second inaugural in 1985 fell on Super Bowl Sunday.
JFK’s inauguration was so hot.
The day of John F. Kennedy’s inauguration was a cold and snowy one. The night before, the district had nearly 9 inches of snow to contend with.
An electrical fire started under the lectern as Cardinal Richard Cushing of Boston gave the invocation. Secret Service took care of the small fire, which was caused by a heater that was being used to keep the speakers in the podium from freezing.
Let it snow.
Prior to 1933, inaugurations were held in March, not January. The day before William Howard Taft’s inauguration, the DC area saw rain, lighting and 9.8 inches of snow.
“I always knew it would be a cold day in hell when I became president,” Taft joked. The inauguration on March 4, 1909 was held indoors.
(Taft is also the only person to take and administer the oath of office).
After the 20th amendment was passed, FDR became the first president to take the oath on Jan. 20.
A Tale of Two Cities
George Washington was the first U.S. president and so far the only one to take his oath in two different cities.
The first took place on April 30, 1789 in New York City on the balcony of Federal Hall, the first capitol building of the United States under the Constitution. The second, on March 4, 1793, took place in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia.