The United States Presidential Inauguration marks the beginning of the four-year office term of the President of the United States. Taking place at 12noon Eastern Standard Time, the ceremony has been held on January 20th, since 1937 when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn into office for a second term. Typically held at the Capitol Building, Inauguration Day has developed from the recitation of a simple oath, to a full program of events, with parades, balls, and other social events celebrating the peaceful transfer of power.
While George Washington's inauguration took place April 30th, 1789, inaugurations prior to 1937 usually occurred March 4th, until the ratification of the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution which set the term dates of government officials. In addition to members of the general public, inauguration is attended by the vice president, members of Congress, justices of the Supreme Court justices, high-ranking military officers, former presidents, living Medal of Honor recipients, and other dignitaries. The outgoing president and vice president also usually attend.
The inauguration of Joseph Biden on January 20th, 2021 as the 46th President of the United States represents an historic one, with select attendees in a time of global pandemic. Joe Biden will be joined by former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton, along with their spouses, who will travel to the Arlington National Cemetery to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Military escort of President Biden back to the White House will proceed, followed by an evening of remote activities.
The following articles are drawn from Proquest Historical Newspapers, which informs and inspires classroom teaching and learning.
- Inauguration Days: Some Account Of the Way Different Presidents Have Assumed Office. (1885, Feb 03). St.Louis Post - Dispatch (1879-1922)
- Inauguration Day: Its History From the Time Of Washington. (1885, Mar 05). San Francisco Chronicle (1869-Current File)
- Williamson, S. T.(1929, Mar 03). Washington''s One Day Of Days: Mr. Hoover's Inauguration Tomorrow Brings To the Capitol a Pageant and a Ceremony That Is Always Impressive, and Gay Or Melancholy According To the State Of Fickle March Weather. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- La Rue, C.S. Washington, Jan,18. (1937, Jan 20). Thoughts On Inauguration Day. The Washington Post (1923-1954)
- Inauguration Day Observed At Fete: Site Where Washington Took Oath As President Scene Of Patriotic Rally. (1938, Apr 30). New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Furman, P. N. (1941, Jan 11). Inaugurations In Other Days. The Austin Statesman (1921-1973)
- President Roosevelt's Faith In Democracy: "Inauguration Day" Appeal "Save Nation & Institutions From Disruption". (1941, Jan 21). The Times of India (1861-Current)
- Creath, E. (1953, Jan 21). Inauguration Day Fantastic Mixture Of Parade, Rands, Balls, and Farewells. The Austin Statesman (1921-1973)
- Avery, M. (1981, Jan 21). Other Views: Looking Back To Inauguration Day 1941. Los Angeles Times (1923-1995)
- Rooney, A. (1981, Jan 15). A Short Quiz Before Inauguration Day. Chicago Tribune (1963-1996)
- Clines, F. X. (2009, Jan 21). In Washington On Inauguration Day. New York Times (1923-Current File)
- Freyne, P. (2017, Jan 20). A History Of Presidential Inaugurations: Top Hats, Dead Pigeons and Fears Of Assassination. The Irish Times (1921-Current File)
- Bowen, Clarence Winthrop. The History of the Centennial Celebration of the Inauguration of George Washington as First President. New York: Appleton, 1892. Research E312.6 .B785 1892
- Henderson, Helen. Patriotic Holidays of the United States: An Introduction to the History, Symbols, and Traditions Behind the Major Holidays and Days of Observance. Detroit, MI: Omnigraphics, c2006. e-book
- The Washington Post and Ben Bradlee. The Inauguration of Barack Obama. Chicago: Triumph Book, c2009. e-book
- Presidential Inauguration Day - Preparation- Capitol Building, Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
- Special News Slide, Courtesy of the Gottesman Libraries
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