Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day

Inauguration Day is the day every four years on which the President of the United States is sworn in and takes office. The next Inauguration Day will occur on January 20, 2009.


The inauguration for the first U.S. president, George Washington, was held on April 30, 1789 in New York City. Inauguration Day was originally set for March 4, giving electors from each state nearly four months after Election Day to cast their ballots for president. In 1933, the day of inauguration was changed by constitutional amendment from March 4 to noon on January 20, beginning with Franklin Roosevelt's second term in 1937. Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be sworn in as president in Washington, D.C., which did not officially become the U.S. capital until 1801. ["Inaugural History, Inauguration 2001."]

Inaugural traditions

Since 1901, all inaugural ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol have been organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.Fact|date=September 2008 The U.S. Armed Forces have participated in inaugural day ceremonies since George Washington, because the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Since the first inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953, that participation has been coordinated by the Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (now called the Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee).

The oath of office is traditionally administered on the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The vice president-elect takes the oath of office at the same ceremony as the president-elect. This tradition began in 1937. Before then, the vice presidential oath was administered in the Senate. The Vice-President-elect takes the oath first:

This is followed by four ruffles and flourishes and "Hail, Columbia".

At noon, the president-elect becomes president. At about that time, the president-elect takes the oath of office, traditionally administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, using the form mandated in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:

According to tradition, in the first inaugural, President Washington added the words "so help me God" when reciting the oath, although there is no contemporary evidence of this. The words have been thereafter repeated by some presidents (as well as some vice presidents, while taking their oaths), including all since Franklin D Roosevelt.Fact|date=September 2008 Theodore Roosevelt, for example, chose to conclude his oath with the phrase "And thus I swear." Only Franklin Pierce has chosen to affirm rather than swear. [cite web
url =
title = President Franklin Pierce, 1853
publisher = Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
accessdate = 2008-02-15
] It is often asserted that Herbert Hoover also affirmed, because he was a Quaker, but newspaper reports prior to his inauguration state his intention to swear rather than affirm. [cite news
title = Hoover Plans to Swear on Bible, Taking Oath | work = Washington Post
date = February 27, 1929 | page = 5

Immediately following the oath, the bands play four ruffles and flourishes and "Hail to the Chief", followed by a 21-gun salute from howitzers of the Military District of Washington. The President delivers an inaugural address, setting the tone for the new administration. Should January 20 be a Sunday, the President is usually administered the oath of office in a private ceremony on that day, followed by a public ceremony the following day.

Since 1953, the president and vice president have been guests of honor at a luncheon held by the United States Congress immediately following the inaugural ceremony. Other than at State of the Union addresses, Red Mass, and state funerals, it is the only time the president, vice president, and both houses of Congress congregate in the same location.

Since Thomas Jefferson's second inaugural on March 4, 1805, it has become tradition for the president to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. The only president not to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue was Ronald Reagan. He paraded down Pennsylvania Ave. during his first inauguration, in 1981, amidst the celebrations that broke out across the country because of news just minutes into his term that the 52 American hostages held in Iran for the previous 444 days had been released. Reagan did not do so in 1985 due to freezing cold temperatures made dangerous by high winds. In 1977, Jimmy Carter started a new tradition by walking from the Capitol to the White House, although for security reasons, subsequent presidents have only walked a part of the way.

The inaugural celebrations usually last ten days, from five days before the inauguration to five days after. However, in 1973, the celebrations marking Richard Nixon's second inauguration were marred by the passing of former president Lyndon Johnson two days after the inauguration. The celebrations came to an end as Washington began preparations for the state funeral for Johnson. 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. [cite news| author = Foley, Thomas | title = Thousands in Washington Brave Cold to Say Goodbye to Johnson | work = The Los Angeles Times
date = January 25, 1973 | page = A1

Inauguration Day is a Federal holiday observed only by federal employees who work in the District of Columbia; Montgomery or Prince George's Counties in Maryland; Arlington or Fairfax Counties in Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria or Fairfax in Virginia, and who are regularly scheduled to perform non-overtime work on Inauguration Day. There is no in-lieu-of holiday for employees who are not regularly scheduled to work on Inauguration Day. The primary reason for the holiday is to relieve traffic congestion that occurs during this major event.

The security for the inaugural celebrations is a complex matter, involving not only the Secret Service, but other Federal law enforcement agencies, all five branches of the Armed Forces, the Capitol Police, and the Metropolitan Police Department of the District of Columbia (MPDC). One issue is the ability of protesters to express their Constitutionally protected rights while providing protection for the government officials at risk for assassination or bodily harm. In 2005, protesters believed the area selected by the MPDC was too far from the parade route.Fact|date=January 2008

Also, in 2005, a small group of commandos from the Joint Special Operations Command allegedly deployed to support security at the Presidential inauguration under a secret counterterrorism program named Power Geyser. [Schmitt, Eric. [ Commandos Get Duty on U.S. Soil] . "The New York Times": January 23, 2005]

Presidential Inaugural Committee

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is the legal entity which raises and disburses funds for events surrounding the presidential inaugural. [ [ National Archives, PIC records] ]

ee also

*List of United States presidential inaugurations



* [ Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies]
* [ Inaugural addresses]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем написать реферат

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Inauguration Day — In*au gu*ra tion Day The day on which the President of the United States is inaugurated, the 20th of January in every year next after a year divisible by four. Prior to the adoption of the twentieth amendment to the Constitution of the United… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Inauguration Day — the day an American President is ↑inaugurated, which is always on January 20. There is usually a ↑parade and the new President makes a speech about what he plans for the US …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • Inauguration Day — ☆ Inauguration Day n. the day on which a president of the U.S. is inaugurated: Jan. 20 (before 1934, March 4) of the year following the election …   English World dictionary

  • Inauguration Day — Investiture du Président Barack Obama le 20 janvier 2009 sur les marches du côté ouest du Capitole L Inauguration Day est le jour aux États Unis où le président élu prête serment et prend ses fonctions comme président des États Unis. Le …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Inauguration Day — noun the day designated for inauguration of the United States President • Syn: ↑January 20 • Hypernyms: ↑day • Part Holonyms: ↑January, ↑Jan * * * noun Usage: usually capitalized …   Useful english dictionary

  • Inauguration Day — UK / US noun [countable] Word forms Inauguration Day : singular Inauguration Day plural Inauguration Days the day on which a recently elected US president begins in the job. It is on 20 January of the year following an election …   English dictionary

  • Inauguration Day 2009 — Inauguration Day Investiture du Président Barack Obama le 20 janvier 2009 sur les marches du côté ouest du Capitole L Inauguration Day est le jour aux États Unis où le président élu prête serment et prend ses fonctions comme …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Inauguration Day — day on which the newly elected President of the United States is sworn into office …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Inauguration Day — The day, January 20, following their election, for the inauguration of the President and Vice President of the United States. The day fixed by law of a state for the inauguration of the Governor …   Ballentine's law dictionary

  • Inauguration Day — In|au|gu|ra|tion Day [ ı nɔrgjə reıʃn ,deı ] noun count the day on which a recently elected U.S. president begins in the job . It is on January 20 of the year following an election …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”