Inauguration Day takes place every four years on January 20, and will take place next on January 20, 2024. American citizens gather in Washington D.C. to observe Inauguration Day, as the recent vice-president-elect and president-elect are sworn into power by taking the presidential oath of office. This day marks the beginning of the new four-year term of the president of the United States. It is often commemorated by parades and other festivities.
The day of the inauguration consists of a series of events that have become traditional. First, the outgoing president accompanies the president-elect to the Capitol for the Swearing-In ceremony, after which the vice president and president are sworn into office in the senate chamber and eventually the president delivers his Inaugural address as the outgoing president and first lady leave the White House to begin their post-presidential lives. After the conclusion of the Inaugural ceremonies, a luncheon is hosted for the president and vice president.
History of Inauguration Day
For over two centuries, the citizens of America have celebrated the inauguration ceremonies of many presidents and vice-presidents-elect of the United States. The very first inauguration of George Washington took place on April 30, 1789, in New York City.
The ceremonial day was moved to January 20, 1933, for different reasons including the unpredictability of the weather and to reduce the passive time for the previous president to remain in the office. If the inauguration day were to fall on a Sunday it will be postponed to January 21.
Though conventional to some extent, over the years the inauguration has been altered, especially when a seated president dies or resigns. After Abraham Lincoln died in 1865, Vice President Andrew Johnson confidentially took the presidential oath. Then after the unfortunate assassination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in as President on an airplane. In total there are six occasions where there were no formal Inauguration ceremonies.
The most relevant requirement for swearing in the new president according to the U.S. Constitution is that the new president takes the 35-word oath issued by the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The exact words of the Oath of Office are:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
This oath has been recited 72 times by 45 presidents of the United States as of January 1, 2021.
Inauguration Day timeline
After the swearing of Thomas Jefferson, the first-ever Inaugural parade is hosted.
The fourth Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt is held in the White House.
As the event grew bigger, the Joint Committee on Inaugural ceremonies is Initiated for planning the day's events.
The inauguration of current President Joe R. Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris marks the 59th inauguration ceremony.
Inauguration Day FAQs
Who pays for Inauguration Day?
Inaugurations are generally quite expensive, they could cost anything from 100 to 200 million dollars. Most are funded by taxpayers and private donations.
Who organizes Inauguration Day?
Since 1901, the inauguration day has been planned by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies also known as J.C.C.I.C. This is following the 20th Amendment of the United States Constitution.
Who can attend the Inauguration?
Everyone, including children and infants, can attend the Inauguration. Tickets are required for entry and can be requested from the office of the United States Senate or Representative.
How to Observe Inauguration Day
Cook an all-American meal
We all have our go-to specials when it comes to tasty cuisine. But today is a day to pick out some of your all-time American favorites like a sweet potato pie or rosemary chicken.
Join the parade
The parade is an American tradition anticipated by millions every year. It often comprises marching bands, dancers, drum lines, and even athletes. All marching and displaying on Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House.
Watch it on television
Inauguration Day often presents itself with a series of different events and activities. If you don't want to miss a beat, then the best thing for you to do will be to stay tuned to your T.V. and follow the scheme of the occasion.
5 IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT INAUGURAL DAY FIRSTS
The First Lady on scene
Lady Bird Johnson was the first First Lady to participate in the ceremony; she held a Bible for Lyndon B. Johnson in 1965.
The first Inaugural Ball
The very first Ball was held at Long’s Hotel in 1809, after the inauguration of James Madison — his wife Dolley Madison was the hostess, and tickets to attend cost $4.
The first poet
The first Inaugural poem was written for John F. Kennedy in 1961 by the American Poet Robert Frost — It was titled ”Dedication.”
The first inclusive parade
Even though the first parade was in 1805, it wasn't until Lincoln’s second inauguration in 1866 that people of color were allowed to take part in the festivities.
The first time on T.V.
Previously the information concerning the Inauguration was circulated via telegraph, pictures, or radio, but the first time the ceremony was caught on video footage was in 1949, as President Harry S. Truman was giving the Inaugural address.
Why Inauguration Day is Important
It reminds us of our history
Families and students get to know about the history of the United States. Through all the theatrical performances and shows we learn about the nation’s institutions, democracy, and story.
It strengthens our unity
There is always a sense of hope during the week of this ceremony. It is a time where American citizens stand united as they hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Because it is the law
Though symbolically the goal has generally been to create a celebratory and peaceful experience that all American citizens can be a part of, by law and power of the constitution every President has to take the oath before assuming their position.
Inauguration Day dates