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Learn More About the History of Inauguration Day

Learn More About the History of Inauguration Day

Learn more about Presidential Inauguration Day.

While we aren’t having one this year, January 20th is the day in which the new President of the United States is officially inaugurated into the White House.  This day marks the start of a president’s four-year term.  Inauguration Day is steeped in history and tradition, how is it that it come to fall on January 20th and how were these various practices put into play?  Here is a brief history of how Inauguration Day, as we know it, came to be.

George Washington, the first president of the United States, was sworn into office on April 30th, 1789.  However, it wasn’t until his following term that our traditions took root.  President Washington was sworn in again on March 4th, 1793, and this spring date was the official inauguration date for the presidents who followed.  However, after a change was made to the 20th Amendment of the Constitution, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to have his inauguration ceremony held on January 20th.

While many consider the swearing-in ceremony an integral part of the inauguration ceremony, most of it is merely tradition and not a necessary prerequisite for taking office.  While the president must take the Oath of Office, there isn’t any special way that this oath must be taken.  For instance, while most presidents take the Oath of Office with their hand on the Bible, the Bible isn’t a necessary feature.  Additionally, while the Chief Justice traditionally administers the Oath, there isn’t a rule that states this as a requirement.

Finally, while inauguration speeches, parades, and balls are all part of the President’s inauguration ceremony as we know it, these events are all couched in history.  From the time of George Washington, every president has delivered a speech as the new president.  Moreover, President Washington might have been the first to set the tradition of a presidential parade when local militias escorted him to his first inauguration ceremony in 1789.  Finally, the first inaugural ball was held in honor of James Madison’s inauguration on March 4th, 1809.

We at  The Maria Sanchez Show invite you to explore the history of Presidential Inauguration Day this January 20th.  Don’t forget to check out our latest program, Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D. Brown. Tune in on Sundays at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST.

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