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10 facts you probably didn’t know about Inauguration Day


with old art

Today (Jan. 20) is Inauguration Day in which the peaceful transfer of power takes place from one president to another. Jan. 20 is the traditional date of the Inauguration but that wasn’t always the case. For example, George Washington was sworn in on April 30, 1789. The date has been set at Jan. 20 since 1937.

The tradition of attending a morning worship service on Inauguration Day began with Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933.

Until 1937, the Vice President was sworn into office in the Senate chamber.

There have been 56 formal Presidential Inaugural ceremonies, held at over 10 different locations.

Since George Washington in 1789, every President has delivered an Inaugural address, ranging from 8,445 words, to just 135.

The first Inaugural ball in Washington was thrown for James and Dolley Madison in 1809, at Long’s Hotel.

Most of the swearing-in ceremony is not required, it’s just tradition. The only Constitutional requirement for the inauguration ceremonies is that the president takes his oath of office.

The first organized parade was for James Madison in 1809, but before that there were presidential processions.

The word “Inauguration” derives from the Latin word inaugurationem – which refers to the ceremonies of the ancient Romans who sought to ascertain if it was the will of the gods (or ‘birds’ in some translations) for a public official to be deemed worthy to assume office.

President Martin Van Buren rode to the ceremony in a wagon built of wood from the USS Constitution.