A Precedent-Breaking Inauguration

On January 20, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt made history by being the first President to be inaugurated for a third term. The previous year, Roosevelt had been elected President for the third time, and the inauguration marked the start of his third term in office. No other President in American history had been elected … Continue reading A Precedent-Breaking Inauguration

The Not-So-Lame Amendment

Today's post comes from Hailey Philbin in the National Archives History Office.  The 20th Amendment is often referred to as the Lame Duck Amendment. It was passed by Congress on March 2, 1932, and ratified on January 3, 1933. The amendment changed the date of the Presidential inauguration from March 4 to January 20. It … Continue reading The Not-So-Lame Amendment

An Inaugural Blunder

Today’s post is from David Steinbach, intern in the National Archives History Office. William Howard Taft had unusually extensive experience with the Presidential oath of office. In 1909, Taft recited the text on the steps of the Capitol to become the 27th President of the United States. Sixteen years later, as Chief Justice of the … Continue reading An Inaugural Blunder

George Washington Writes in the Margins

Today's blog post comes from Susan K. Donius, Director of the Office of Presidential Libraries at the National Archives. This post originally appeared on the White House blog. Last month, President Obama began his second Inaugural Address by saying, “Each time we gather to inaugurate a President we bear witness to the enduring strength of … Continue reading George Washington Writes in the Margins

Getting Ike into the Loop

Today's post comes from Christopher Abraham at the Eisenhower Presidential Library. “I am a newspaper reporter and I would like to know if anything unusual happened during either of President Eisenhower’s inaugural ceremonies.” —Anonymous   Have you ever seen a U.S. President lassoed by a cowboy? It likely qualifies as “unusual!” General Eisenhower related this … Continue reading Getting Ike into the Loop

All You Need to Know About Inaugurations

George Washington As the first President, Washington set many inaugural precedents, but his inaugurations were also very different in ways that would not be repeated. The oath of office is usually administered the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court during the ceremony. The first President had not yet appointed any Supreme Court Justices, and so … Continue reading All You Need to Know About Inaugurations

See 13 Inaugurations in Four Days at the National Archives

On Monday, January 21, President Obama will be sworn in for a second term. It will be the 57th Presidential Inauguration. Beginning at 11:30 a.m., the President’s swearing-in ceremony will be shown live in the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. If you are in Washington, DC, don't miss this chance to see … Continue reading See 13 Inaugurations in Four Days at the National Archives

Washington’s first Inaugural Address now on display

"My station is new; and, if I may use the expression, I walk on untrodden ground." --George Washington in a letter, January 9, 1790 Today's post comes to us from Michael Hussey, education and exhibition specialist at the National Archives. In  honor of the 2013 Inauguration, the first and last page of Washington's first Inauguration … Continue reading Washington’s first Inaugural Address now on display