The 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which changed the beginning of a Presidential term from March 4 to January 20, was ratified in 1933, and took effect for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term in 1937.
January 21, 2013, Inauguration Day
Some (13) past Notable Presidential Inauguration Days
13. Fifty-Sixth Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 2009 Barack H. Obama
- Largest attendance of any event in the history of Washington, DC
- Largest attendance of any Presidential Inauguration in U.S. history
- First African American to hold the office of President of the United States
- First citizen born in Hawaii to hold the office
- Highest viewership ever of the swearing-in ceremonies on the Internet
- First woman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to emcee the ceremony
- First inaugural webcast to include captioning
- First swearing-in ceremony to include an audio description
12 Fifty-Fifth Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 2005 George W. Bush
- Largest inaugural platform to date.
- First time anti-counterfeiting security has been designed into the tickets.
- First live Web Cam of inaugural platform construction.
- First inauguration with secure inaugural credentials.
- Fifty-Fourth Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 2001 George W. Bush
George W. Bush had hoped to use the Masonic Bible that had been used both by George Washington in 1789, and by his father, George H. W. Bush, in 1989. This historic Bible had been transported, under guard, from New York to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration but, due to inclement weather, a family Bible was substitued instead.
11 Fifty-Third Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 1997 William J. Clinton
- First Inaugural ceremony broadcast live on the Internet.
10 Fiftieth Inaugural Ceremonies
January 21, 1985 Ronald W. Reagan
- Coldest Inauguration day on record, with a noon temperature of 7°F.
- January 20th fell on Sunday, so Reagan was privately sworn in that day at the White House; public Inauguration on January 21st took place in the Capitol Rotunda, due to freezing weather
9 Forty-Ninth Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 1981 Ronald W. Reagan
- First Inauguration held on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.
- Reagan’s first Inauguration was also the warmest on record with a noon temperature of 55
8 Forty-Eighth Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 1977 James E. Carter
- Jimmy Carter was the first President to walk from the Capitol to the White House in the parade following the swearing-in ceremony.
- Carter requested that the Inaugural luncheon, hosted by the JCCIC be canceled.
7 Swearing-In of Vice President Gerald R. Ford after the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon
- August 9, 1974 Gerald R. Ford
- First unelected Vice President to become President.
Ford assumed the Presidency upon the resignation of Richard M. Nixon. Facing impeachment proceedings for his role in the Watergate scandal and alleged cover-up, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.
6 Forty-Seventh Inaugural Ceremonies
- January 20, 1973 Richard M. Nixon
- Richard Nixon became the first President to resign on August 9, 1974.
5 Forty-Sixth Inaugural Ceremonies
- January 20, 1969 Richard M. Nixon
- Took the oath of office on two Bibles; both family heirlooms.
- Nixon’s Inauguration included an official, three-faith prayer service, open to the public, in the West Auditorium of the State Department.
4 Forty-Fifth Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 1965 Lyndon Baines Johnson
- Security for Johnson’s Inauguration was tight following the assasination of John F. Kennedy in 1963. For the first time, the President rode in a bullet-proofed limousine.
3 Swearing-In of Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson after the assasination of President John F. Kennedy
- November 22, 1963 Lyndon Baines Johnson
- Johnson assumed the Presidency upon the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas.
- First time a woman administered the oath of office (U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in Johnson on Air Force One).
- First and only time a President took the oath of office on an airplane.
2 Forty-Fourth Inaugural Ceremonies
- January 20, 1961 John F. Kennedy
- First time a poet, Robert Frost, participated in the Inaugural program
- First Roman Catholic to become President of the United States.
1 Forty-Third Inaugural Ceremonies
January 20, 1957 Dwight D. Eisenhower
- January 20, 1957 fell on a Sunday, so Eisenhower was sworn in privately that day by Chief Justice Earl Warren in the White House East Room. His public Inauguration was held on Monday, January 21, 1957.