Since 1901, all Inaugural ceremonies at the U.S. Capitol have been organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC). They have provided us with a list of firsts and interesting facts about U.S. Presidential Inaugurations. President links go to detail pages on the JCCIC web site.
||Facts and Firsts
|April 30, 1789
||First Inauguration; precedents set include the phrase, "So help me God," and kissing the Bible after taking the oath.
|March 4, 1793
||First Inauguration in Philadelphia; delivered shortest Inaugural address at just 135 words.
|March 4, 1797
||First to receive the oath of office from the Chief Justice of the United States.
|March 4, 1801
||First Inauguration in Washington, D.C.
|March 4, 1809
||Inauguration held in the House chamber of the Capitol; first Inaugural ball held that evening.
|March 4, 1817
||First President to take the oath of office and deliver the Inaugural address outdoors; ceremony took place on platform in front of the temporary Brick Capitol (where Supreme Court now stands).
|March 5, 1821
||March 4, 1821 fell on a Sunday, so Monroe's Inauguration occurred the next day.
|March 4, 1829
||First President to take the oath of office on the east front portico of the U.S. Capitol.
|March 4, 1833
||Last time Chief Justice John Marshall administered the oath office; he presided over nine Inaugurations, from Adams to Jackson.
|March 4, 1837
||Martin Van Buren
||First President who was not born a British subject; first time the President-elect and President rode to the Capitol for the Inauguration together.
|March 4, 1841
||William H. Harrison
||First President to arrive in Washington by railroad; delivered the longest Inaugural address (8,445 words).
|April 6, 1841
||First Vice President to assume Presidency upon the death of the President.
|March 4, 1845
||James K. Polk
||First Inauguration covered by telegraph; first known Inauguration featured in a newspaper illustration (Illustrated London News).
|March 4, 1853
||Affirmed the oath of office rather than swear it; cancelled the Inaugural ball.
|March 4, 1857
||First Inauguration known to have been photographed.
|March 4, 1861
||Lincoln's cavalry escort to the Capitol was heavily armed, providing unprecedented protection for the President-elect.
|March 4, 1865
||African Americans participated in the Inaugural parade for the first time.
|March 4, 1873
||Ulysses S. Grant
||Coldest March 4 Inauguration Day; the noon temperature was 16°F, with wind gusts up to 40 mph.
|March 3, 1877
||Rutherford B. Hayes
||March 4, 1877 fell on Sunday, so Hayes took oath of office on Saturday, March 3 to ensure peaceful transition of power; public Inauguration on March 5.
|March 4, 1881
||First President to review the Inaugural parade from a stand built in front of the White House.
|March 4, 1897
||First Inaugural ceremony recorded by a motion picture camera; first President to have a glass-enclosed reviewing stand; first Inauguration at which Congress hosted a luncheon for the President and Vice President
|March 4, 1901
||First time the U.S. House joined with the U.S. Senate, creating the JCCIC, to make Inaugural arrangements
|March 4, 1909
||William H. Taft
||Inauguration took place in the Senate chamber because of blizzard; first time President's wife rode with President in the procession from the Capitol to the White House after Inauguration.
|March 4, 1913
||Inaugural ball was suspended for the first time since 1853.
|March 4, 1917
||First President to take the oath of office on Sunday; public Inauguration held on Monday, March 5, 1917; first time First Lady accompanied President both to and from the Capitol; first time women participated in the Inaugural parade.
|March 4, 1921
||Warren G. Harding
||First President to ride to and from his Inauguration in an automobile.
|March 4, 1925
||First Inaugural ceremony broadcast nationally by radio; first time a former President (William Taft) administered the oath of office as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
|March 4, 1929
||First Inaugural ceremony recorded by talking newsreel.
|March 4, 1933
||Franklin D. Roosevelt
||FDR and Eleanor begin tradition of morning worship service by attending St. John's Church.
|January 20, 1937
||Franklin D. Roosevelt
||First President Inaugurated on January 20th, a change made by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution; first time the Vice President was Inaugurated outdoors on the same platform with the President.
|January 20, 1945
||Franklin D. Roosevelt
||First and only President sworn in for a fourth term; had simple Inaugural ceremony at the White House.
|January 20, 1949
||Harry S. Truman
||First televised Inaugural ceremony; Truman reinstated the official Inaugural ball.
|January 20, 1953
||Dwight D. Eisenhower
||Broke precedent by reciting his own prayer after taking the oath, rather than kissing the Bible; first time the JCCIC hosted the Inaugural luncheon at the Capitol.
|January 20, 1961
||John F. Kennedy
||First time a poet participated in the Inaugural program; first Catholic to become President of the United States.
|November 22, 1963
||Lyndon B. Johnson
||First time a woman administered the oath of office (U.S. District Judge Sarah T. Hughes swore in Johnson on Air Force One).
|January 20, 1969
||Richard M. Nixon
||Took the oath of office on two Bibles; both family heirlooms.
|August 9, 1974
||Gerald R. Ford
||First unelected Vice President to become President.
|January 20, 1981
||First Inauguration held on the west front of the U.S. Capitol.
|January 21, 1985
||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; coldest Inauguration day on record, with a noon temperature of 7°F
|January 20, 1997
||First Inaugural ceremony broadcast live on the Internet.