13 Interesting Facts About the Presidential Inauguration

President-elect Donald Trump will take the oath of office Jan. 20 to formally become the 45th President of the United States. The ceremony is called the Presidential Inauguration, and it has been performed since George Washington became our first president in 1789. Here are some fun facts about Presidential Inaugurations.

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First Inauguration on January 20th


In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt took the oath of the Presidency for the second time, but for the first time on January 20th. The 20th Amendment changed the date from March 4 to January 20 when it was ratified in 1933.

First Inauguration In Washington D.C.

In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first to take the oath of office in Washington D.C. His inaugural speech was also the first to be reprinted in a newspaper.

First President to Be Sworn in on the Steps of the Capitol

It’s common now, but in 1829, Andrew Jackson became the first president to be inaugurated on the East Portico of the U.S. Capitol, facing the Library of Congress and Supreme Court. Fun fact: In 1981, Ronald Reagan became the first President inaugurated on the West Terrace, in front of the National Mall.

First Inaugural Poet

In 1961, legendary poet Robert Frost recited his poem, The Gift Outright at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration.

Longest Inaugural Address

In 1841, William Henry Harrison gave the longest inaugural address ever at 10,000 words long in the midst of a snowstorm. He died one month later from pneumonia contracted on Inauguration Day.

First Broadcast


In 1925, Calvin Coolidge’s inauguration was the first to be broadcast nationally over radio waves.

First Inauguration For a TV Audience

In 1949, President Harry S. Truman was the first to deliver his inaugural address to a televised audience.

First Recorded for a Newsreel


In 1929, Herbert Hoover’s inauguration was the first recorded for a newsreel.

First Video of a Presidential Inauguration

In 1897, William McKinley’s address was the first to be recorded by a motion picture camera.

Oldest President Inaugurated

In 2017, Donald J. Trump became the oldest president ever inaugurated. He was 70 years old. Before that, Ronald Reagan held that distinction.

Shortest Inauguration Speech

In 1789, George Washington gave the shortest inauguration speech. It was only 135 words, Click here to read it.

Rainiest Inauguration

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second inauguration in 1937 was the rainiest to date, as nearly 2 inches of rain fell on Washington.

Coldest Presidential Inauguration

Freezing temperatures forced Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration to move indoors. It was 7 degrees, the lowest ever on record for the ceremony. Fun fact: Reagan also enjoyed the warmest inauguration day during his 1981 inauguration, at 51 degrees.

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