Top of page

Explore the History of Presidential Inaugurations

Share this post:

Image 1 of President's platform inauguration ceremonies January twentieth, 1937. Admit the bearer to the Senate wing of the Capitol and through the rotunda door to the President's platform.
President’s platform inauguration ceremonies January twentieth, 1937, image 1.

Every four years, at noon on January 20th, the person elected to serve as President of the United States stands before the nation and takes an oath to “faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States…” As the nation prepares to inaugurate the 45th person to hold this high office, explore the Library’s inauguration presentation for teachers to learn more about this historic event.

The presentation includes discussions on the various traditions that are part of the inaugural celebration, information about select inaugural addresses, and the ways that this ceremony helps to transform a presidential candidate into the President of the United States. Learn about the various locations where inaugurations have taken place, themes found in inaugural addresses, and differences between speeches given at the start of the first term in office and the second term in office.

A Display of the United States of America. Amos Doolittle, 1794.
A Display of the United States of America. Amos Doolittle, 1794.

The presentation also includes links to the Library’s Web guide on inaugurations from Washington to Obama and to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, the group that coordinates the inaugural festivities. In addition, readers will find thought-provoking questions that will encourage discussion on the importance of the inauguration, how the times influence each inauguration, what changes might take place in the future, and what might spur those changes.

As we embark on this new presidency, how will you and your students study the inauguration? Let us know in the comments.

Comments (3)

  1. Great idea!

  2. As an everlearning STUDENT, I appreciate your efforts at informing the citizens of this free country about its history, traditions, cultural roots. An uninformed electorate is a dangerous condition that compromises the freedoms of our country.
    So keep us well informed on a timely and honest basis. THANK YOU.

  3. I really like this informative, educational, and entertaining website. Keep up the great work.

Add a Comment

This blog is governed by the general rules of respectful civil discourse. You are fully responsible for everything that you post. The content of all comments is released into the public domain unless clearly stated otherwise. The Library of Congress does not control the content posted. Nevertheless, the Library of Congress may monitor any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove content for any reason whatever, without consent. Gratuitous links to sites are viewed as spam and may result in removed comments. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on the Library site. Read our Comment and Posting Policy.

Required fields are indicated with an * asterisk.