Presidential Inaugurations: A Short History
Today is Inauguration Day in the United States.
Here are some things you may not have known about The swearing in of presidents.
Usually we end of this segment with a trivia question, but today let’s start with one. Besides George Washington, who is the only president to have been sworn in in different months following his election?
The answer is Franklin Roosevelt, who was sworn in for his first term on March 4, 1933 and was sworn in for his second term on January 20, 1937.
The reason for the different inauguration date was the 20th amendment to the US Constitution. It changed the Inauguration date from March 4, or March 5 on years when the fourth fell on a Sunday, to January 20 or 21.
In addition, the 20th Amendment moved the start date for congressional terms to January 3, and provides a method for selecting a president if the electoral college fails to do so.
In total, there were 36 inaugurations held on March 4 or March 5. The first inauguration, that of George Washington in 1789, was held in April.
Presidents who ascend to the office following the death or resignation of their predecessor are sworn in immediately to avoid a power vacuum. Three of these extraordinary inaugurations have taken place in April, 2 each in August and September, and one each in November and July.
The Chief Justice of United States usually administers the oath of office. However, during extraordinary inaugurations the chief justice is not always available. Two notable cases were the first inaugurations of Calvin Coolidge and Lyndon Johnson. Coolidge, who became president following the death of Warren G. Harding, was sworn in by his father who was a state notary public. Following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Johnson was sworn in by US District Judge Sarah T. Hughes, the only woman to have administered the oath of office.
Coolidge’s second inauguration was the first to feature a former president administering the oath. William Howard Taft became Chief Justice following his term as president.
Our question: Which president had both the warmest and coldest inaugurations in history?
Today is Martyr’s Day in Azerbaijan, Heroes’ day in Cape Verde, and Armed Forces Day in Mali.
It’s unofficially National Cheese Lovers Day and National Sweatpants Day.
It’s the birthday of actor and comedian George Burns, who was born in 1896; Director David Lynch who is 71; and musician Questlove, who is 46.
Because our topic doesn’t have a specific year associated with it, we’ll pick a year at random.
This week in 1980, the top song in the U.S. was “Rock With You” by Michael Jackson.
The No. 1 movie was “Kramer vs. Kramer,” while the novel “Smiley’s People” by John le Carré topped the New York Times Bestsellers list.
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