Every four years the United States celebrates the Inauguration of a newly elected President. It is a significant event in American history and a time of transition. Through its long history, the US Inauguration has evolved and changed over time. Here are the top 10 facts about the US Inauguration that you should know.
1. The inauguration is when the Presidential powers are transferred from one United States of America President to the next.
The inauguration is when the new elected President takes over from the previous one.
This day happens every four years.
The new President must take the oath of office before they officially start their new role.
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2. It takes place on January 20th, every four years.
Every four years, the inauguration takes place.
The Constitution is a document which has the supreme laws of the United States in it.
In this document, the 20th amendment states that a new elected President will take up their new term from 12pm on January 20th following the election.
3. George Washington had to borrow money for his first inauguration!
When George Washington had his first inauguration in 1789 he had to borrow money!
Although he had lots of land, he actually didn’t have a lot of money.
He needed to get to New York City and had no way of getting there without having to pull a favour!Embed from Getty Images
4. A President once had his inauguration on a plane.
Lyndon B. Johnson became the President in 1963.
This was on the same day that John F. Kennedy, who was the current President, had sadly been assassinated.
At the time, Lyndon B. Johnson was on a plane.
He said the oath to Judge Sarah Hughes who was actually the first woman to inaugurate a President!Embed from Getty Images
5. Blueberry Jelly Beans were invented for Ronald Reagan’s inauguration.
Ronald Reagan was the United States’ 40th President and was sworn in as President in 1981.
Before he was President he was known for eating los of jelly beans.
So when he was to be sworn in as President, the plan was to ship three and a half tonnes of red, white and blue (the colours of the American flag) jelly beans to Washington D.C. to be used in the Inaugural festivities.
The problem was that they didn’t make blue jelly beans yet, so they invented blueberry flavour just for the occasion!
They ended up using cherry, coconut and blueberry to get all three colours.Embed from Getty Images
6. The weather broke records on both of Ronald Reagan’s inaugurations.
Ronald Reagan served 2 terms as President which meant he had to be sworn in twice.
His first took place on January 20th 1981, it was the warmest Inauguration Day on record at around 13°C. Pretty warm for January!
This was very different to his second inauguration though.
This took place on January 21st 1985 and it was the coldest Inauguration Day on record, the temperature was around -14°C!Embed from Getty Images
7. Barack Obama’s inauguration had the most people of any inauguration ever!
The inauguration ceremony doesn’t happen in private.
People come from all over America to see it.
Barack Obama’s first inauguration took place on January 20th 2009 and it broke the record for having the most people attend.
He had around 1.8 million people show up!
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8. Barack Obama was sworn in four times.
Usually you just get sworn in once and then you’re President for 4 years.
If you win the next election then you’ll have to be sworn in again, but that’s usually it as you can only be President twice.
This was not the case for Barack Obama though!
In Obama’s first inauguration the person giving him the oath misstated a few words so they did it again the next day.
He took it twice again in 2013 when he was re-elected as President.
This was because the 20th was on a Sunday so he took it in private on the Sunday and then in public on the 21st when they had the big ceremony.
9. The oath the President has to take is 35 words long.
The oath is:
“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
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10. The inauguration takes place at the Capitol building.
The Capitol Building is very important in American politics, it’s where the United States Congress meets and where a lot of important politics happens.
There have been a few that did not have their inauguration in front of the Capitol though.
This usually happens if the previous President dies and the next one needs to be sworn in quickly so that America is not without a President for long.
They usually end up doing it wherever they happen to be.Embed from Getty Images
What’s the difference between a Prime Minister and a President?
How do elections work in the U.S.?
What is the U.S. Constitution?
We answer all these questions and loads more in our learn series: US-UK Slamdown.
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