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20 Jan 2017

The 58th US Presidential Inauguration: All eyes on Trump!

Donald Trump's inauguration is almost upon us; the 45th President of the United States would assume office ten weeks after a stunning Presidential Election.

All eyes will be on Trump as he takes the Oath of office.

He will officially replace Barack Obama in White House after the inauguration ceremony that dates back to George Washington.

Know all about the traditions of the ceremony.

In context

The US Presidential Inauguration
The inauguration ceremony of the US President


The inauguration ceremony of the US President

The inauguration ceremony of the US President marks the commencement of his four-term term as the President.

The ceremony takes place even if the President continues for a second term.

The inauguration has been taking place on 20 January at noon, since 1937.

The Chief Justice administers the oath to the president.

Since 1981, the inauguration has been held at the Capitol's West Front.

The Gap

Gap between US election and presidential inauguration

The US election was held on 8 Nov'16 but Donald Trump doesn't officially become President until 20 Jan'17.

Until 1933, the President was inaugurated on 4 March, four months after election.

The gap was shortened to two months after the 20th Amendment was ratified.

It allows the outgoing President to "tie up loose ends" and for the incoming one to prepare for his tenure.

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From a simple ceremony to a day-long event


From a simple ceremony to a day-long event

The Constitution of the United States mandates only one inauguration element - the oath or affirmation.

However, over the years, several traditions have arisen, which expanded the inauguration from a simple ceremony to a day-long event.

The ceremony includes parades, speeches, and also balls.

The traditions surrounding presidential inaugurations are among the best examples of continuity during the political change.


Different elements of the ceremony

Traditionally, the incoming President arrives at the White House and proceeds to the US Capitol's inaugural grounds with the outgoing President.

He then takes the oath, administered by the Chief Justice of US, and delivers the inaugural address as the President of the US, the superpower.

Since 1937, the inauguration has incorporated prayers; musical performances and poetry readings have also been included.

Who all are the attendees?

Apart from the public, the attendees at the inaugural ceremony include the Members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, former presidents, high-ranking military officers, recipients of Medal of Honor, and other dignitaries. It is customary for the outgoing president to attend the ceremony.

Other Elements

Inaugural balls held on Inauguration Day

The President parades down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.

After arriving at the White House, it is customary for the President and Vice-President to review an Inaugural Parade at North Lawn.

Inaugural balls are largely held throughout the evening of Inauguration Day; the President, First Lady, Vice-President and his or her spouse, all make personal appearances.

Guests of honor

President and Vice-President have been guests of honor at a luncheon held by the US Congress after the inaugural ceremony. A tradition of a national prayer service, usually the day after the inauguration, has also been in practice.

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