The shortest and longest inaugural addresses were given by George Washington and William Henry Harrison, respectively. Washington’s second inaugural address was only 135 words long. William Henry Harrison’s inaugural address was 8,445 words long. Harrison spoke for one hour and 45 minutes in a snowstorm without a coat.
William Henry Harrison also served the shortest presidency. He died of pneumonia a month after his inauguration in 1841.
The Oath of Office is traditionally administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, though not required. There is also no requirement that it occur in Washington, D.C., or that the president place his hand on the Bible. The only thing prescribed by the Constitution is that the president take the Oath of Office.
In 1937, Franklin D. Roosevelt became the first president to be inaugurated on January 20. Previous presidents (including FDR for his first term) had traditionally been inaugurated on March 4, but the 20th Amendment, passed in 1933, stipulated a January 20 inauguration.
Calvin Coolidge’s inaugural address was the first to be broadcast on public radio in 1925.
Thomas Jefferson was the first President to be sworn in in Washington D.C. in 1801.
James Buchanan’s inauguration was the first to be photographed in 1857.
A total of four March inauguration dates fell on a Sunday (1821, 1849, 1877, 1917); the swearing-in ceremonies in these cases were all postponed until the next day. Three January inauguration dates have fallen on a Sunday: 1957 (Dwight D. Eisenhower), 1985 (Ronald Reagan), and 2013 (Barack Obama); these three presidents were sworn in privately on the 20th and then a public ceremony was held the next day.
Featured image – “Remembering Lincoln’s Second Inauguration”