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Presidential Inauguration

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Procession to the Capitol - Presidential Inauguration
Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt Riding to the Capitol for the Roosevelt's Inauguration.

Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt Riding to the Capitol for the Roosevelt's Inauguration.

Architect of the Capitol.
The president-elect and vice-president elect along with their wives are escorted to the White House by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Then, by tradition begun in 1837 with Martin Van Buren and Andrew Jackson, the president and president-elect ride together to the swearing-in ceremony. This tradition has only been broken three times including the inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant when Andrew Johnson did not attend but instead stayed back in the White House to sign some last-minute legislation.

The outgoing president sits to the right of the president-elect on the trip to the capitol. Since 1877, the vice president and vice president-elect ride to the inauguration directly behind the president and president-elect. A few interesting facts:

  • Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson were the only two presidents to walk to their inaugurations.
  • In 1917, Edith Wilson became the first First Lady to accompany her husband to the capitol.
  • The first president-elect to ride to the inauguration in an automobile was Warren G. Harding in 1921.
  • Lyndon B. Johnson was the first president-elect to ride to the inauguration in a bullet-proof limousine in 1965.

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