Presidents’ Day: Top 10 Intriguing Facts About Presidential Inaugurations

As we head into Presidents’ Day weekend and President Joe Biden’s fourth week in office, let’s take a moment to reflect on Inaugurations past.  Here are 10 facts about Presidential Inaugurations:

  1. Donald Trump is the first former-president since Andrew Johnson to not attend his successor’s inauguration. Andrew Johnson’s reason for doing so was because he detested Ulysses S. Grant, his successor.
  2. The presidential inauguration was first held on March 4th, until the Twentieth Amendment moved the inauguration date to January 20th.
  3. The first president inaugurated in Washington DC was Thomas Jefferson.
  4. Both the warmest and the coldest inauguration were for Ronald Reagan. His first inauguration on Jan. 20, 1981, was the warmest at 55 degrees. His second inauguration on Jan. 20, 1985, was the coldest at 7 degrees.
  5. William Henry Harrison delivered the longest presidential inaugural address at precisely 8,445 words. By contrast, the shortest presidential inaugural address was only 135 words long, delivered by George Washington the second time he was elected president.
  6. James Madison hosted the first Inaugural Ball, and his wife, Dolley Madison, was the first First Lady to attend an inauguration.
  7. Harry S. Truman’s inauguration was the first televised ceremony.
  8. Zachary Taylor, the twelfth president of the United States, refused to be inaugurated on a Sunday. The President Pro Tempore of the Senate, David Rice Atchison, was the fill-in until the Monday after Inauguration Day. Because of this, technically, Atchison was the twelfth president and Taylor the thirteenth.
  9. It was so cold during Ulysses S. Grant’s inauguration—the second coldest at 16 degrees—that the champagne and canaries froze.
  10. Lyndon B. Johnson was the first and only president to be sworn into office on an airplane, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Extra Fact: Bill Clinton’s second inauguration in 1997 was the first inauguration to be streamed live on the internet.