Only Two in Existence!
Washington Presidential Inauguration
April 30 1789
When Washington was elected President, there was no idea when he would actually begin his rule. John Adams arranged to take his office as vice president on April
21st and thus this date became the first inaugural ceremony. On April 30th Washington donned in an American-made dark brown suit with white silk stockings and silver shoe
buckles; he also wore a steel-hilted sword and dark red overcoat. Upon his arrival at Federal Hall, Washington was formally introduced to the House and Senate in the then-Senate chamber, after which
already inaugurated Vice President John Adams announced it was time for the inauguration of the President. Washington moved to the second-floor balcony where he took the presidential oath of office,
administered by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston in view of throngs of people gathered on the streets. The Bible used in the ceremony was from St. John's Masonic Lodge No.1, and due to haste,
it was opened at random.
The Second Washington Presidential Inauguration
The First Formal Presidential Inauguration
March 4 1793
By 1793 Congress determined to formalize the inauguration of the next President of the United States. This set a precedent for method of calling the Senate to an inauguration.
They decreed that March 4th would be the formal date of the future inaugural ceremonies.
The Sitting President would communicate directly with the Senators requiring their attendance.
A U.S. Supreme Court Justice would administered the oath of office, swearing in a president.
The second inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States took place in the Senate Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia on March 4, 1793. The inauguration marked the commencement of the second four-year term of George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice President. It was the first to take place in the "City of Brotherly Love" and also the first on the date fixed by the Continental Congress for inaugurations. Announcements were sent to the 17 senators (out of 30) who were present in Philadelphia at the time to receive a call into session and be able to attend the history-making moment. U.S. Supreme Court William Cushing administered the oath of office, becoming the first Supreme Court justice to swear in a president. Shown here is one the two surviving of those precious historical announcements.
- One of only two such calls known to still exist
- A crucial letter showing the President communicating directly with Congress
- The inauguration was held in Independence Hall
- This set a precedent for method of calling the Senate to an inauguration