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Presidential Inauguration Cheat Sheet

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Make the inauguration of our first African-American president, Barack Obama, an interesting and memorable day for your children. Brush up on some inauguration facts and pick up some cool did-you-knows.

Laid Out in the Constitution
Did you know that the Constitution specifies not only the specific words — or oath — the president must make, but also the exact time of the ceremony? It's noon eastern standard time. The text of the presidential oath has remained the same: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God." But some other details have varied over time.

  • George Washington was first sworn in as president in New York City on March 4.
  • Thomas Jefferson was the first president inaugurated in Washington, D.C., in 1801. By then the capitol had moved from New York.
  • In 1937 the ceremony date finally landed on January 20 (FDR's second inauguration) after jumping around quite a bit.
  • The inauguratio