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This engraving done in 1840 illustrates an Andrew Jackson-era levee. Famously, Jackson threw an inauguration party at the White House where guests refused to leave and to be lured outside the building by tubs of ice cream and whisky punch. The engraving was done by Robert Cruikshank, sometimes referred to as Isaac Robert Cruikshank.

White House Collection

Join us in learning more about White House History right from your own home. Our Facebook Live series, White House History Live, delves into the stories that make up the history of the Executive Mansion.

Everyone knows that Inauguration Day takes place on January 20, but that wasn’t always the case. Did you know that the Inauguration of George Washington was held on Thursday, April 30, 1789? As it turns out, the history of Inauguration Day has been surprisingly riddled with scheduling problems, logistical nightmares, and popular uproar. Thomas J. Balcerski, presidential historian and Eastern Connecticut State University professor, will discuss this tumultuous history of the move of Inauguration from March 4 to January 20, the numerous instances of presidential no-shows on Inauguration Day, and the moments when Inaugural festivities went wildly wrong.

This event will be live streamed on the White House Historical Association's Facebook and YouTube pages starting at 5 pm ET on January 18th.