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  • Backgrounder

    Inaugurations and the White House

    Four key features are associated with a presidential inauguration: the oath of office administered to the president at the Capitol, the inaugural address, the inaugural parade, and the inaugural ball. Only the oath of office is required in Article II, section I of the United States Constitution, with the words: I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully

  • Backgrounder

    Transitions at the White House

    Transitions from one presidential administration to another have changed throughout the years. Below is a list of highlighted facts about White House transition.

  • Backgrounder

    Blair House

    Blair House, situated at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue, has served as the president’s official guest residence since the United States government purchased it in 1942. It was acquired to accommodate the president’s guests and has its own rich history.

  • Article

    Taking the Oath of Office

    It is probably safe to say that the presidential inauguration is the transcendent public ritual of American representative government. Unlike the coronation of a monarch or any ritual associated with the rise to power of a dictator or autocrat, the inauguration of a president is a cyclical, regularly scheduled event held every four years, and one to which, perhaps thankfully,

  • Article

    Inaugural Balls

    Three key features characterize nearly every presidential inauguration: the oath of office taken by the president at the Capitol, the inaugural parade, and the inaugural ball. Yet Article II, section 1, of the United States Constitution requires only the first mere 35-word pledge. Although no further instructions were left for subsequent events, celebration has always been an inseparable element. The military

  • Scholarship

    Inauguration of 1861

    On December 20, 1860, South Carolina seceded from the United States. Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas followed soon after. In the midst of an unprecedented sectional crisis, President Abraham Lincoln entered office on March 4, 1861, to assume leadership of an anxious and worried nation. The Baltimore Sun commented that the “close of an old and the beginning of a new administration of

  • Article

    Afternoon Accolades

    Since the second inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant in 1873, inaugural reviewing stands— temporary pavilions built in front of the White House for an afternoon’s use—have provided most new presidents the pleasure of reviewing the armed forces of the United States following the inaugural ceremony at the Capitol.1 Over the years the reviewing stands have become more elaborate, as have t

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