When President-elect Donald Trump is sworn in as the 45th President of the US today, this will be the 58th formal presidential inaugural ceremony since 1789.
In all, US Presidents have been sworn into office 70 times – usually in public, sometimes in private following the death or resignation of a President, or because Inauguration Day fell on a Sunday. Notably, the US Senate oversaw the first 28 Inaugurations of both the President and Vice President.
But it was in February 4, 1901, that the Senate approved a concurrent resolution to create the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC).
The Senate and House of Representatives then appointed members on February 5, 1901. Since then, all Inaugural Ceremonies at the US Capitol have been organised by the JCCIC.
However, a separate Presidential Inaugural Committee, appointed by the President-elect, has the responsibility for all official inaugural events other than those held at the Capitol Hill.
The military also plays a role with the Joint Task Force-National Capital Region, which coordinates all military participation and support for the Inaugural Ceremonies.
Although the US Constitution specified the oath to be taken by the President, the Framers of the Constitution provided that Congress would determine when and where the inauguration would take place.
America’s interest in inauguration has grown over the decades. By late 1820s, what had typically been a small, indoor ceremony moved outdoors, allowing more people to witness this important event first hand.
By the end of the 19th century, the Presidential Inauguration had evolved into an elaborate day-long event, marked by parades, fireworks, luncheons, and glamorous Inaugural Balls.
As per the schedule, the vice president-elect Mike Pence would be sworn in first, followed by Trump at noon local time.
Following the swearing in JCCIC will host a congressional luncheon for the new President and the Vice President.
Approximately 200 guests including members of their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership are expected to attend the event in Statuary Hall.
The First President George Washington dined alone after his inauguration in 1789, but in the modern era, the JCCIC has hosted a luncheon at the Capitol following the swearing-in ceremonies.
After the newly elected President has taken the oath of
office and delivered his Inaugural Address, he is escorted to Statuary Hall in the US Capitol for the traditional Inaugural Luncheon. As the 20th century progressed, White House luncheons became more and more elaborate.
In 1945, President and Roosevelt played host more than 2,000 guests in what would be the last White House post-Inaugural Luncheon. In 1949, Secretary of the Senate Leslie Biffle hosted a small lunch for President Truman in his Capitol reception room.
They dined on South Carolina turkey, Smithfield Ham, potato salad, and pumpkin pie. In 1953, the JCCIC began its current tradition of hosting a luncheon for the President, Vice President and their spouses, Senate leaders, JCCIC members, and other invited guests by holding an Inaugural Luncheon for President Dwight D.
Eisenhower and some 50 guests in the Old Senate Chamber. Since then, the JCCIC has organised a luncheon celebration at 14 Presidential Inaugurations.During the Inaugural Luncheon, it is traditional for the Presidential Inauguration and Vice President to be presented with gifts by the Congress on behalf of the American people.
The President and Vice President will each be presented with a framed official photograph taken of their swearing in ceremony by a Senate photographer, as well as flags flown over the US Capitol during the Inaugural Ceremonies.
For the 8th consecutive Inauguration, Lenox Corporation has created the official Inaugural gifts from the American people, given to the new President and Vice President of the United States.
After their swearing in, President Donald Trump and Vice President Michael Pence will be presented with custom-made, one-of-a-kind engraved crystal vases at the Inaugural Luncheon.
The Presidential crystal bowl shows an image of the White House on one side overlooking the Jefferson Memorial on the opposite side. The Vice Presidential crystal bowl depicts the US Capitol building overlooking the Lincoln Memorial on the other side.
Each bowl has a compass rose cut into the base with the points of the compass aligned correctly with the buildings etched into the crystal.
The bowls are made of lead crystal and are 12 inches across, and will be placed on top of black cherry wood bases that bear an inscription of the date and occasion engraved into silver plaques. After Congressional luncheon the new President and the First Lady would participate in a parade to the White House, a relatively new tradition.
Eisenhower’s 1957 Inauguration included close to 9,000 military personnel. President Kennedy’s 1961 Inaugural parade consisted of more than 15,000 military and civilian personnel and took more than three hours to pass the reviewing stand.
During the 2009 Presidential Inauguration, President Obama became the first African American US President with the attendance of approximately 1.2 million people.
In 2013, there were 8,917 total parade participants. There were also 1,580 military members, who made up the “street cordon” to line the 3,856 yard long parade route to render honours to the Commander-In-Chief as he passed from the Capitol to the White House in 2013.