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Old Inauguration Day

Take a trip back in time and learn about the history of Inauguration Day on this special Old Inauguration Day celebration.
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When it is?
March 4
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United States

Get ready to travel back in time with Old Inauguration Day on March 4! This unique holiday commemorates the original date for presidential inaugurations, before it was moved to January 20. From George Washington to Franklin D. Roosevelt, presidents were sworn into office on this day until the 20th amendment was ratified in 1933. So why not take a trip down memory lane and learn about the traditions and ceremonies that took place on this special day? It's a great way to celebrate our country's history and honor our past leaders.

History of Old Inauguration Day

Old Inauguration Day Dates

Old Inauguration Day Timeline

<div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1789</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First Presidential Inauguration</div><div class='timeline-text'>George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States on April 30. However, subsequent inaugurations occurred on March 4th starting from 1793 until the 20th Amendment changed the date.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1793</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Inauguration Day Established</div><div class='timeline-text'>Starting from President Washington's second term, March 4 becomes the established date for U.S presidential inaugurations.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1821</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>March 4th Falls on Sunday</div><div class='timeline-text'>For the first time, Inauguration Day fell on a Sunday in 1821 during James Monroe's second inauguration, causing the ceremony to be postponed to the next day.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1933</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>Last March 4 Inauguration</div><div class='timeline-text'>Franklin D. Roosevelt was the last president inaugurated on March 4 for his first term. His second inauguration took place on January 20 due to the 20th Amendment.</div></div></div><div class='timeline-item'><div class='timeline-left'><div class='timeline-date-text'>1937</div></div><div class='timeline-center'></div><div class='timeline-right'><div class='timeline-text timeline-text-title'>First January 20 Inauguration</div><div class='timeline-text'>The 20th amendment to the U.S. Constitution moves Inauguration Day to January 20. President Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the first president inaugurated on the new date for his second term.</div></div></div>

How to Celebrate Old Inauguration Day

<div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>1</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Host a themed party</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Throw a party with a theme based on the era of the first presidential inauguration. Encourage guests to dress up and serve traditional food and drinks from that time period.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>2</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Visit historical sites</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take a trip to Washington D.C. and visit historical sites related to inaugurations, such as the National Archives or the White House. You can also visit the birthplace or grave of your favorite president.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>3</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Create a presidential trivia game</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather friends and family for a fun game night with a presidential twist. Create a trivia game with questions about past inaugurations and presidents, and award prizes to the winners.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>4</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Watch the inauguration</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Gather around the TV and watch footage of past inaugurations, or tune in to coverage of the current inauguration. You can also watch documentaries about past presidents and their inaugurations.</p></div></div><div id='' class='facts-item'><div id='' class='facts-header'><h3 id='' class='facts-number'>5</h3></div><div id='' class='facts-text-wrapper'><h3 id='' class='facts-title'>Write a letter to the president</h3><p id='' class='facts-text'>Take some time to reflect on the importance of presidential inaugurations and write a letter to the current or past president expressing your thoughts and feelings. You never know, you may even receive a response!</p></div></div>

Why Old Inauguration Day is Important

<div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>A</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It's a part of American history</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>Old Inauguration Day, also known as March 4th, was the official start of the presidential term until it was changed to January 20th in 1933. This important date represents a significant era in American history and reminds us of how our country has evolved over time.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>B</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It highlights the peaceful transition of power</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>On Old Inauguration Day, presidents were not sworn in until a few months after they were elected, allowing for a smooth transition of power from one administration to the next. This tradition emphasized the peaceful transfer of authority and the importance of maintaining a stable government.</p></div></div><div id='' class='whywelove-item'><div id='' class='whywelove-letter-cont'><div class='whywelove-letter'>C</div></div><div id='why-we-love-main-cont'><h3 id='' class='whywelove-title'>It showcases our democratic values</h3><p id='' class='whywelove-text'>By celebrating Old Inauguration Day, we honor our nation's commitment to democracy and its unwavering belief in fair elections. It serves as a reminder that our country is built on the principles of freedom, equality, and justice for all.</p></div></div>

5 Intriguing Facts on Old Inauguration Day

<div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>1</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The "Infamous 1811 Ball" was held on March 4</h3><p class='facts-content'>On March 4, 1811, a grand inaugural ball was held to celebrate James Madison's second term. Unfortunately, the celebration turned into a riot when the crowd became too large and unruly.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>2</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The first live radio broadcast of an inauguration was held on March 4</h3><p class='facts-content'>On March 4, 1925, the inauguration of Calvin Coolidge was broadcast live on 21 radio stations across the country, marking the first time this technology was utilized for such an event.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>3</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>The shortest March 4 term belonged to President Harrison</h3><p class='facts-content'>President William Henry Harrison served the shortest term of any U.S. President. After giving a two-hour inaugural address outdoors in bad weather on March 4, 1841, he caught pneumonia and died a month later on April 4.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>4</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>March 4 inaugurations often happened in adverse weather conditions</h3><p class='facts-content'>The March 4 date for the inaugurations often led to ceremonies happening in adverse weather conditions. Notably in 1909, a blizzard on William Howard Taft's inauguration day forced the ceremony indoors.</p></div></div><div class='facts-item'><div class='facts-number-wrapper'><p class='facts-number'>5</p></div><div class='facts-core-content'><h3 class='facts-title'>March 4 is now recognized as a holiday by the U.S. Senate</h3><p class='facts-content'>While not a federal holiday, the U.S. Senate recognizes March 4 as a date of significance in U.S. history, with a special resolution commemorating the original Inauguration Day.</p></div></div>

Old Inauguration Day FAQs

When is Old Inauguration Day?

Old Inauguration Day is celebrated on March 4th every year. In 2024, Old Inauguration Day will fall on a Monday.

Old Inauguration Day Dates



Mar 4



Mar 4



Mar 4



Mar 4



Mar 4


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