Presidential Inaugurations Then and Now

On Jan. 21, 2013, President Barack Obama will be inaugurated for his second term as president of the United States. Presidential inaugurations can be traced back to George Washington when he took the oath of office on April 30, 1789. Much has changed since then. Click to see photos of inauguration ceremonies and its celebrations through the years.

19 photos
U.S. President Abraham Lincoln stands under cover at center of Capitol steps during his inauguration in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 1861. The scaffolding at upper right is used in construction of the Capitol dome.
The inaugural procession for President William Howard Taft takes place in Washington, D.C., on March 4, 1909.
William Howard Taft, center, wore big fur-lined overcoat at the parade after his inauguration as president, on March 4, 1909 in Washington. A whirling blizzard, lighting, as well as rain, snow and a cutting wind, made it one of the roughest of all inauguration days.
The retiring 28th President Woodrow Wilson, rides with his successor, Warren Gamaliel Harding, to the latter's inauguration, March 4, 1921. Harding was the first president-elect to ride to the inauguration in an automobile.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt takes the oath of office at his first inauguration as the 32nd president of the United States from Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes, March 4, 1933. He is the only president to ever be elected for more than two terms.
File -- Getty Images
Franklin Delano Roosevelt speaking during his fourth inauguration ceremony. Standing next to him are his son, Colonel James Roosevelt (1907 - 1991) and his secretary Major General Edwin A Watson (right).
An Army Pershing missile mounted on a tank-like carrier catches the sunlight as the inaugural parade for President John F. Kennedy draws attention of spectators along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Jan. 20, 1961. Other missiles, from front, are: Lacrosse, Nike Hercules and Nike Zeus.
AP Photo/Steve Dykes
Lyndon B. Johnson was the first president-elect to ride in a bullet-proof limousine. Johnson and his wife Lady Bird Johnson is shown en route to the Capitol building as secret service agents run alongside of closed car in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1965.
Pres. Richard Nixon, center, greets the crowd at the Mayflower Hotel Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21, 1969, Washington, D.C. From left are Pat Nixon, daughter Tricia Nixon, Julie (hidden) and David Eisenhower.
Gerald Ford being sworn in as the 38th President of the United States. Ford is the only vice president to ever assume the presidency. He took office after Richard Nixon's resignation.
President Jimmy Carter and his wife Rosalynn walk on Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue Jan. 20, 1977 with their daughter Amy skipping along between them after Carter was sworn in as the nations's 39th president. Carter's son Jeff and his wife, Annette, are visible at right.
U.S. President Ronald Reagan gives a thumbs up sign to the crowd as his wife, first lady Nancy Reagan, waves from limousine during the inaugural parade in Washington, D.C., Jan. 20, 1981.
U.S. President-elect George H. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush, left, Vice President-elect Dan Quayle and Mrs. Madelyn Quayle walk down the steps of the Lincoln Memorial through colorful flags during opening inaugural ceremonies on Jan. 18, 1989 in Washington.
President-elect Bill Clinton, center, and a throng of stars, including Diana Ross, right of Clinton, and Michael Jackson. The star-studded concert on Jan. 17, 1993 was attended by thousands as Clinton kicked off days of celebration leading up to his inauguration on Wednesday. Al Gore, Tipper Gore, Hillary Clinton and Chelsea Clinton are also on stage.
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer
President-elect Bush dances with singer Ricky Martin during the Presidential Inaugural Opening Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on Jan. 18, 2001.
Marvin Joseph/Washington Post via Getty Images
George W. Bush was sworn in for a second term on Jan. 20, 2005 and pledged to work to heal a country divided by the Iraq war. Bush started his second term with the lowest approval rating of any returning president except Richard Nixon.
President-elect Barack Obama embraces actor Jamie Foxx as John Mellencamp, third left, and Steve Carell, far right, wait on the stage at the conclusion of "We Are One: Opening Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" in Washington on Jan. 18, 2009.
This Jan. 20, 2009 file photo shows President-elect Barack Obama, left, his wife Michelle and daughters Sasha, right and Malia, on the podium moments before Obama was sworn in as the 44th president at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Susan Walsh/AP
President-elect Barack Obama's first inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009 drew a record crowd with 1.8 million people eager to see the first black president take the oath of office.
Contact Us