"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully
execute the office of President of the United States, and
will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend
the Constitution of the United States."
- Oath of Office.
speeches and the promises have been made, and the votes have
all been cast.
president-elect is now required to recite the oath
of office, worded and administered in accordance with
Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution. This
simple statement instantly transforms an otherwise normal
U.S. citizen into the President of the United States.
may hear the newly elected President append the phrase, "So
help me God," to the oath, but the official version does
not require it.
Following the ceremony, the often quotable Inaugural Address is given by the newly-elected president on how he will lead
the nation for the next four years.
address is a hallmark of all inaugurals in the grand tradition
of such former U.S. presidents as George
Lincoln, (who is said to have first used the phrase "so
help me God" during his swearing in) and John
F. Kennedy, ("Ask not what your country can do for
you, but what you can do for the country.")
the modern era, other memorable lines from inaugural speeches
come from those made by Ronald
Reagan ("Government is not the solution to our problem.
Government is the problem.") and Bill
Clinton ("There is nothing wrong with America that
cannot be cured by what is right with America.")
the inaugural speech tops-off all that has been said during
the campaign, and lays out a platform of what the world can
expect from the new administration. But
with the swearing-in completed and the speech made... inaugural
day isn't quite over yet.
Now it's time to party at a handful of Inaugural Balls that take place around Washington DC to celebrate the new administration.
Parties celebrating a new U.S. President date back to George Washington, although not all administrations have taken part in the tradition. Presidents Woodrow Wilson and Warren G. Harding, for example, proclaimed the Inaugural Ball too excessive. President Harry Truman skipped it, as well, following the death of FDR when a big party wasn't deemed appropriate.
Today, however, the Inauguration Ball remains as one of the biggest events on Washington's social calendar.
Do Solemnly Swear ..." : Presidential Inaugurations
- This Library of Congress special presentation includes historic video,
images and photos including hand-written inaugural speeches,
notable events and inaugural trivia, and select bible quotes
used by presidents in taking the oath of office.