Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | January 19, 2009

Environmental Lawyer Sanders says President O’bama will be sworn in at exactly 12 noon on January 20, 2009!

Each president-elect is sworn in by 12 noon on January 20th, based on U.S. Constitution Amendment XX. Since 1901, all ceremonies have been at the U.S. Capitol and organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. The U.S. Armed Forces have a heavy influence on the program, as the president is their commander-in-chief.

As of 1937, the vice president is sworn in at the same ceremony as the president. The vice president takes the following oath:
“I do solemnly swear [or affirm] that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same: that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

The oath is followed by four ruffles and flourishes and “Hail Columbia,” and at exactly noon the Chief Justice of the United States leads the president in this oath:
“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.”

Directly after the oath, the bands perform four ruffles and flourished and “Hail to the Chief,” plus a 21-gun salute from howitzers of the Military District of Washington.

The next order of business is the inaugural address. George Washington started off the very first inauguration with an address to the Senate chamber where he addressed Congress and dignitaries. While most presidents have kept their speeches relatively short over the years, William Henry Harrison delivered the longest speech in presidential history – 8,445 words – on a cold, wet day. One month later, he died of pneumonia, suspected to have been caused by his exposure on the day.

Warren G. Harding was the first president, in 1921, to give his address over loudspeakers for the masses to hear. In 1925, Calvin Coolidge’s address was broadcast on the radio and in 1949 Harry Truman was filmed for television. These were three benchmarks towards the inclusion that the Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies now strives for.

The ceremony is the most somber time in all of the inauguration festivities, as the change of power in America is final and the real celebration can begin!

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