PHOTOS: Presidential Inaugurations Through the Years

Ahead of President Barack Obama's 2013 inauguration Jan. 21, we rounded up historic photos showing presidential oaths of office past.

President Barack Obama's second inauguration ceremony and celebration Jan. 21 is a far cry from the inauguration of our first president, George Washington.

That ceremony was held April 30, 1789 at Federal Hall in New York City, where the federal government was headquartered at the time. It was later at Washington's second inauguration, in Philadelphia, where he made the shortest inauguration speech on record—133 words and less than two minutes long. 

One thing all presidential inauguration swearing-in ceremonies have in common, though, are these words: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States and will, to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Later inaugurations were held in Philadelphia when the federal government moved there. The first inauguration to be held at the U.S. Capitol was for Thomas Jefferson on March 4, 1801.

The swearing-in ceremony has taken place on the east side of the Capitol, the west side of the Capitol (where it's held today) and other places like hotel rooms (for James Monroe in 1817, because the Capitol was still being rebuilt after being burned by the British) or even on a plane (when Vice President Lyndon Baines Johnson was sworn into office after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas).


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