Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Washington's Swearing In

Do you know where Washington was sworn in as President? It was on the steps of Federal Hall, which is now on Wall Street, in New York City:
Here on Wall Street, George Washington took the oath of office as our first President, and this site was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. The current structure, a Customs House, later served as part of the US Sub-Treasury. Now, the building serves as a museum and memorial to our first President and the beginnings of the United States of America.

For more information:
On the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City, Washington was sworn in wearing a dark brown suit, steel-hilted sword, white silk stockings, and silver shoe buckles. During the oath of office he placed a hand on the Bible, beginning a tradition that nearly every U.S. President has repeated.

Washington was sworn in using the Bible from the Masonic Lodge as no one had remembered to bring one. This same Bible was used by Harding, Eisenhower, Carter and Bush, Sr.

Notice that not all Presidents didn't - so who didn't? John Quincy Adams for one. Adams took his oath, according to his own version of the event, on a book of law. Some other presidents didn't take theirs on a Bible or we aren't sure.

Almost all Presidents have "sworn" their oath, except one - Franklin Pierce. Pierce did not "swear" the oath, but "affirmed" it, which is an option in the US Constitution.

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