Taking the oath

The oath of office of the President of the United States is an oath or affirmation required by the United States Constitution before the President begins the execution of the office. Some facts about the oath and some memorable swearing-ins:

The 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.”

Number of times the oath has been taken in each city

Across the country

Buffalo, N.Y. 1

1 2 T. Roosevelt 2 65 Washington, D.C.

Plymouth, Vt.
Washington, Arthur Washington, Adams

By numbers
people have taken the oath times planned ceremonies

New York City Philadelphia


43 72 56

Nine presidents have taken the oath unexpectedly; previous president’s term ended due to Assassination Death Oath Resignation taken
April 6, 1841 J. Tyler July 10, 1850 M. Fillmore April 15, 1865 A. Johnson Sept. 20 1881 C. A. Arthur T. Roosevelt Sept. 14, 1901 C. Coolidge August 3, 1923 H. S. Truman April 12, 1945 L. B. Johnson Nov. 22, 1963 Aug. 9, 1974 G. Ford

Change of plans

1 Dallas

Lyndon B. Johnson took oath aboard Air Force One

Locations/number of times oath taken in Washington, D.C.:

Giving the oath
• The Constitution does not mandate who should administer the oath, but is typically given by the chief justice

Does not include Obama’s second swearing-in

White House


Willard Hotel Brown’s Hotel
Pen nsylv ania

Who has administered the oath:
Chief justices

Calvin Coolidge retook oath after his father, a notary, first administered it in Vermont
14th St.

Andrew Johnson took oath in boarding house after Lincoln was assassinated
Ave .

John Tyler took oath after questions about succession process

Old brick Capitol, James Monroe

Privacy please

Seven presidents have had to repeat their oath of office

Constitution Ave. 3rd St.

Kirkwood Hotel Capitol


• Presidents Arthur (1881) and Coolidge (1923) took oath in the middle of the night; later retook the oath in Washington • Four presidents took the oath privately when Jan. 20 fell on a Sunday; Presidents Hayes (1877), Wilson (1917), Eisenhower (1957), Reagan (1985) • President Obama (2009) retook the oath after Chief Justice Roberts misplaced the word “faithfully”; Obama will take the oath twice again in 2013 since Jan. 20 falls on a Sunday

Notary public





Washington Monument


Independence Ave.

• Chief Justice John Marshall administered the oath a record nine times
© 2013 MCT Source: Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, The Architect of the Capitol

White House
Blue room
1 1 North entrance 2 East room

Cabinet room

Capitol building

West front Capitol rotunda
1 6


Red room


1 South portico

NOTE: Locations are not all on the same floor

*Includes locations in the president’s office, the vice president’s office and the original Senate wing

House side


East portico

Senate side*

Graphic: Melina Yingling

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