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A Formal Beginning

After the oath is said, bands play "Hail to the Chief". That is
followed by a twenty-one gun salute. The president then gives his or
her inaugural speech. This marks the formal beginning for a new

By Jody Williams

A Formal Beginning

A large crowd was
present in spite of the cold,
rainy weather to watch
George W. Bush's first
inauguration on January
20, 2001.


Inauguration Day is a
special day for all citizens
of the United States. It is
the day that a new
president officially
becomes the President of
the United States. Inauguration means a formal beginning.
The first Inauguration Day was on April 30, 1789. It was held at
a later date than it is today. Time was needed to count every vote
after the election. The official date became March 4. In 1937, the
date was changed again. Inauguration Day has been on January 20
since then. This change is recorded as the Twentieth Amendment to
the Constitution.

1. What is Inauguration Day?
A. The day that the president officially becomes the
President of the United States.
B. The day that the vice-president officially becomes the
Vice President of the United States.
C. both A and B
D. neither A nor B
2. Why was the first Inauguration Day held on April 30, 1789,
instead of January 20?
A. because the weather is warmer
B. because it took that long for every vote to be counted
C. because George Washington wanted it that way
D. none of the above
3. Why were Inauguration Day celebrations moved from New
York to Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C.?

George Washington was sworn in as the first U.S. president in
1789. His inauguration was held in New York City. The next two
inaugurations were in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Then in 1801, the
celebration was moved to Washington, D.C., our nation's new capital.
Thomas Jefferson was the first president to be sworn in there.
In the morning of Inauguration Day, crowds gather at the United
States Capitol. The newly elected president and vice president
prepare to take an oath of office. An oath is a promise. The Chief
Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court is in charge. The vice
president-elect takes the oath first. Then at noon, the Chief Justice
asks the president-to-be to repeat the oath: "I do solemnly swear 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."

4. What is a synonym for oath?
A. promise
B. break
C. pledge
D. both A and C

What does that mean to you? Compare the first Inauguration Day in 1789 to an Inauguration Day of today.Name 5. . Read the oath that the president takes on Inauguration Day. Why do you think that the oath of office is given at noon each Inauguration Day? 6.

Do you think that it needs to be reworded? Explain your answer.Name Presidents have been saying the oath of office for over two hundred years. Write a new oath if necessary. .