On Wednesday the U.S. will mark the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden with a celebration of our nation's traditional transfer of power. As we prepare for the future, here's a quick nod to the past. Let's look back at the very first inaugural of Founding Father and first U.S. President George Washington.
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Did You Know
- Washington's inauguration was held in 1789 in New York City, the nation's first capital.
- Washington traveled 200 miles from his home in Mount Vernon, Virginia, to New York to attend the ceremony.
- At sunrise on Inauguration Day, cannons blasted from Fort George in a military salute and church bells rang for 30 minutes throughout New York City.
- Washington traveled to Federal Hall on Wall Street, the first seat of the U.S. government and the site of the inaugural ceremony, in a cream colored coach escorted by 500 military men and a group of supporters.
- The oath was administered on an outer balcony by Chancellor Robert Livingston as onlookers watched from the street.
- Washington was sworn in on a Masonic Bible. After taking the oath of office, Livingston declared, "Long live George Washington, president of the United States."
- The day ended with fireworks over the Bowling Green in downtown Manhattan.