Inauguration Stories

Presidential inaugurations are snapshots in our nation's history usually every four years. Inaugurations are often influenced by or reflect the greater historical events, conversations, and ideas of the country at the time. All inaugurations have had events in what are now national parks, especially in Washington, D.C., and every president has history told in national parks today. Explore the history of presidential inaugurations since they began in 1789 when George Washington took the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York.

Visitor looking at a bust of a suffragist in a hallway
19th Amendment Centennial

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of women's legal protection to vote, explore the suffrage movement's history with inaugurations.

Inauguration Histories

Explore the stories to learn about inaugurations in our nation’s history! Learn about inaugural artifacts, writing an inaugural address, famous performers, and getting the capital ready to host in the inaugural events.

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    More History Resources

    • Metal panel depicting President Franklin Roosevelt waving
      Inauguration History

      Every presidential inauguration is a moment in our nation's history. Follow the journeys of past presidents just beginning theirs.

    • Presidents' faces on Mount Rushmore in fog
      Presidential Places

      Find national parks in the nation's capital and around the country that member the lives and legacies of presidents.

    • Illustration of a desk with park-related items looking out a window at a cityscape
      Go Virtual

      The 59th Presidential Inauguration is going virtual! Join the virtual festivities and explore your presidential national parks.

    Last updated: January 18, 2021