The Luncheon program includes speeches, gift presentations from the JCCIC and toasts to the new administration. While this tradition dates as far back as 1897, when the Senate Committee on Arrangements first gave a luncheon for President McKinley and several other guests at the U.S. Capitol, it did not begin in its current form until 1953.
National Statuary Hall
After the president takes the oath of office and delivers his Inaugural address, he will be escorted to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the traditional Inaugural Luncheon. Since the 1953 luncheon, the JCCIC has organized a Luncheon celebration in Statuary Hall at eight Presidential Inaugurations.
George W. Bush had hoped to use the Masonic Bible that had been used both by George Washington in 1789, and by his father, George H. W. Bush, in 1989. This historic Bible had been transported, under guard, from New York to Washington D.C. for the Inauguration but, due to inclement weather, a family Bible was substitued instead.
Every four years, upon passage of a concurrent resolution, the Committee is established and members appointed to plan and execute all Inaugural activities at the U.S. Capitol, including the swearing-in ceremonies.
Since 1901, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the Inauguration of the President of the United States at the U.S. Capitol.