The Fifty-Seventh Presidential Inauguration on January 21, 2013 presented by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.

Swearing-In Ceremony for President James K. Polk

Fifteenth Inaugural Ceremonies, March 4, 1845

Inaugural Address

‘Fellow-Citizens: Without solicitation on my part, I have been chosen by the free and voluntary suffrages of my countrymen to the most honorable and most responsible office on earth.’

Read the address
(Words: 4801)

Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to James K. Polk by the Honorable Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the United States.

Library of Congress

  • Bible Used: The origin of Polk's Bible is unknown, although a letter in the front of the volume indicates that after the Inauguration, it was presented to Mrs. Polk by the Marshal of the District of Columbia. There is no indication that it was open during the oath-taking, and has no marked passages.
  • Attire: Unknown

Vice Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to George M. Dallas.

Library of Congress


East Portico,
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC

Facts, Firsts & Precedents

  • First Inauguration covered by telegraph.

  • First known Inauguration featured in a newspaper illustration; illustration appeared in the Illustrated London News.


Thunderstorms at dawn with rain during the day. Total rainfall was .40 inches and the estimated noon temperature was 42°F.