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

Swearing-In Ceremony for President John F. Kennedy

Forty-Fourth Inaugural Ceremonies, January 20, 1961

 

Program

Inaugural Address

‘And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.’

Read the address
(Words: 1364)

Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to John F. Kennedy by the Honorable Earl Warren, Chief Justice of the United States.

Architect of the Capitol

  • Bible Used: Fitzgerald family Bible (his mother's family), closed
  • Attire: Morning coat, striped trousers, top hat

Vice Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Library of Congress

Location

East Portico,
U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC

Weather

Snow into the early morning left 8 inches on the ground. It was sunny but cold the rest of the day. Army flame throwers were used to clear snow from Pennslyvania Avenue. Estimated noon temperature of 22°F.

Facts, Firsts & Precedents

  • First time a poet, Robert Frost, participated in the Inaugural program

  • First Roman Catholic to become President of the United States.

Inaugural Committee

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Video

U.S. Senate Recording Studio

Heavy snow fell the night before the inauguration, but thoughts about cancelling the plans were overruled. The election of 1960 had been close, and the Democratic Senator from Massachusetts was eager to gather support for his agenda. He attended Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown that morning before joining President Eisenhower to travel to the Capitol. The Congress had extended the East Front, and the inaugural platform spanned the new addition. The oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren. Robert Frost read one of his poems at the ceremony.