Swearing-In Ceremony for President William H. Taft
Thirty-First Inaugural Ceremonies, March 4, 1909
‘My Fellow-Citizens: Anyone who has taken the oath I have just taken must feel a heavy weight of responsibility.’
Read the address
Presidential Oath of Office
Administered to William H. Taft by the Honorable Melville W. Fuller, Chief Justice of the United States.
- Bible Used: Century-old Bible belonging to the Supreme Court, open to I Kings 3:9-11
- Attire: Unknown
Vice Presidential Oath of Office
Administered to James S. Sherman.
(Served from 1909-1912. Another Vice President was not appointed for the remainder of President Taft's term.)
Heavy, drifting snow, and strong winds. The 10 inch snow fall ended at 12:20 p.m., but the afternoon remained cloudy and windy. Estimated noon temperature of 32°F.
Facts, Firsts & Precedents
Inauguration took place in the Senate chamber because of blizzard. Strong winds toppled trees and telephone poles, trains were stalled and city streets unpassable. City workers shoveled sand and snow through half the night. It took 6,000 men and 500 wagons to clear 58,000 tons of snow and slush from the parade route.
Helen Herron Taft became the first First Lady to accompany her husband on the return ride from the Capitol to the White House following his Inauguration.