17TH INAUGURAL CEREMONIES
March 4, 1853
THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONIES
The Swearing-In Ceremony:
Franklin Pierce was sworn-in as the 14th President of the United States, and William King was sworn-in as the 13th Vice President of the United States.
East Portico, U.S. Capitol
Light snow and wind with heavier snow during the Inaugural Address. Estimated noon temperature of 35°F.
FACTS, FIRSTS & PRECEDENTS
Affirmed the oath of office rather than sworn; First president to recite his speech entirely from memory; Cancelled the Inaugural Ball; Pierce’s Vice President did not attend the Inaugural Ceremonies—he was very ill and had gone to Cuba to try to recover at the time of the Inauguration, and was sworn into office there on March 24, 1853. He died on April 18, 1853, one day after returning to his home in Alabama.
PRESIDENTIAL OATH OF OFFICE
Administered to Franklin Pierce by the Honorable Roger B. Taney, Chief Justice of the United States.
VICE PRESIDENTIAL OATH OF OFFICE
Administered to William King.
(Served from March 24, 1853 to April 18, 1853. No Vice President was appointed after that.)
President James Buchanan