The 42nd Presidential


Dwight D. Eisenhower

January 20, 1953

The Most Reverend Patrick A. O'Boyle, Archbishop of Washington

National Anthem

Performed by Dorothy Maynor accompanied by the United States Marine Band, led by Lt. Col. William F. Santelmann

Vice Presidential Oath

Administered to Richard M. Nixon by the Honorable William Knowland, Senator of the U.S. Senate.

Musical Selection

"America, the Beautiful" performed by Eugene Conley, accompanied by the United States Marine Band


Rabbi Abba Hillel Silver of Cleveland, OH

Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to Dwight D. Eisenhower by the Honorable Frederick Vinson, Chief Justice of the United States.



My friends, before I begin the expression of those thoughts that I deem appropriate to this moment, would you permit me the privilege of uttering a little private prayer of my own.’


Bishop Henry Knox Sherrill

Facts, Firsts &


  • Broke precedent by reciting his own prayer after taking the oath, rather than kissing the Bible.

  • First time the JCCIC hosted the Inaugural luncheon at the Capitol.

East Portico, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC
Cloudy skies, with a noon temperature of 49°F.
Eisenhower used two Bibles: the Bible used by George Washington in 1789 (belonging to St. John's Masonic Lodge No. 1), opened to II Chronicles 7:14; and his own personal "West Point Bible," opened to Psalm 33:12.
Inaugural Committee