The 50th Presidential


Ronald W. Reagan

January 21, 1985
Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks

Charles McCurdy Mathias Jr.


Reverend Timothy S. Healy

President of Georgetown University

Musical Selection

"Simple Gifts" from Aaron Copland's "Old American Songs" performed by Jessye Norman, soprano


Rabbi Alfred Gottschalk, president of Hebrew Union College of Cincinnati

Vice Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to George H.W. Bush by the Honorable Potter Stewart, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Musical Selection

"The God Who Gave Us Life" from the first section of "The Testament of Freedom" by Randall Thompson performed by the University of Maryland Chorus under the direction of Dr. Paul Traver


The Reverend Donn Moomaw of Bel Air Presbyterian Church

Presidential Oath of Office

Administered to Ronald W. Reagan by the Honorable Warren E. Burger, Chief Justice of the United States.



‘Senator Mathias, Chief Justice Burger, Vice President Bush, Speaker O’Neill, Senator Dole, Reverend Clergy, members of my family and friends, and my fellow citizens: This day has been made brighter with the presence here of one who, for a time, has been absent—Senator John Stennis.’


The Reverend Peter Gomes, minister in the Memorial Church of Harvard University

The National Anthem

The United States Marine Band

Facts, Firsts &


  • Coldest Inauguration day on record, with a noon temperature of 7°F.

  • January 20th fell on Sunday, so Reagan was privately sworn in that day at the White House; public Inauguration on January 21st took place in the Capitol Rotunda, due to freezing weather

Rotunda, U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC
It was sunny, but bitter cold. Wind chill temperatures fell into the -10°F to -20°F range in the afternoon. Estimated noon temperature of 7°F.
Family Bible, given to him by his mother, open to II Chronicles 7:14. (Same Bible used at his 1981 Inauguration)
Inaugural Committee