Skip to Main Content

U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: A Resource Guide

Presidential Inaugurations: 1861-1893

This page contains primary source materials related to presidential inaugurations from 1861 to 1893. Select a link below to jump directly to a description of that president's inauguration along with related digitized materials from the Library's collections.

^ served two non-consecutive terms.

Abraham Lincoln

The sixteenth president of the United States (1861-65), Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860 and 1864.

First Inauguration - March 4, 1861


  • Lincoln's procession to the Capitol was surrounded by heavily armed cavalry and infantry, providing an unprecedented amount of protection for the President-elect as the nation stood on the brink of war.

Second Inauguration - March 4, 1865


  • First time that African-Americans participated in the inaugural parade.

Andrew Johnson

The seventeenth president of the United States, Andrew Johnson assumed the presidency (1865-69) upon the death of Abraham Lincoln.

Oath of Office - April 15, 1865


  • Abraham Lincoln had been shot at Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. He died the next day. Johnson took the oath of office in the presence of cabinet members, several Senators and House members, and other dignitaries.

Ulysses S. Grant

The eighteenth president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant served two terms as president (1869-77).

First Inauguration - March 4, 1869


  • Andrew Johnson did not accompany President-elect Grant to the Capitol, nor did he attend the Inaugural ceremonies. Instead, he remained at the White House signing last-minute legislation.

Second Inauguration - March 4, 1873


  • Coldest March 4 Inauguration Day; the noon temperature was 16

Rutherford B. Hayes

The nineteenth president of the United States, Rutherford B. Hayes served one term as president (1877-81).

Inauguration - March 5, 1877


  • March 4, 1877 fell on Sunday, so Hayes privately took oath of office on Saturday, March 3, in the White House Red Room to ensure peaceful transition of power; the public Inauguration was on Monday, March 5.

James Garfield

The twentieth president of the United States, James Garfield died in office on September 19, 1881. Garfield was Shot by Charles J. Guiteau at Baltimore & Potomac Railroad Station, Washington, D.C. on July 2, 1881. He died two months later.

Inauguration - March 4, 1881


  • First President to review the Inaugural parade from a stand built in front of the White House.

Chester Arthur

The twenty-first president of the United States, Chester Arthur assumed the presidency (1881-85) upon the death of James Garfield.

Oath of Office - September 20, 1881


  • Arthur became president upon the assassination of James Garfield, who was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881, in Washington, D.C., and died on September 19, 1881. Former Presidents Hayes and Grant were both present for the swearing-in ceremony on September 22.

Grover Cleveland

The twenty-second and twenty-fourth president of the United States, Grover Cleveland served two terms as president (1885-89 and 1893-97).

First Inauguration - March 4, 1885


  • Grover Cleveland is the only president to have served two non-consecutive terms, first in 1885 and again later in 1893. He is, therefore, referred to as the 22nd and 24th President of the United States.

Second Inauguration - March 4, 1893

Benjamin Harrison

The twenty-third president of the United States, Benjamin Harrison served one term as president (1899-93).

Inauguration - March 4, 1889

*Please note: This information is based on a compilation by the Office of the Curator, Architect of the Capitol, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, from contemporary accounts and other sources. Additional research provided by Library of Congress staff.