Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Et tu, LBJ?

In earlier times the inauguration of U.S. presidents took place on March 4th. George Washington’s first inauguration took place on April 30, 1789, but never mind.

After the Twentieth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was approved in 1933, presidential inaugurations were moved to January 20th.

The only inaugurations that have not taken place on March 4th or January 20th (besides George Washington's on April 30th) happened because (a) those dates occurred on a Sunday or (b) a president died or resigned.

The presidents who died in office were William Henry Harrison (1841), Zachary Taylor (1850), Abraham Lincoln (1865), James A Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1901), Warren G. Harding (1923), Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1945), and John F. Kennedy (1963). One president, Richard Nixon, resigned from office (1974).

You read it here first. Or maybe not.

I knew you couldn’t possibly get through today without knowing these things. To learn which presidents were not inaugurated on March 4th or January 20th (that is, who the successors to the ones who died or resigned were), click here.

The list is in purple, but I have no idea why.


  1. We have a MUCH more random approach. And now I am wondering whether it is an illustration of our national psyche...

    1. EC, I looked up your Australian election process online, and it seemed very confusing. How do you keep it all straight?

  2. No, I didn't know. I don't know about most of what you write, which is partly why I enjoy your blog.

  3. March 4th is a much more sensible date for a presidential inauguration - simply because the Washington weather is likely to be considerably warmer then. The list is probably purple because that is the colour that spectators' noses and fingers go in the January cold.

  4. Okay, Snowbrush, I'll bite. What are the other parts ?

  5. I keep on top of it with difficulty some days, and with resentment on others. However, I have grown up with it and it doesn't seem as confusing to me as your system. The devil I know?

  6. I knew some of that, but not all, so thank you for the extra purple parts as the actress said to the bishop.

    "Okay, Snowbrush, I'll bite. What are the other parts ?" - this made me smile.

  7. "Okay, Snowbrush, I'll bite. What are the other parts ?"

    The times when you share your deeper feelings and your personal history.