Inauguration of the President of the United States

On this federal holiday, the president-elect and vice-president-elect are sworn in and take office.

When is Inauguration Day?

Inauguration Day occurs every four years on January 20 (or January 21 if January 20 falls on a Sunday) at the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC.

What is the Presidential Oath of Office?

The vice-president-elect is sworn in first, and repeats the same oath of office, in use since 1884, as senators, representatives, and other federal employees: 

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God."

Around noon, the president-elect recites the following oath, in accordance with Article II, Section I of the U.S. Constitution:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

What events take place on Inauguration Day?

The inauguration is planned by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Nine activities typically occur:

For more information on the history of presidential inaugurations, explore the inaugural materials from the collections of the Library of Congress.

Share This Page:

Do you have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

Last Updated: November 5, 2019

Top