225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.
On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath as the first President of the United States. The oath was administered by Robert R. Livingston, the Chancellor of New York, on a second floor balcony of Federal Hall, above a crowd assembled in the streets to witness this historic event. President Washington and the members of Congress then retired to the Senate Chamber, where Washington delivered the first inaugural address to a joint session of Congress.
Washington sent an important message by dressing in a plain brown suit that was American made instead of his military uniform. He deliberately chose to dress similar to the people who elected him, and refused to place himself above others.
Gerald R. Ford’s Remarks at his Swearing-in as Vice President
On December 6, 1973, Gerald R. Ford was sworn in as the 40th Vice President of the United States in front of a joint session of Congress. Here is the first page of his reading copy of the remarks he delivered after taking the oath of office.
See the entire speech here.
-from the Ford Library
My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.
-President Gerald R. Ford
Betty Ford serves as a witness as Gerald Ford takes the oath of office as 40th Vice President of the United States. The ceremony was administered by Chief Justice Warren Burger, and also witnessed by President Richard Nixon, and a joint session of Congress. December 6, 1973 in the House Chamber, U.S. Capitol.