Marine One taxiing in front of the U.S. Capitol. 11/21/85.
FDR Elected President for an Unprecedented Fourth Term — Today in History
Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States four times: 1932, 1936, 1940, and on November 7, 1944.
Prior to the third-term election of 1940, it was a presidential tradition set by George Washington that presidents only held the office for two terms. As a result of FDR’s unprecedented four terms, the Twenty-second Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified in 1951, limiting all future presidents to two elected terms.
Photograph of President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivering his fourth Inaugural Address., 01/20/1945
-from the FDR Library
President Truman - Just Stopping By
On this day in 1947, President Harry S. Truman stopped by the U.S. Capitol unannounced. According to the President’s appointment calendar for the day:
”White at the Capitol, the President visited the Senate Chamber, took his old seat, was recognized by the President of the Senate and made a brief impromptu speech.”
Addressing the senators around him, he said, “I get homesick for this seat. I spent the best 10 years of my life in this seat.”
Photo: Senator Harry S. Truman on the Capitol Steps, circa 1940.
Practice Makes Perfect
Military personnel act as stand-ins for President-elect George H.W. Bush, Barbara Bush, Vice President-elect J. Danforth Quayle and Marilyn Quayle during a rehearsal prior to the Inauguration Day ceremonies of the 41st president of the United States, 01/15/1989
The Inauguration of Dwight D. Eisenhower
Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his Inaugural Address after taking the oath of office as President. Former Presidents Harry Truman and Herbert Hoover, and other dignitaries, look on. 01/20/53.
-from the Eisenhower Library
On September 18, 1793, George Washington laid the cornerstone of the Capitol building, the future home of the legislative branch of government.
Six years earlier, on September 17, 1787, Washington was among the 39 men who signed the United States Constitution; effectively putting the framework of the new government into place. Despite this, the physical location of the government would not be completed for many years.
The north wing was finished in 1800; the south wing in 1811. Then the Capitol was burned in the War of 1812, but a rainstorm saved it from complete destruction (Congress was forced to meet in temporary quarters until 1819). During the Civil War, it was used as Union barracks.
Now, 219 years later, the building stands completed, with 540 rooms. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first President to be inaugurated at the Capitol, a tradition that continues to this day.
Photograph of the Capitol Building under construction in Washington, DC.