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The First Presidential Inauguration

George Washington, April 30, 1789


The proceedings of the first inauguration of President George Washington on April 30, 1789, as narrated in the Senate Journal:

"The House of Representatives, preceded by their Speaker, came into the Senate Chamber, and took the seats assigned them;

"and the joint Committee, preceded by their Chairman, agreeably to order, introduced the President of the United States to the Senate Chamber, where he was received by the Vice President, who conducted him to the Chair;

"when the Vice President informed him, that 'The Senate and House of Representatives were ready to attend him to take the oath required by the Constitution, and that it would be administered by the Chancellor of the State of New-York' -- To which the President replied, he was ready to proceed: -- and being attended to the gallery in front of the Senate Chamber, by the Vice President and Senators, the Speaker and Representatives, and the other public characters present, the oath was administered.

"After which the Chancellor proclaimed, 'Long live George Washington, President of the United States.' The President having returned to his seat, after a short pause, arose and addressed the Senate and House of Representatives . . .

"The President, the Vice President, the Senate and House of Representatives, then proceeded to St. Paul's Chapel, where divine service was performed by the Chaplain of Congress, after which the President was conducted to his house, by the Committee appointed for that purpose."

Note: The first recitation of the presidential oath of office was administered by Chancellor of the State of New York Robert Livingston.

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