Join Our Email List!
   
   

1957 Presidential Inauguration

 

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution set January 20th as the official inaugural date. Because January 20, 1957 fell on a Sunday, President Eisenhower took the oath of office for his second term in a private White House ceremony. He repeated the oath and was formally inaugurated again in public on Monday, January 21 at the inaugural ceremonies held on the east portico of the White House. The oath was administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren both times.

Ronald Reagan followed the same scenario in 1985 after winning re-election. January 20 falls on a Sunday four times in the twenty-first century; 2013, 2041, 2069, and 2097. It always occurs every 28 years.

 

Private inaugural ceremony on January 20, 1957
Private inaugural ceremony held on January 20, 1957
photo 67-142-4 / Naval Photographic Center - public domain

 

Formal inaugural ceremony on January 21, 1957
Formal inaugural ceremony on January 21, 1957
photo 68-349-14 / National Park Service - public domain

 

In the afternoon 750,000 spectators watched a three and one-half hour parade over a three-mile route. Marching in the parade were 17,000 people, including 11,757 in military service. There were 47 marching units, 52 bands, and 10 drum and bugle corps in the inaugural parade. The highlight of the parade was a mammoth float -- 408 feet long and mounted on 164 wheels -- which introduced the theme "Liberty and Strength Through Consent of the Governed."

 

DDE - 1957 Inaugural Parade
President Eisenhower waves to the crowd
68-349-7 / National Park Service - public domain

 

DDE with grandchildren and Nixon with daughters
Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon watching inaugural
parade with Anne & David Eisenhower and Julie & Tricia Nixon

photo 72-2063-85 / National Park Service - public domain

 

Four inaugural balls were held in the evening at the Armory, the Mayflower Hotel, the Statler Hotel, and the Sheraton-Park Hotel.

 

DDE and MDE with John and Barbara Eisenhower - 1957 Inaugural Ball
Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower attend the Inaugural Ball
with John and Barbara Eisenhower

photo 68-349-9 / National Park Service - public domain

 

1957 Inaugural Trivia:

• First time that a president was inaugurated for a term limited by the Constitution (22nd Amendment).

• First presidential luncheon, held in the Old Supreme Court Chamber (S--228) in the Capitol.

• For the 1957 Inaugural Parade, grandstands located along the line of march accommodated 65,800 persons; 2,900 more than in 1953.

• January 20, 1957 Private ceremony in East Room, White House. Oath administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren.

• January 21, 1957 Public ceremony on East Portico, U.S. Capitol. Oath administered by Chief Earl Warren.

• Temperature: 44 degrees, light snow in the early morning, cloudy skies with a few flurries in the mid afternoon.

• The Bible was open to the following passage during the 1957 Inauguration: Psalm 33, Verse 12

 

Presidential Inaugurations:

Library of Congress

Materials Available - Documents, Photographs, Essays, Video

A Collection of approximately four hundred items or two thousand digital files relating to inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to the present. This presentation includes diaries and letters of Presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music.