American History: Inauguration Day
Today, January 20th, is Inauguration Day. However, it wasn't always this way. The first Inauguration Day, in 1789, was on March 4th. This four month period was needed to count votes and relay numbers to Washington.
This lengthy Lame-Duck period created several problems throughout history. In the months following the 1860 election, as states succeeded from Union, Lincoln was unable to act and outgoing president, James Buchanan. chose to do nothing. The final straw was in 1933, when president-elect, Franklin D. Roosevelt, had to wait months to enact his New Deal plan in the midst of the Great Depression.
With the advancement of technology, such a long period was no longer needed. Congress ratified the 20th Amendment in 1933, changing Inauguration Day to January 20th, The first time a president was sworn in on this day was four years later, when Roosevelt was sworn in for a second term.
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Nathaniel Grauwelman as well as various staff and volunteer writers.
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