Who Was the First New President to …?
The basics of the inauguration are simple: The new president takes a 35-word oath on a date prescribed by the Constitution.
But the formula has left plenty of room for novelty. As inaugurations evolved over the decades, many became turning points in tradition, marked by mishaps, innovation and spontaneous gestures.
Jimmy Carter began an informal custom when he unexpectedly alighted from his limousine and walked down Pennsylvania Avenue. Barack Obama’s first term got off to an unusual start when he became the first president to repeat his oath of office. Harry S. Truman’s second inauguration was the first to be televised, and Bill Clinton’s in 1997 was the first to be livestreamed.
当吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter)意外从礼车里下来，走在宾夕法尼亚大道上时，他开创了一项非正式传统。当贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)重复了一遍就职宣誓时，他的第一个任期有了一个不寻常的开始。哈里·S·杜鲁门(Harry S. Truman)的第二次就职典礼是首个被电视转播的，1997年比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)的就职典礼则是首个被网络直播的。
On Wednesday, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s inauguration will also seek to balance tradition against the challenges of the present era, including the pandemic and widespread political upheaval. For the first time, the procession to the White House will be replaced with a “virtual parade” in an effort to slow the spread of a virus that has killed nearly 400,000 Americans.
Here’s a look at some of the precedents in presidential inaugural history.
The presidential oath of office is also enshrined in the Constitution: “I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
Each president must recite the oath of office, which has been taken 72 times by the 45 presidents of the United States who have preceded Mr. Biden.
Franklin Pierce, in 1853, was the first to choose the word “affirm” rather than “swear” and broke precedent by not kissing the Bible.
Lyndon B. Johnson was the first and only president to take the oath of office on an airplane, after John F. Kennedy was assassinated on Nov. 22, 1963. It was also the first time that a woman administered the oath: Judge Sarah T. Hughes of the Northern District of Texas swore in Mr. Johnson on Air Force One, using a Roman Catholic missal found on board, before the plane left Dallas for Washington.
约翰·F·肯尼迪(John F. Kennedy)于1963年11月22日遇刺之后，林登·B·约翰逊(Lyndon B. Johnson)成了第一位也是唯一一位在飞机上宣誓就职的总统。这也是第一次由女性主持宣誓：在从达拉斯飞往华盛顿的空军一号上，得克萨斯州北区法官萨拉·T·休斯(Sarah T. Hughes)用飞机上找到的一本罗马天主教祷告书为约翰逊主持了宣誓仪式。
The oath-taking of Barack Obama, who became the nation’s first Black president in 2009, had a unique twist. He was administered the oath twice by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.: The second time was on Jan. 21 in a do-over at the White House after the two men stumbled over each other’s words during the inauguration ceremony the day before.
2009年成为美国首位黑人总统的贝拉克·奥巴马(Barack Obama)的宣誓仪式上有个独特的插曲。首席大法官小约翰·G·罗伯茨(John G. Roberts Jr.)为他主持了两次宣誓仪式：第二次是在1月21日在白宫重新进行的，因为两人在前一天的就职典礼上都出现了口误。
“In 25 seconds, President Obama became president again,” The New York Times wrote.
George Washington was a man of few words. His second Inaugural Address had 135 of them, making it the shortest ever delivered. In 1817, James Monroe became the first president to take the oath and give his Inaugural Address outdoors, in front of the Old Brick Capitol. William Henry Harrison spoke the longest, delivering 10,000 words in 1841.
乔治·华盛顿(George Washington)是个沉默寡言的人。他的第二次就职演说只有135个单词，是有史以来最短的。1817年，詹姆斯·门罗(James Monroe)成为第一位在户外宣誓并发表就职演说的总统，地点是在老砖墙国会楼前。威廉·亨利·哈里森(William Henry Harrison)的演讲最长，1841年，他的就职演说有一万个单词。
1981年，在首席大法官沃伦·伯格的主持下，罗纳德·里根在妻子南希·里根身边挥手，宣誓就任美国第40任总统。 AFP, VIA GETTY IMAGES
George Washington took his oath at Federal Hall in New York City and then delivered his speech inside the Senate chambers. John Adams was inaugurated in the Chamber of Congress Hall in Philadelphia in 1797. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson was the first to walk to and from his inauguration and became the first president inaugurated at the Capitol in Washington.
乔治·华盛顿在纽约市联邦大厅宣誓就职，然后在参议院会议厅发表演讲。1797年，约翰·亚当斯(John Adams)在费城的国会大厅举行就职典礼。1801年，托马斯·杰斐逊(Thomas Jefferson)是第一个步行往返就职典礼会场的人，并成为第一位在华盛顿国会大厦就职的总统。
Inauguration Day wasn’t always in January. George Washington took the oath of office on April 30, 1789. In the 19th century, March 4 was written into the Constitution as Inauguration Day. But in 1933, the ratification of the 20th Amendment established that the terms of the president and the vice president would instead end at noon on Jan. 20.
The first president to be inaugurated on Jan. 20 was Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was sworn in to office for a second term in 1937, with a large crowd looking on despite a cold, soaking rain.
第一位在1月20日宣誓就职的总统是富兰克林·D·罗斯福(Franklin D. Roosevelt)，他于1937年宣誓就职，开始了第二届任期。当天尽管下着冷雨，仍有大群人观礼。
In 1837, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren rode together in a carriage to the Capitol for the inauguration, the first time that a departing president joined his successor. “We have come to expect that now, but we are not having it this year, sadly,” said Jim Bendat, an inauguration historian. “It is an important symbolic moment to show that the old and the new can get along, even if they are in a different party.”
1837年，安德鲁·杰克逊(Andrew Jackson)和马丁·范布伦(Martin Van Buren)一起乘坐马车前往国会大厦参加就职典礼，这是首次有即将离任的总统与继任者一起前往就职典礼。“我们现在已经习惯这种情况了，但遗憾的是，这种事今年不会发生，”研究就职典礼的历史学家吉姆·本达特(Jim Bendat)说。“这是一个重要的象征性时刻，表明新老双方可以和睦相处，即使他们属于不同的党派。”
A president whose term is ending is not required to attend the inauguration. In 1801, John Adams became the first president to shun the swearing-in ceremony of his successor, in this case Thomas Jefferson. After months falsely declaring that the 2020 election had been stolen, President Trump announced that he would not attend Mr. Biden’s inauguration.
任期即将结束的总统是不需要参加就职典礼的。1801年，约翰·亚当斯(John Adams)成为第一位没有参加继任者托马斯·杰斐逊(Thomas Jefferson)宣誓就职仪式的总统。几个月来，特朗普一直谎称2020年的选举被人窃取，现在他宣布不会参加拜登的就职典礼。
Top hats were the traditional headgear of choice for many presidential inaugurations. But Dwight D. Eisenhower replaced it in 1953 with a homburg in a break with “official sartorial tradition,” The Times reported. Kennedy reverted to the traditional hat in 1961, before it faded away as official garb.
高顶礼帽是许多总统参加就职典礼的传统帽子选择。但据时报报道，德怀特·D·艾森豪威尔(Dwight D. Eisenhower)在1953年用洪堡帽取代了它，打破了“官方服装传统”。1961年，肯尼迪又恢复了戴传统礼帽的习惯，后来帽子在官方服装中逐渐消失。
Kennedy was the first to add a poet to his inaugural events. The event did not go as planned. Robert Frost, then 86, had planned to read “The Preface,” verses he had composed for the occasion. But glare on the page made it difficult for him to see. “I am not having a good light here at all,” he said, according to The Times’s coverage of the event.
肯尼迪是第一个在就职典礼中加入诗人的人。那次活动没有按照计划进行。当时86岁的罗伯特·弗罗斯特(Robert Frost)原计划朗读他为那次活动所作的《序言》(The Preface)一诗。但书页上的反光让他看不清楚。“我这里的光线一点都不好，”根据时报对这次活动的报道，他说。
Johnson tried to shade the manuscript with his top hat. But Frost instead put it aside and recited his poem “The Gift Outright,” which he knew by heart.
约翰逊试图用他的大礼帽挡住反光。但弗罗斯特却把它放在一边，背诵了他自己那首熟记于心的《全心的奉献》(The Gift Outright)。
Amanda Gorman, who in 2017 became the first National Youth Poet Laureate, will read at this year’s ceremony.
Over the years, most presidents took the oath with a hand on the Bible. Some chose a family Bible, as Jimmy Carter did, with the one used by Washington placed on the lectern. Theodore Roosevelt was an outlier in 1901. At a friend’s home after the assassination of William McKinley, he did not use one, but was sworn in with an “uplifted hand.”
多年来，大多数总统宣誓时都会将手放在《圣经》上。有些人选择自家的圣经，把华盛顿使用过的那本《圣经》放在讲台上，比如吉米·卡特(Jimmy Carter)。1901年的西奥多·罗斯福(Theodore Roosevelt)是个例外。威廉·麦金利(William McKinley)遇刺后，罗斯福在朋友家中，没有使用《圣经》，而是“举起手”宣誓就职。
Others have put their singular stamp on the gesture. Kennedy, the first Roman Catholic to be elected president, used a Catholic Bible. Johnson asked his wife, Lady Bird, to hold the Bible during the oath, making him the first to do so. And Mr. Obama used the Bible belonging to Abraham Lincoln. (Mr. Trump used the same Lincoln Bible in 2017.)
有些人为这个仪式留下了自己独特的印记。肯尼迪是第一位当选总统的罗马天主教徒，他使用的是天主教《圣经》。约翰逊要求妻子“小瓢虫”(Lady Bird)在他宣誓时手持圣经，他是第一个这样做的人。奥巴马使用了亚伯拉罕·林肯(Abraham Lincoln)的《圣经》。（特朗普在2017年也使用了那本林肯的《圣经》。）
Lincoln’s second inauguration, in 1865, was the first time African-Americans took part in an inaugural parade. Women participated in the inaugural parade for the first time in 1917, at the beginning of Woodrow Wilson’s second term. In 1977, Mr. Carter became the first to set out by foot for more than a mile on the route to the White House. Mr. Carter’s walk with his wife, Rosalynn, and their 9-year-old daughter, Amy, became a tradition that has been matched — in ceremony if not in length — by the presidents who followed.
James and Dolley Madison started the tradition of a White House reception and inaugural ball in 1809. Tickets were $4, or about $85 in current prices.
詹姆斯和多莉·麦迪逊(James and Dolley Madison)在1809年开创了白宫招待会和就职舞会的传统。当时的票价是4美元，按现在的价格计算约为85美元。
Inaugurations have reflected innovations in technology and industry. In 1921, Warren G. Harding was the first to ride to his inauguration in an automobile. Fast-forward to bulletproof, closed limousines, which made their appearance in 1965 under Johnson.
就职典礼反映了科技和工业的创新。1921年，沃伦·G·哈丁(Warren G. Harding)是第一个乘坐汽车前往就职典礼的人；其后快速发展到防弹、封闭的豪华轿车，1965年在约翰逊的就职典礼上亮相。
Audiences expanded with developments in technology. In 1845, James Polk’s inaugural address reached more people by telegraph. In 1897, McKinley’s inauguration was captured on a motion picture camera, and Calvin Coolidge’s in 1925 was transmitted on radio.
随着技术的发展，观众也在扩大。1845年，詹姆斯·波尔克(James Polk)的就职演说通过电报传播给了更多的人。1897年，麦金利的就职典礼使用了胶片摄影机拍摄，卡尔文·柯立芝(Calvin Coolidge)在1925年的就职典礼做了无线电播出。
Ronald Reagan, a former actor, had a television camera placed inside his limousine during the ride from the Capitol to the White House in 1985. And in 1997, Bill Clinton’s inauguration was the first to be streamed live on the internet.
前演员罗纳德·里根(Ronald Reagan)在1985年从国会大厦前往白宫的途中，在自己的豪华轿车里安装了一台电视摄像机。1997年，比尔·克林顿(Bill Clinton)的就职典礼首次在互联网上直播。
Some inaugural ceremonies have broken ground as family affairs. James Garfield’s mother attended his inauguration in 1881, setting a precedent. In 1923, Calvin Coolidge’s father, a justice of the peace in Vermont, administered the oath of office to his son. The first inauguration ceremony attended by both parents of the president-elect was Kennedy’s, in 1961. And George W. Bush’s ceremony in 2001 was the first and only time that a former president, George Bush, attended his son’s inauguration as president.