Special Inaugural Public Programs and Display at National Archives
Press Release · Sunday, January 25, 2009

Press Release
December 30, 2008

Special Inaugural Public Programs and Display at the National Archives

Washington, DC…In January, the National Archives will present a series of free public programs on Presidential transitions including a special display of original documents in celebration of the peaceful transfer of political power that occurs in our country every four years. The programs will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, which is located on the National Mall at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. Metro station: Archives/Navy Memorial. For more information call 202-357-5000, or visit the National Archives web site (

Special Note: On January 20 beginning at 11:30 a.m., the Inaugural swearing-in ceremony and parade will be shown live in the William G. McGowan Theater.

Inaugural Exhibition Taking the Oath — January 12-January 25, 2009
Rotunda Galleries
A small display highlighting the evolution of the Presidential oath of office and the procedures that developed for taking the oath. The first printed draft of the Constitution, with notes in George Washington’s handwriting, shows an early version of the Presidential oath of office. Other letters, including one from President George Washington to his Cabinet asking for their recommendations for procedures for his inauguration in 1793, slowly established the precedents for today’s ceremony.

From the Vaults:  Presidential Inaugurations — January 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, at noon
In celebration of the 2009 Presidential inauguration, the Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film presents a selection of archival film and video related to the ceremonial inaugural events that occur every four years. Drawn from the holdings of the National Archives’ Presidential Libraries, the programs will feature historical footage of Presidents Herbert Hoover through William Clinton.

Schedule (subject to change)

Tuesday, January 13
Herbert Hoover Inaugurated, 1929
Excerpt from The Open Mind:  March 4th, 1933—FDR’s First Inaugural
President Truman’s Inauguration, 1948
Total Running Time: 80 minutes

Wednesday, January 14
Inauguration 1953 (Dwight Eisenhower)
CBS Coverage of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural, 1961
Total Running Time: 90 minutes

Thursday, January 15
Inauguration of the President and Vice President of the United States, 1965 (Lyndon B. Johnson)
The Inaugural Story 1969 (Richard Nixon)
Total Running Time: 90 minutes

Friday, January 16
Swearing-In of Gerald R. Ford as President, August 9, 1974
Inaugural Events, 1977 (Jimmy Carter)
President Reagan’s Inaugural Ceremony, 1981
Total Running Time: 120 minutes

Monday, January 19
Inauguration of George Herbert Walker Bush, 1989
William Jefferson Clinton Inaugural Ceremony, 1993

Total Running Time: 120 minutes

The White House: Moving Out/Moving In — Thursday, January 15, at 7 p.m.
How does a first family prepare to move into the White House? How does a President-elect plan to govern from day one—and through his first 100 days? What role does the outgoing President play in assisting the newcomers, and where do his official papers go? More than ever, the need for an organized transition is critical. A panel of scholars and former White House staff will discuss keys to a successful White House transition. Panelists include Ann Stock, social secretary, Clinton administration; Gary Walters, White House chief usher, 1986–2007; Sharon Fawcett, Assistant Archivist for Presidential Libraries, National Archives; Martha Joynt Kumar, Towson University; Roger Porter, Harvard University and economic adviser to Ford, Reagan, and George H.W. Bush; John Burke, University of Vermont; and Terry Sullivan, UNC-Chapel Hill and Presidential Transition Project, The James A. Baker Institute. Presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association.

To Serve the President: Continuity and Innovation in the White House Staff — Friday, January 23, at noon
To most Americans, the White House staff and its works are largely unknown. A few senior staff members are in the public eye, but the vast majority of staffers do their indispensable work completely behind the scenes. Join us today as author and former White House staff member Bradley H. Patterson discusses his book To Serve the President and offers an insightful look at how the 135 offices of the White House staff support the President of the United States and help to shape and focus Presidential power.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-357-5300.


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