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Today in legal history...

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Washington was inaugurated as the first US president
Zachariah Rivenbark at 12:00 AM ET

On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath of office and became the first US president inaugurated under the Constitution. While Article II required that President Washington take an oath before entering office, the rest of the inauguration ceremony was not conducted under any constitutional requirement. A few days prior, John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president; Adams was selected for the office after receiving the second most votes in the presidential election as required by Article II. In 1804, the Twelfth Amendment removed the runner-up method of selection and instead required that the vice president be specifically elected to that office. In 1933, the Twenty-Second Amendment established January 20 as the date for future presidential inaugurations.

Learn more about US presidents and the US Constitution from the JURIST news archive.

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