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First President George Washington administered oath of office at Federal Hall in New York City

April 30, 2023

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 30 of April, repeating indefinitely

On this day in 1789, George Washington became our first U.S. president as he was administered the oath of office at Federal Hall in New York City. ⁠

Washington appeared on the balcony of Federal Hall in a plain brown suit, solemnly recited the oath of office over the Bible, and, in a mark of servitude to the new nation, bowed to the crowd of 10,000 watching. He then entered the Hall’s Senate chamber to deliver the first inaugural address.⁠

Did you know? Onlookers reported that George Washington was visibly nervous during the ceremonies, speaking quietly and modestly. He understood the enormity of the American experiment that his new government was undertaking. ⁠

In contrast to later presidents, who often attend balls in their honor on the night of the inauguration, Washington dined alone at the presidential mansion, emerging to watch the celebratory fireworks with his aides. ⁠

By the end of the momentous day, so many people had swarmed the streets in the celebration that our first president was forced to exit his carriage and walk home!

Federal Hall, N.Y. 1789, Amos Doolittle, 1790 ⁠


April 30, 2023
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