Image courtesy of Library of Congress
The purposefully subdued fourth inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt garnered a crowd of only 5,000 versus 100,000 at his first inauguration.
On this date, the White House hosted President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s fourth inauguration
and disregarded the tradition of using the U.S. Capitol. With the country still at war in Europe and in the Pacific, Roosevelt and the Joint Committee on the Inauguration chose to scale back the festivities for Roosevelt’s fourth ceremony in 12 years. General spectators were not able to view the inaugural without one of the limited tickets (two tickets were granted to each Member of Congress). However, the Joint Committee provided an overflow area open to the general public where the President’s address could be heard over a public address system. Washington reporters tried to dissuade the public from attending the ceremony and jokingly informed their readers, “Don’t infuriate your Congressman,” by asking for tickets or assistance with travel. Since the first inauguration of President George Washington
, in the then-capital city of New York in 1789, Congress has traditionally hosted the President for the administration of the oath of office.