1957 Presidential Inauguration

Oath of Office

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution set January 20th as the official inaugural date. Because January 20, 1957 fell on a Sunday, President Eisenhower took the oath of office for his second term in a private White House ceremony. He repeated the oath and was formally inaugurated again in public on Monday, January 21 at the inaugural ceremonies held on the east portico of the White House. The oath was administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren both times.

Ronald Reagan followed the same scenario in 1985 after winning re-election. January 20 falls on a Sunday four times in the twenty-first century; 2013, 2041, 2069, and 2097. It always occurs every 28 years.

Private Inaugural Ceremony Held on January 20, 1957

Private inaugural ceremony held on January 20, 1957.
Photo 67-142-4, Naval Photographic Center, Public Domain

Formal Inaugural Ceremony on January 21, 1957

Formal inaugural ceremony on January 21, 1957.
Photo 68-349-14, National Park Service, Public Domain

Inaugural Parade

In the afternoon 750,000 spectators watched a three and one-half hour parade over a three-mile route. Marching in the parade were 17,000 people, including 11,757 in military service. There were 47 marching units, 52 bands, and 10 drum and bugle corps in the inaugural parade. The highlight of the parade was a mammoth float - 408 feet long and mounted on 164 wheels - which introduced the theme "Liberty and Strength Through Consent of the Governed."

Presdient Eisenhower Waves to the Crowd

President Eisenhower waves to the crowd.
Photo 68-349-7, National Park Service, Public Domain

Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon Watching Inaugural Parade with Children

Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon watching inaugural parade with Anne and David Eisenhower and Jul
Photo 72-2063-85, National Park Service, Public Domain

Inaugural Ball

Four inaugural balls were held in the evening at the Armory, the Mayflower Hotel, the Statler Hotel, and the Sheraton-Park Hotel.

Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower Attend the Inaugural Ball With John and Barbara Eisenhower

Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower attend the Inaugural Ball with John and Barbara Eisenhower.
Photo 68-349-9, National Park Service, Public Domain

1957 Inaugural Trivia

  • First time that a president was inaugurated for a term limited by the Constitution (22nd Amendment).
  • First presidential luncheon, held in the Old Supreme Court Chamber (S-228) in the Capitol.
  • For the 1957 Inaugural Parade, grandstands located along the line of march accommodated 65,800 persons; 2,900 more than in 1953.
  • January 20, 1957 Private ceremony in East Room, White House. Oath administered by Chief Justice Earl Warren.
  • January 21, 1957 Public ceremony on East Portico, U.S. Capitol. Oath administered by Chief Earl Warren.
  • Temperature: 44 degrees, light snow in the early morning, cloudy skies with a few flurries in the mid afternoon.
  • The Bible was open to the following passage during the 1957 Inauguration: Psalm 33, Verse 12

Presidential Inaugurations

Library of Congress

Materials Available - Documents, Photographs, Essays, Video

A Collection of approximately four hundred items or two thousand digital files relating to inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to the present. This presentation includes diaries and letters of Presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music.