The history of Inauguration Day throughout the years

Wednesday's Inauguration of President-Elect Joe Biden looked and felt different than years in the past, but some things weren't new.

Posted: Jan 20, 2021 8:04 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. - Inauguration Day and the events leading up to it will no doubt go in history books. Some people have never experienced a transition of power like this one and for others, it's nothing new.

If we take a look back at the dozens of Inaugurations throughout the years, no two look exactly the same. The Constitution states what date the Inauguration has to happen on and what oath the president is supposed to take. Everything else is based on tradition, meaning the president elect can start a new one. The day is essentially known as a celebration for Americans. This year though, they have a global pandemic to be cautious of and security is on high alert after the chaos that took place on January 6th. However, that was a similar sight in the 1860's after the Civil War.

Abby Currier from the History Center of Olmsted County explained even though the event will look different, we can learn from it and have a better understanding of what to do in the future. "It's important to remember that while we may disagree on different policy things, it's still important to know that we live in a Democracy and that there was an election, one person won and it's important to maintain that and maintain the transition of power," she said. "And make sure that's done peacefully."

The parade and the Inaugural Ball are two traditions that have stuck throughout the years. Because of the pandemic though, they went virtual. Currier said the meaning behind the celebrations haven't changed. "While there's a lot of new things, there's also several things we've seen before and we've lived through," she explained. "So just being able to gather together and really doing what's right and what's supposed to protect our Democracy is what's going to get us through it."

Inauguration Day used to be on March 4th. But as technology grew, it reduced the time needed to count all the votes, so they didn't need four months between Election Day and Inauguration Day. Then the 20th Amendment passed, moving Inauguration Day up and Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first president to be sworn in on the new date in 1937. The last U.S. President who refused to attend his successor's inauguration was Andrew Johnson, 152 years ago. Presidents Trump and Johnson also share something else as well, they are two of just three U.S. Presidents to be impeached.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 7333
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1221311726
Ramsey51028871
Dakota45667448
Anoka41421437
Washington26724281
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St. Louis17682302
Scott17201124
Wright15943139
Olmsted1319098
Sherburne1160286
Carver1044945
Clay812792
Rice8014106
Blue Earth746141
Crow Wing660988
Kandiyohi652083
Chisago592551
Otter Tail572978
Benton565997
Goodhue475772
Douglas464674
Mower464032
Winona452950
Itasca432254
McLeod421658
Isanti417364
Morrison417360
Nobles407248
Beltrami392458
Steele384915
Polk382468
Becker378850
Lyon359850
Carlton344153
Freeborn341129
Pine326722
Nicollet323843
Brown304640
Mille Lacs302452
Le Sueur289222
Todd280632
Cass269628
Meeker254340
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Martin229831
Roseau207919
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Redwood172936
Houston171515
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Murray10609
Swift104918
Stevens90211
Marshall88017
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Lake80819
Wilkin80712
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Grant5678
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Norman5399
Unassigned48793
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Traverse3685
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Cook1610

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 366197

Reported Deaths: 5929
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk57488623
Linn20814334
Scott19960240
Black Hawk15785308
Woodbury15121228
Johnson1445783
Dubuque13355209
Dallas1116198
Pottawattamie11091168
Story1059248
Warren575888
Clinton554393
Cerro Gordo538089
Sioux513874
Webster512193
Marshall482175
Muscatine477499
Des Moines454366
Wapello4297122
Buena Vista424540
Jasper418672
Plymouth400680
Lee375055
Marion361775
Jones298157
Henry291137
Carroll285452
Bremer283960
Crawford265840
Boone263934
Benton256055
Washington253950
Dickinson247843
Mahaska229951
Jackson221242
Clay215325
Kossuth215264
Delaware209240
Tama209271
Winneshiek196934
Page192622
Buchanan190731
Cedar189423
Hardin184943
Fayette184841
Wright184336
Hamilton179449
Harrison179373
Clayton169256
Butler164634
Mills161722
Madison161519
Floyd160342
Cherokee158738
Lyon157741
Poweshiek154733
Allamakee151151
Iowa148324
Hancock147634
Winnebago141731
Calhoun138113
Cass137954
Grundy136233
Emmet134040
Jefferson132435
Shelby130737
Sac130119
Union128133
Appanoose128049
Louisa127849
Mitchell126042
Chickasaw123915
Guthrie121030
Franklin119321
Humboldt118826
Palo Alto112523
Howard104522
Montgomery103338
Clarke99924
Unassigned9770
Keokuk95631
Monroe95129
Ida90334
Adair86432
Pocahontas85322
Davis82824
Monona82830
Osceola78516
Greene77610
Lucas77123
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