Why the inauguration of the US President is on January 20?

 


Newly elected US President Joe Biden is set to be sworn in on January 20 amid a tense situation. According to the rules, he will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on January 20 at noon. 

Outgoing, President Donald Trump was inaugurated four years ago on January 20, 2017. 

All the recent US presidents, including his predecessor Barack Obama, have been inaugurated on this special date. 

The question is why and since when is this custom of the inauguration of the new president being observed on this special day?


In all countries of the world, there are some special customs for changing the government. Different countries have different customs. Probably, there is no country which has precise customs as the United States have.

 As it stands in 2021, it is being said that the new President of the United States will be sworn in on January 20, 2025. 

Every step, from the country's general election to the swearing-in of a new president, is very precise.

The question is, why were the new presidents of the United States sworn in on January 20? The answer is the constitution. 

According to the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution, the new president will be sworn in at noon on January 20 of the year following the November election. 

The previous president will be in power till 11:59:59 on that day. He will not be in power after this period. This time, Donald Trump's presidency is officially ending on January 20 at noon.

If we calculate the time, the age of this custom has not even reached a hundred years. 
Franklin De Roosevelt was sworn in as the first US president on January 20, 1937. That was his second term. In his first term, he was sworn in on March 4, as mentioned in the constitution.

Since when is this custom? According to the research journal Live Science, the practice is less than a hundred years old.

 Franklyn De Roosevelt was sworn in as the first US president on January 20, 1936. That was his second term. In his first term, he was sworn in on March 4, as mentioned in the constitution. 

And all of his predecessors were sworn in on March 4, following the constitutions of 1789.

The question is, why is there such a big break in the swearing-in of the new president since the election? 

There are two main reasons for this decision. The first reason sounds a little weird at this time but true.




 That time, it was a time-consuming matter for a newly elected president to come to Washington to take power. 

Earlier the communication system was quite bad. As a result, a long time is allotted for this trip so that it is not difficult for someone from far away to come and take power. 

The second reason is the main one, and that is the process of transfer of power. The transfer of power requires a period from the outgoing administration to the new administration, the formation of a new administration's cabinet and the appointment of the entire administration. 

The technology was not advanced before. As a result, after the election, the process of handing over power was completed and four months was set for taking the oath.

But America confronted the actual problem in 1861. As Abraham Lincoln assumed power in March of that year, the defeat of the US in that ongoing civil war was almost certain. 

This same situation had to be faced seven decades later in 1933. Franklin D. Roosevelt took power from former President Herbert Hoover at the time of the Great Depression. 

The situation was so bad that people were anxiously waiting for the transfer of power.


The "So Help Me God" section is no longer being read during the swearing-in ceremony due to a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court before former President Barack Obama was sworn in in 2009. Although it is customary for the Chief Justice to administer the oath, there is no constitutional obligation to do so.


For the first time that year, this long break appeared as a big problem. The 20th amendment to the constitution was introduced, where January 20 was mentioned as the day of the inauguration of the new president.

 However, there is an exception in this case. If January 20 of any year falls on a Sunday, the rest of the formalities will be taken up the next day, even if the president is sworn in. 

The last such incident took place in 2013 during Barack Obama's second term.

According to the US government website, since the term of office of the outgoing president is exactly that afternoon, attempts have been made to resolve the issue of swearing in very close to him so that no leadership vacuum is created. 

Since then, there has been no deviation from this rule except in a state of emergency. The oath has not changed, which is mentioned in Section 1 of Article 2 of the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution. 




However, due to a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court before former President Barack Obama was sworn in in 2009, the "So Help Me God" section is no longer read during the swearing-in ceremony. 

Although it is customary for the Chief Justice to read this oath, there is no constitutional obligation in this case.

With this 35-word oath, Joe Biden will take over the top position in the world's most powerful country on January 20. 

The very short oath contains, ‘I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. "-just these words.

 However, the oath will be taken by Kamala Harris as vice president is longer than that. The president may or may not touch the Bible if he wants to. 

There are no instructions in this case. However, most US presidents swear by the Bible or a similar book or text. 

Shortly after the swearing-in ceremony, the outgoing president left the venue with the First Lady.




This year, due to the Corona pandemic and the January 6 attack on Capitol Hill by Donald Trump supporters, the scope of the inauguration ceremony was cut short, but it is usually held on the open stage in front of the West Front on Capitol Hill. 

The new type of program was announced on December 15. At that time it was informed that this time the program is not open for the common people like before. 

Thus one has to register to attend the inauguration, which is controlled by Congress. 

Anyone can collect free tickets through members of Congress in their area. The inaugural congressional committee decides how many people will be able to attend. 

Based on that calculation, tickets are allocated against different areas, which are distributed by the concerned members of Congress. This time everyone has already been instructed to stay at home.

However, staying at home does not mean not attending the inauguration ceremony. The virtual show can be seen.

 And there are broadcasters like CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, MSNBC and Fox, who will show the inauguration live. This time we have to meet the expectations by watching this live program.

 Various splendid ceremonies before the inauguration have been cancelled. Many things have been cancelled, including dinners with dignitaries, full rehearsals for the inauguration. 

The range of the presidential parade has also been reduced. There will be no crowds on either side of the road during the parade. 

Those who will still have the good fortune to be at the venue will have a mask on their face. And there is the matter of adhering to a distance of six feet as a physical distance.

Who bears the cost of this magnificent event? Naturally, a part of it comes from the taxpayers.

 The rest comes from separately collected grants. In this case, the congressional committee for the inauguration, the presidential inauguration committee, the federal government and the state and local governments jointly bear the cost.

 This time the cost will undoubtedly be much lower as the range is smaller. 




However, even if the main event is small, there will not be many obstacles in the way of fireworks or the joy of the citizens. 

If security is assured, there is not much to say about it. In the new situation, this year's inauguration ceremony will be significant in many ways. 

Because, this time, the world will probably not see the honourable and glorious farewell of the outgoing President Donald Trump, including the First Lady, which has always been considered as an iconic scene in the change of US presidency.



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