George Washington’s First Inauguration

George Washington is shown taking the oath of office of Federal Hall. Undated color illustration.

George Washington is shown taking the oath of office on the balcony of Federal Hall.

On this day, April 30, in 1789, George Washington was first inaugurated into office becoming the first President of the United States after the ratification of the Constitution.

The inauguration took place on the balcony of Federal Hall in New York City. It was our first U.S. Capitol and the site of the First United States Congress. Washington took the oath of office, administered by Chancellor of New York Robert Livingston in full view of a crowded street.

After administering the oath, Livingston shouted, “Long live George Washington, President of the United States!” The crowd responded with cheers and a 13-gun salute.

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