Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison

The inauguration of Benjamin Harrison as the 23rd President of the United States took place on Monday, March 4, 1889. The inauguration marked the commencement of the four-year term of Benjamin Harrison as President and Levi P. Morton as Vice President. Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administered the Oath of office while rain poured down.[1]

Harrison was 5' 6" tall, he was only slightly taller than James Madison, the shortest president, but much heavier; he was the fourth (and last) president to sport a full beard.[2] Harrison's Inauguration ceremony took place during a rainstorm in Washington D.C.. Outgoing U.S. President Grover Cleveland attended the ceremony and held an umbrella over Harrison's head as he took the oath of office.

His speech was brief – half as long as that of his grandfather, William Henry Harrison, whose speech holds the record for the longest inaugural address of a U.S. president.[3] In his speech, Benjamin Harrison credited the nation's growth to the influences of education and religion, urged the cotton states and mining territories to attain the industrial proportions of the eastern states and promised a protective tariff. Concerning commerce, he said, "If our great corporations would more scrupulously observe their legal obligations and duties, they would have less call to complain of the limitations of their rights or of interference with their operations."[4] Harrison also urged early statehood for the territories and advocated pensions for veterans, a statement that was met with enthusiastic applause. In foreign affairs, Harrison reaffirmed the Monroe Doctrine as a mainstay of foreign policy, while urging modernization of the Navy and a merchant marine force. He gave his commitment to international peace through noninterference in the affairs of foreign governments.

John Philip Sousa's Marine Corps band played at the Inaugural Ball inside the Pension Building with a large crowd attending.[5] After moving into the White House, Harrison noted, quite prophetically, "There is only a door – one that is never locked – between the president's office and what are not very accurately called his private apartments. There should be an executive office building, not too far away, but wholly distinct from the dwelling house. For everyone else in the public service there is an unroofed space between the bedroom and the desk."[6]

HARRISON, Benjamin-President (BEP engraved portrait)
BEP engraved portrait of Harrison as President
Presidential Inauguration of Benjamin Harrison
Harrison takes the oath of office.
DateMarch 4, 1889
LocationWashington, D.C.
United States Capitol
ParticipantsPresident Benjamin Harrison
Vice President Levi P. Morton

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 1.
  3. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 1–2.
  4. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 3.
  5. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, pp. 5–6.
  6. ^ Socolofsky & Spetter, p. 83.

External links

1888 United States presidential election

The United States presidential election of 1888 was the 26th quadrennial presidential election, held on Tuesday, November 6, 1888. Republican nominee Benjamin Harrison, a former Senator from Indiana, defeated incumbent Democratic President Grover Cleveland of New York. It was the third of five U.S. presidential elections in which the winner did not win a plurality or majority of the national popular vote.

Cleveland, the first Democratic president since the American Civil War, was unanimously re-nominated at the 1888 Democratic National Convention. He was the first incumbent president to win re-nomination since Grant was nominated to a second term in 1872. Harrison, the grandson of former President William Henry Harrison, emerged as the Republican nominee on the eighth ballot of the 1888 Republican National Convention. He defeated other prominent party leaders such as Senator John Sherman and former Governor Russell Alger.

Tariff policy was the principal issue in the election, as Cleveland had proposed a dramatic reduction in tariffs, arguing that high tariffs were unfair to consumers. Harrison took the side of industrialists and factory workers who wanted to keep tariffs high. Cleveland's opposition to Civil War pensions and inflated currency also made enemies among veterans and farmers. On the other hand, he held a strong hand in the South and border states, and appealed to former Republican Mugwumps.

Cleveland won a plurality of the popular vote, but Harrison won the election with a majority in the Electoral College. Harrison swept almost the entire North and Midwest, and narrowly carried the swing states of New York and Indiana.

Benjamin Harrison

Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 – March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd president of the United States from 1889 to 1893. He was a grandson of the ninth president, William Henry Harrison, creating the only grandfather–grandson duo to have held the office. He was also the great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, a founding father. Before ascending to the presidency, Harrison had established himself as a prominent local attorney, Presbyterian church leader, and politician in Indianapolis, Indiana. During the American Civil War, he served in the Union Army as a colonel, and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as a brevet brigadier general of volunteers in 1865. Harrison unsuccessfully ran for governor of Indiana in 1876. The Indiana General Assembly elected Harrison to a six-year term in the U.S. Senate, where he served from 1881 to 1887.

A Republican, Harrison was elected to the presidency in 1888, defeating the Democratic incumbent, Grover Cleveland. Hallmarks of Harrison's administration included unprecedented economic legislation, including the McKinley Tariff, which imposed historic protective trade rates, and the Sherman Antitrust Act. Harrison also facilitated the creation of the national forest reserves through an amendment to the Land Revision Act of 1891. During his administration six western states were admitted to the Union. In addition, Harrison substantially strengthened and modernized the U.S. Navy and conducted an active foreign policy, but his proposals to secure federal education funding as well as voting rights enforcement for African Americans were unsuccessful.

Due in large part to surplus revenues from the tariffs, federal spending reached one billion dollars for the first time during his term. The spending issue in part led to the defeat of the Republicans in the 1890 mid-term elections. Cleveland defeated Harrison for re-election in 1892, due to the growing unpopularity of the high tariff and high federal spending. Harrison returned to private life and his law practice in Indianapolis. In 1899 Harrison represented the Republic of Venezuela in their British Guiana boundary dispute against the United Kingdom. Harrison traveled to the court of Paris as part of the case and after a brief stay returned to Indianapolis. He died at his home in Indianapolis in 1901 of complications from influenza. Although many have praised Harrison's commitment to African Americans' voting rights, scholars and historians generally regard his administration as below-average, and rank him in the bottom half among U.S. presidents. Historians, however, have not questioned Harrison's commitment to personal and official integrity.

Edward A. Stevenson

For the New York politician, see Edward A. Stevenson, Sr.Edward Augustus Stevenson (June 15, 1831 – July 6, 1895) was an American politician who was Governor of the Idaho Territory from 1885 to 1889. Stevenson was the first resident of Idaho Territory appointed to the position and the only Democrat to hold the office.

Stevenson's political career began in California where he held a variety of political positions including Speaker pro Tempore of the California State Legislature. After moving to Idaho Territory he remained active in politics until his appointment as governor. As governor, Stevenson exerted most of his efforts lobbying for the territory to be granted statehood.

James Reavis

James Addison Reavis (May 10, 1843 – November 27, 1914), later using the name James Addison Peralta-Reavis, the so-called Baron of Arizona, was an American forger and fraudster. He is best known in association with the Peralta land grant, also known as the Barony of Arizona, a pair of fraudulent land claims which, if certified, would have granted him ownership over 18,600 square miles (48,200 km2) of land in central Arizona Territory and western New Mexico Territory. During the course of the fraud, Reavis collected an estimated US$5.3 million in cash and promissory notes ($160 million in present-day terms) through the sale of quitclaims and proposed investment plans.Under the terms of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo and the Gadsden Purchase, the United States was required to recognize and honor existing land grants made by either the Spanish or Mexican governments. Reavis utilized this provision by manufacturing a fictional claim and then generating a collection of documents demonstrating how the claim came into his possession. The documents were then covertly inserted into various records archives. In his initial claim, Reavis claimed title to the grant via a series of conveyances. When serious challenges to this claim developed, Reavis developed a second claim by marrying the purported last surviving lineal descendant of the original claim recipient.

During the course of his deception, Reavis managed to convince a number of prominent persons to support his efforts. He obtained legal and political support from Roscoe Conkling, Robert G. Ingersoll and James Broadhead. Business leaders such as Charles Crocker and John W. Mackay in turn provided financial support. Initial exposure of the fraud occurred when an unfavorable Surveyor General report caused the claim to be summarily dismissed. In response to this action, Reavis sued the U.S. government for US$11 million in damages ($331 million in present-day terms). The suit in turn prompted the U.S. government to perform a detailed investigation that fully exposed the forgeries Reavis had planted in a variety of locations.

John Eliot Bowen

John Eliot Bowen (June 8, 1858 – January 3, 1890) was an American author.

List of joint sessions of the United States Congress

As of January 2019, there have been 450 joint sessions and joint meetings of the United States Congress.

Living presidents of the United States

This article shows the variation in the number of living presidents of the United States from the inauguration of the first president of the United States in 1789 until the present. The following table includes all persons who have taken the presidential oath of office. (Persons who served as Acting President of the United States or as President of the Continental Congress are not included.) Currently, in addition to the incumbent, Donald Trump, there are four living former presidents: Jimmy Carter (1977–1981), Bill Clinton (1993–2001), George W. Bush (2001–2009), and Barack Obama (2009–2017).

Oath of office of the President of the United States

The oath of office of the President of the United States is the oath or affirmation that the President of the United States takes after assuming the presidency but before carrying out any duties of the office. The wording of the oath is specified in Article II, Section One, Clause 8, of the United States Constitution.

This clause is one of two oath or affirmation clauses, but it alone actually specifies the words that must be spoken. The other, Article VI, Clause 3, simply requires the persons specified therein to "be bound by oath or affirmation, to support this Constitution." The presidential oath, on the other hand, requires much more than this general oath of allegiance and fidelity. This clause enjoins the new president to swear or affirm that he "will to the best of his ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

Presidency of Benjamin Harrison

The presidency of Benjamin Harrison began on March 4, 1889, when Benjamin Harrison was inaugurated as President of the United States, and ended on March 4, 1893. Harrison, a Republican, took office as the 23rd United States president after defeating Democratic incumbent President Grover Cleveland in the 1888 election. Four years later he was defeated for re-election by Cleveland in the 1892 presidential election. Harrison is the only president to be preceded and succeeded by the same individual. Harrison is also the only president to be the grandson of another president.

Harrison and the Republican-controlled 51st Congress enacted the most ambitious domestic agenda of the late-nineteenth century. Hallmarks of his administration include the McKinley Tariff, which imposed historic protective trade rates, and the Sherman Antitrust Act, which empowered the federal government to investigate and prosecute trusts. Due in large part to surplus revenues from the tariffs, federal spending reached one billion dollars for the first time during his term. Harrison facilitated the creation of the National Forests through an amendment to the Land Revision Act of 1891, and substantially strengthened and modernized the Navy. He proposed, in vain, federal education funding as well as voting rights enforcement for African Americans during his administration. In foreign policy, Harrison sought tariff reciprocity in Latin America and increased U.S. influence across the Pacific. Harrison's presidency saw the addition of six new states, more than any other president.

Although many have praised Harrison's commitment to African Americans' voting rights, scholars and historians generally regard his administration as below-average, and rank him in the bottom half among U.S. presidents. Historians, however, have not questioned Harrison's commitment to personal and official integrity. With his ambitious domestic policy and assertive foreign policy, Harrison set a precedent for the more powerful presidencies of the 20th century.

United States presidential inauguration

The inauguration of the President of the United States is a ceremony to mark the commencement of a new four-year term of the President of the United States. This ceremony takes place for each new presidential term, even if the president is continuing in office for a second term. Since 1937, it has taken place on January 20, which is 72 to 78 days after the November presidential election (on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November). The term of a president commences at noon ("EST" – Eastern Standard Time) on that day, when the Chief Justice of the United States administers the oath of office to the president. However, when January 20 falls on a Sunday, the chief justice administers the oath to the president on that day privately and then again in a public ceremony the next day, on Monday, January 21. The most recent presidential inauguration ceremony was the swearing in of Donald Trump to a four-year term of office on Friday, January 20, 2017.

Recitation of the presidential oath of office is the only component in this ceremony mandated by the United States Constitution (in Article II, Section One, Clause 8). However, over the years, various traditions have arisen that have expanded the inauguration from a simple oath-taking ceremony to a day-long event, including parades and multiple social gatherings. The ceremony itself is carried live via the major U.S. commercial television and cable news networks; various ones also stream it live on their websites.

Since the 1981 inauguration of Ronald Reagan, the ceremony has been held at the west front of the United States Capitol facing the National Mall with its iconic Washington Monument and distant Lincoln Memorial. Other swearing-in ceremonies have taken place on a platform over the steps at the Capitol's east portico on a regular basis for 180 years, and occasionally inside the Old Senate Chamber on the old north side, the chamber of the House of Representatives in the south wing, and the central Rotunda under the dome. Additionally, on two occasions—in 1817 and 1945—they were held at the Executive Mansion, (later known as the White House).

Though it is not a constitutional requirement, the Chief Justice typically administers the presidential oath of office. Since 1789, the oath has been administered at 58 scheduled public inaugurations, by 15 chief justices, one associate justice, and one New York state judge. Others, in addition to the chief justice, have administered the oath of office to several of the nine vice presidents who succeeded to the presidency upon their predecessor's death or resignation intra-term. When a new president has assumed office under these unusual circumstances the inauguration has been conducted without pomp or fanfare.

United States presidential transition

United States presidential transition is the transfer of federal executive branch power from the incumbent President of the United States to the president-elect, during the period of time between election day in November (on the first Tuesday after November 1), and inauguration day on the following January 20. At its heart, a single step—taking the presidential oath of office—accomplishes this transfer. However, a successful transition between the outgoing, or "lame duck" administration and the incoming administration begins with pre-election planning and continues through inauguration day. It involves key personnel from the outgoing and incoming presidents’ staffs, requires resources, and includes a host of activities, such as vetting candidates for positions in the new administration, helping to familiarize the incoming administration with the operations of the executive branch, and developing a comprehensive policy platform.In accordance with the Pre-Election Presidential Transition Act of 2010, candidate transition teams are provided office space by the General Services Administration (GSA). Transition teams are also eligible for government funding for staff. For example, spending on Mitt Romney's transition team in 2012 was $8.9 million, all funds appropriated by the U.S. government.Under existing federal law and custom, the successful party's nominee becomes eligible to receive classified national security briefings once his/her nomination is formalized at the party's national convention.Presidential transitions have existed in one form or another since 1797, when George Washington handed over the presidency to John Adams. Some have gone smoothly, many have been bumpy and a few verged on catastrophic. Formal mechanisms to facilitate them were first enshrined in law in the Presidential Transitions Act of 1963. They are one of the least public but most important parts of any presidential election. With only 72 to 78 days between election day and inauguration day, good governance experts and recent federal officials have been pushing for candidates to start planning a potential administration earlier and earlier in the election calendar. The most recent transition was the Trump transition—the transition from the Obama administration to the Trump administration—which concluded on January 20, 2017, with the swearing in of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

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