"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."
— Presidential Oath of Office, Article II, Section 1, United States Constitution
Proceedings associated with the Presidential elections and Inaugurations, almost routine after two centuries, were entirely new and untried following the Constitutional Convention of 1787.
The Constitution provides that the President be elected through an electoral college, with membership equal to the number of Senators and Representatives from each state. It authorizes Congress to determine when elections are held, when the Electoral College meets, and when the new President takes the oath of office.
The Constitution also requires that the President must be a native born citizen of the United States, have lived in this country for at least 14 years, and have attained the age of 35. It even specifies the oath of office that the new President should swear or affirm. Beyond that, the Constitution says nothing about the Inaugural ceremony.
The first Inauguration of George Washington occurred on April 30th, 1789, in front of New York's Federal Hall. Our nation's first President took the oath of office on a balcony overlooking Wall Street. With the ceremony complete, the crowd below let out three big cheers and President Washington returned to the Senate chamber to deliver his brief Inaugural address. He called upon "That Almighty Being who rules over the universe" to assist the American people in finding "liberties and happiness" under "a government instituted by themselves."
Want to know more? Click Here to learn more about the Presidential Swearing-In Ceremony and the history of the event.
Source: U.S. Senate Website