When Barack Obama’s second term as president begins on January 20, 2013, it will mark only the seventh time in our nation’s history that Inauguration Day has fallen on a Sunday.  Traditionally, official inaugural ceremonies have not been held on Sundays.

In two of the instances of a Sunday inauguration days, the president-elect has postponed the oath of office until the next day, while in the other four cases, they were sworn in during a private ceremony on Sunday (or Saturday in one case), followed by a public ceremony on Monday.

Postponed Oath of Office:

  • James Monroe on Monday, March 5, 1821 (second term)
  • Zachary Taylor on Monday, March 5, 1849 (first term)

Dual Oath of Office:

  • Rutherford Hayes on Saturday, March 3, 1877 in private and on Monday, March 5, 1877 in public (first term)
  • Woodrow Wilson on Sunday, March 4, 1917 in private and on Monday, March 5, 1917 in public (second term)
  • Dwight Eisenhower on Sunday, January 20, 1957 in private and on Monday, January 21, 1957 in public (second term) 
  • Ronald Reagan on Sunday, January 20, 1985 in private and on Monday, January 21, 1985 in public (second term)   

Obama:  President Obama will be sworn in for a second term at noon on Sunday, January 20, 2013 in a private ceremony, to be followed by the public ceremonies on Monday, January 21, 2013. 

Mike Purdy’s Presidential History Blog 
© 2012 by Michael E. Purdy