On Monday, Jan. 21, Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation's 45th president (*OK, technically he was sworn in Sunday, Jan. 20—see note below). Although there is much protocol and tradition that goes along with presidential inaugurations, history shows there's a bit of wiggle room when it comes to things such as fashion and parade behavior.
For instance, did you know ...
- John F. Kennedy was the last president to attend his inauguration ceremony in a stovepipe hat.
- More on hats: As a U.S. Representative, Abraham Lincoln attended the inauguration of President Zachary Taylor—where he lost his hat in the crowd and never recovered it.
- John Quincy Adams was the first president to wear long trousers to his inauguration ceremony (breaking a tradition of colonial breeches).
- President Adams also famously refused to attend the swearing-in of his successor—Andrew Jackson—after an epically brutal campaign.
- During his Inaugural Parade, President Eisenhower was lassoed by a cowboy.
*A note about the actual swearing in date: Historically, Inaugural Ceremonies are not held on a Sunday because Courts and other public institutions are not open. This year, in accordance with the requirements of the United States Constitution, President Obama and Vice President Biden were officially sworn in on Sunday, January 20, 2013.