Where Is The Swearing-In? The Inauguration Ceremony Is A Longstanding Tradition
With less than a month to go before President Barack Obama's final year in Office ends, Washington is busying itself with preparations for the inauguration of America's 58th president. While President-elect Donald Trump's Inaugural Committee may be having a hard time nailing down performers for the event, one aspect of the weekend will take place in a very traditional location. So, where will Trump be sworn in as president?
According to the "finalized" schedule of inaugural weekend celebrations released Dec. 21 by Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, Trump will be sworn in as president on Jan. 20 in a ceremony at Capitol Hill. But not just anywhere in the Capitol will do. Tradition dictates Trump will be sworn in on the inaugural platform, which will be erected by the Architect of the Capitol on the Capitol's West Front.
The inaugural platform is constructed from scratch in a stadium design every four years by the Architect of the Capitol. Despite its large size, the platform takes just a few months to erect. Following the inauguration, the platform is carefully deconstructed and the lumber is donated to local charities with a focus on housing projects.
The tradition of swearing in presidents at the U.S. Capitol Building dates back to 1789 when George Washington was sworn in at Federal Hall, the nation's first Capitol, in New York. Andrew Jackson began the tradition of holding presidential inaugurations outdoors at what is currently known as the U.S. Capitol in 1829. In 1981 the presidential inauguration ceremonies were moved to the Capitol's West Front, where they continue to be held today.
While the pomp and circumstance of presidential inaugurations has evolved over the years, Trump's inaugural weekend may not feature the high-profile performers past presidents have secured. So far Trump's list of inaugural performers included the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Rockettes, and classical singer Jackie Evancho. Tom Barrack, the chairman of Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committe said the 2017 inauguration would "reflect President-elect Trump's eagerness to get to work," according to the Hill.
Despite the lack of A-listers on the guest list, Trump's inaugural committee has dismissed rumors the president-elect was struggling to attrack celebrities or major musical artists to his inauguration weekend. "There is no truth to this insinuation," Vanity Fair reported Boris Epshteyn, the communications director for Trump's Presidential Inaugural Committee, said. "First-class entertainers are eager to participate in the inaugural events. The inauguration as a whole will be an exciting and uniting celebration of freedom and democracy."