Birth of the Nation: The First Federal Congress, 1789-1791 | Next Page
An Imperial Presidency?
Joint Committee report on the Ceremonial for the Presidential Inauguration
Joint Committee report on the Ceremonial for the Inauguration of the President, April 29, 1789
(Courtesy of the Library of Congress)
Text transcript of the committee's report.

A joint committee planned a respectful yet simple ceremony for administering the oath of office to Washington. The new president chose to wear a brown suit of American-made cloth rather than his military uniform. This struck just the note that the majority in Congress was anxious to have heard. The leader of the new government should be held in high esteem but not worshipped. He would be a strong leader, chosen from among the people.

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