Dig into this treasure trove of presidential inauguration websites and resources. Scroll through or click a category to jump ahead.

Historic Presidential Inauguration Websites and Web Articles
Presidential Inaugural Speech Websites and Web Articles
Teacher Resources: Online Information, Lesson Plans, and Student Activity Ideas
Presidential Inauguration Quizzes

Historic Presidential Inauguration Websites and Web Articles

“I Do Solemnly Swear . . .”: Presidential Inaugurations

Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administers oath of office to President Barack Obama during official swearing-in ceremony in Blue Room of White House on Inauguration Day, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013. First Lady Michelle Obama, holding Robinson family Bible, and daughters Malia and Sasha stand with President. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson: https://obamawhitehouse.archives.gov/photos-and-video/photogallery/inauguration-president-barack-obama-and-vice-president-joe-biden)

This outstanding site is the Library of Congress’ online collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files relating to inaugurations from George Washington’s in 1789 to Barack Obama’s inauguration of 2009. This presentation includes diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music.


A Brief History of Presidential Inaugurations

The White House Historical Society’s excellent site has information about the ceremonies and social galas related to presidential inaugurations.


Presidential Inaugurations: The Capitol Connection

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society provides information about the Capitol’s unique role in presidential inaugurations throughout history.


Smithsonian Presidential Inaugural Photographs

The Smithsonian Photographic Services search service enables you to search and display photos of presidential inaugurals.


First Lady Inaugural Fashions

This PBS website offers several views of former first ladies’ inaugural gowns.


Inauguration Highlights

This History News Network website hosted by George Mason University offers many categories and lists of information regarding past inaugurals, including the longest and shortest inaugural addresses, stories of inaugurals that suffered bad weather, examples of embarrassing statements, and lists of “outstanding sights” at an inaugural. This is a perfect site for creating your own inauguration trivia quiz!


“Indians on the Inaugural March”

This article on the Smithsonian website describes how six Indian Chiefs marched in the inaugural parade of Theodore Roosevelt to represent their tribes, at Roosevelt’s request.


“Lincoln’s Second Inauguration”

This article by Philip Van Doren Stern on the American Heritage website provides details about Abraham Lincoln’s second inauguration.


Presidential Inaugurations and Customs

The “History of Capitol Hill” section of the Architect of the Capitol website provides a list of inaugurations by date and president with accompanying notes about firsts and customs.


Presidential Inaugural Speech Websites and Web Articles

The Avalon Project at Yale Law School

President Donald Trump being sworn in on January 20, 2017 at U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C, with First Lady Melania Trump and son Barron by his side. Trump holds his left hand on two versions of Bible, one childhood Bible given to him by his mother, along with Abraham Lincoln’s Bible. (Official White House photo: https://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse/photos/a.1199645353456529.1073741828.1191441824276882/1199654763455588/?type=3&theater)

Inaugural addresses of all the presidents starting from George Washington and includes Obama’s 2009 inaugural address.


The American Presidency Project

Contains inaugural address texts, audio, and videos of a number of inaugural addresses, including both inaugural addresses of Barack Obama and the address of Donald Trump.


“Absence of Malice”

This article by Historian Ronald C. White, Jr. on the Smithsonian website asserts that Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address was his greatest speech, even better than the Gettysburg Address.


“The Second Inaugural Address (1865): Restoring the American Union”

This comprehensive lesson plan for grades 9-12 on the EDSITEment website covers Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address with background information, questions, activities, and an assessment.


“The Origin of the VA Motto: Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address”

This article by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explains the origins of the VA’s mission and motto.


Teacher Resources: Online Information, Lesson Plans, and Student Activity Ideas

The National Endowment for the Humanities EDSITEment Website

Information, activities, and discussion questions related to the presidential inauguration and the presidency. Excellent site for educators!


The Library of Congress: Primary Sources

Teacher resources for exploring presidential inaugurations with Library of Congress primary sources.



Inaugural lesson plan and activities.


Presidential Inauguration Quizzes

The National Archive

Try out the presidential inaugural quiz and see how you do!


The Washington Post

Test your knowledge about past presidential inaugurations in this online history quiz.


For information on individual presidents’ inaugurations, investigate the presidential library listings in the NCBLA’s “Field Trip Guide! Presidential Birthplaces, House, and Libraries.”

©2020 Mary Brigid Barrett; The National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance