Did you know that Inauguration Day used to take place in March?!?

Such a long period between the election and inauguration allowed time to tabulate votes and for congress and incoming administrations to travel to Washington D.C. Technological advances in both communication and transportation made the delay unnecessary and caused problems during the so called “Lame-duck” period. It wasn’t until the 1930s when States ratified the 20th Amendment that inauguration day changed to January 20th.

The first president to take office on the new date was Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1937. In the 1936 election, incumbent Franklin Delano Roosevelt defeated Kansas Governor Alf Landon winning his second presidential term. A cold, winter rain showered the participants and umbrella-holding crowd as FDR swore his oath of office, but those who gathered that day witnessed new inaugural traditions. In addition to a new date, 1937 was also the first year that the Vice President was sworn in on the inaugural platform rather than in the Senate Chambers.

These tiny campaign lapel pins from the 1930s belonged to two different residents of Ventura County. Each person has the freedom to support their candidate and cast a vote for whomever they chose. After those votes are tallied and confirmed, democracy calls for individuals to put aside their preferences to allow a peaceful transition for the good of the Nation.

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