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Inauguration Day Weather History…

| January 19, 2007 @ 10:04 pm | 1 Reply

Inauguration Day is the day that we swear in the President of the United States. George Washington was inaugurated the first time on April 30, 1789. After that, Inauguration Day was officially switched to March 4th, and March 4th was the day until the Twentieth Amendment changed the date to January 20th.

The first January 20th Inauguration was the beginning of the second term for Franklin Delano Roosevelt. FDR’s 1937 Inauguration was the wettest in Inauguration history, as 1.77 inches of precipitation fell in Washington, D.C. The temperature at noon was 33F with a heavy rain. 0.69 inches of rain fell between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

In 1961, only a Herculean effort by the Army and snow removal crews in the nation’s capital cleared the streets enough for President John Kennedy’s ceremony after eight inches of snow fell that morning. At noon, the temperature was only 22F with a wind chill of 7F.

President Ulysses S. Grant’s second term in office started off on a cold note with a noon temperature of 16F, making it the coldest March inauguration. The coldest January Inauguration was for President Ronald Reagan’s second term. The noon reading of 7F is the coldest. By contrast, Reagan’s first Inauguration was the warmest January one with a temperature during the oath of office a balmy 55F. The hottest all time Inauguration was that of President Gerald Ford. It was 89F when he took office on August 9, 1974.

Some people said President Herbert Hoover was all wet, but the great man was probably one of our most able leaders. He just lacked the personality and communications skills need to lift the country out of the terrible situation left by Calvin Coolidge. Hoover was all wet as a heavy rain fell during the oath of office and parade at his Inauguration on March 4, 1929.

The worst Inauguration weather was in 1909 when ten inches of snow forced the ceremony for President William H. Taft indoors. But the Presidential weather turned tragic on March 4, 1841, when William Henry Harrison became sick on the cold and blustery day, delivering his speech without a hat or overcoat. He developed pneumonia and died one month later.

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About the Author ()

Bill Murray is the President of The Weather Factory. He is the site's official weather historian and a weekend forecaster. He also anchors the site's severe weather coverage. Bill Murray is the proud holder of National Weather Association Digital Seal #0001 @wxhistorian

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