Presidential Elections

Inaugurations and the First One Hundred Days

What was unique about Calvin Coolidge’s “inauguration”?

Historians call Calvin Coolidge’s swearing-in “the lamplit inaugural.” At 2:47 A.M.on August 3, 1923, Vice President Calvin Coolidge was sworn into office by his father, John C. Coolidge, a Vermont notary public, in his father’s Vermont farmhouse, where the vice president had been vacationing with his wife. President Warren G. Harding had died just hours before in a San Francisco hotel, but it took four hours for a telegram announcing the news to reach the East Coast. The Plymouth Notch home had no electricity, so by the light of a kerosene lamp, Coolidge became the thirtieth president of the United States. Coolidge was the only president to be sworn in by his father and in his family’s home.


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