Inauguration of James A. Garfield

24th United States presidential inauguration

The inauguration of James A. Garfield as the 20th president of the United States happened on March 4, 1881. It was the start of James A. Garfield's only term (a partial term of 199 days) as president and the only term of Chester A. Arthur as vice president.

Garfield did not finish his term in office because he died on September 19, 1881, after being shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2, 1881. As a result, his vice president, Chester A. Arthur, become the next president.

Chief Justice Morrison Waite administered the presidential oath of office to Garfield.[1]

In his inaugural address, Garfield spoke of several topics, such as his views on African American suffrage, the gold standard, illiteracy, and the practice of polygamy by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Before his inauguration, Garfield had difficulty writing his speech, rewriting it three days before he was sworn in as president.[2]

His inaugural ball was held in the Smithsonian Institution's Arts and Industries Building. Inside was the "Statue of America", a statue which held a light in her raised right hand.[3] This was the centerpiece of the celebration. Music was directed by conductor John Philip Sousa.[4]

References change

  1. "24TH INAUGURAL CEREMONIES". The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  2. Rutkow, Ira (2006-05-30). James A. Garfield: The American Presidents Series: The 20th President, 1881. Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-8050-6950-1.
  3. Magazine, Smithsonian; Bisceglio, Paul. "Party Like It's 1881: President Garfield's Inaugural Ball". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2023-02-25.
  4. "Inaugural Ball Program, March 4, 1881". Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. 20540 USA. Retrieved 2023-02-25.