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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 28, 2012

SCHUMER ELECTED AS CHAIR OF 2013 JOINT CONGRESSIONAL COMMITTEE ON INAUGURAL CEREMONIES



As Chairman, Schumer Will Be Responsible For Arranging Congressional Ceremonies For 57th Presidential Inauguration

 

Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer was elected to serve as the Chairman of the 2013 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. As Chairman, Schumer will be responsible for organizing the presidential inaugural ceremonies that will take place at the U.S. Capitol on January 21st of next year.

 

“The inauguration is a time for our country to come together around our president and celebrate the strength of our democracy,” said Schumer. “I am honored to have been selected as the Chairman of the festivities and look forward to organizing a ceremony that will showcase the best that America has to offer.”

 

Following Schumer’s election today, the Committee held its first working meeting to begin planning the ceremony. The Joint Committee was authorized by S. Con. Res. 35, which passed the Senate on March 1, 2012, and the House on March 5th.  Members of JCCIC are appointed by the Vice President and the Speaker of the House. In accordance with tradition, the Senate representatives on JCCIC are Majority Leader Harry Reid, Rules Committee Chairman Schumer, and Rules Committee Ranking Member Lamar Alexander.  The House members of JCCIC are Speaker John Boehner, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.

 

S. Con. Res. 35 established the date of the 2013 inauguration as Monday, January 21, 2013, since January 20, 2013 is a Sunday.  This is the seventh time in U.S. history that the constitutionally mandated inauguration date has fallen on a Sunday.  The last time was for President Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration in 1985.  When this occurs, the public ceremonies traditionally are held on Monday.

 

In addition, January 21, 2013 is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. It will be the second time that this federal holiday has coincided with a Presidential inauguration. The first was President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration on Monday, January 20, 1997.

 

The six previous inaugurations that fell on a Sunday were:

 

·         James Monroe, 1821 (2nd Inauguration) –This was the first time the inauguration date fell on a Sunday.  Monroe decided, after consulting the Supreme Court, to hold the public ceremony on Monday since “courts and other public institutions were not open on Sunday”.   There was no private swearing in on March 4, the date the previous term expired. 

 

·          Zachary Taylor, 1849 – As in 1821, the oath of office was administered Monday, March 5, at the public ceremony.

 

·         Rutherford B. Hayes, 1877 – In a break with the practice of Monroe and Taylor, the Presidential oath was administered privately to Hayes in the White House Red Room on Saturday, March 3, and repeated publicly at a ceremony on the East Front of the Capitol on Monday, March 5. 

 

·         Woodrow Wilson, 1917 (2nd Inauguration) – The Presidential oath was administered privately on Sunday, March 4, in the President’s Room of the U.S. Capitol.  It was repeated publicly at Capitol ceremonies on Monday, March 5.

 

·         Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957 (2nd Inauguration) – After the oath was administered privately in the White House East Room on January 20, 1957, the public ceremony was held on Monday, January 21.

 

·         Ronald Reagan, 1985 (2nd Inauguration) –  Reagan took the oath privately at the White House on Sunday, and again publicly on Monday, Jan 21, at a public ceremony  moved indoors to the Capitol Rotunda, because of extremely cold weather.

The 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which changed the beginning of a Presidential term from March 4th to January 20th, was ratified in 1933, and took effect for President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s second term in 1937.

 

The law designating the third Monday in January as a federal holiday honoring the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., was signed into law by President Reagan in 1983. President Reagan’s 1985 inauguration fell on the third Monday of January, but the new federal holiday did not become official until 1986.

 

JCCIC, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, is created every four years by a concurrent resolution of Congress to plan and oversee the Presidential inaugural events that take place at the U.S. Capitol, including the swearing-in ceremonies for the President and Vice President. JCICC has been responsible for these inaugural ceremonies since 1901. More information can be found at www.inaugural.senate.gov.

 

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