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Friday, January 20, 2017
Until 1933, the term of the President of the United States began on March 4. This created a long delay between the election, held in November, and the incoming government's ability to take action. The 20th Amendment to the United States Constitution was passed in order to reduce this lame duck period during which the country was effectively ungoverned.
The first president to be inaugurated on the newly mandated date of January 20 was Franklin Delano Roosevelt, inaugurated to his second term on January 20, 1937, eighty years ago today.
Inauguration Day 1937 saw a record 1.77 inches of rain fall in 37° weather in Washington DC. Fun! Newspaper reports of the day say that crowds didn't linger long after FDR's public swearing in on the Capitol steps, and who can blame them? I'm sure most of them didn't have an impenetrable 25th-century force field to keep them dry.
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