Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

January 20, 1949


The President woke up to a chilly day in Washington D.C. He left Blair House at 6:50 a.m. to go to the Mayflower Hotel to attend a breakfast with "the boys" from Battery D. He was wearing a dark overcoat, gray suit and a gray fedora.

After the breakfast, the president went to the White House. At the White House, he spent about fifteen minutes at his desk, then he returned to the Blair House to change his clothes.

At 10:00, he drove with Bess and Margaret to St. John's Episcopal Church for a prayer service. He was dressed in a frock coat and striped trousers.

After the prayer service he rode to the hill with Alben Barkley. Both men were wearing white silk scarves and top hats.

The Inauguration Ceremony began an invocation by Dr. Edwards Pruden. Then the national anthem was sung by tenor Phil Regan. Alben Barkely was sworn in as Vice President and another prayer was said. It was now 12:30 p.m.

Harry Truman put his scarf, hat, and coat beside him. His family and friends were watching as Chief of Justice Vinson Administered the oath of office. IT was taken on two Bibles, one from the people of Independence, and the other that was the bible that he used on April 12,1945.

At 1:29, he gave his speech. He read it from a loose leaf notebook.

Click here to read the transcript of his speech.

Right before the parade a giant air armada flew across the sky. It included about seven hundred planes. There were five six engine B-36 bombers in the armada. The parade stretched seven miles, and took three hours to pass. Truman stayed through the whole parade and watched all of the floats.

Click here to see a photo of the parade.

Truman attended the inaugural ball at the armory that night. There was a crowd of about five thousand people. He was wearing a white tie and tails and Mrs. Truman wore a full length gown of silver lame. Everyone seemed very happy.

Colin G. 6th grade Richardson Elementary Lee's Summit, Missouri School District