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Oaths of Office For Federal Officials

Vice President

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The Vice President takes the oath of office in the same ceremony as the President. Until 1933, the Vice President took the oath in the Senate. The vice president's oath dates from 1884 and is the same as that taken by Congressmen:
    I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.

Since 1797, with the swearing in of John Adams, the oath has been administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. For most of the nation's history, Inauguration Day was 4 March. Since Franklin D Roosevelt's second term, that ceremony occurs on 20 January (on 21 January for Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1957, and Ronald W. Reagan, 1985). The 20th Amendment to the Constitution specifies that the President's term of office begins at 12:00 pm (noon) on January 20th of the year following an election.

Not all oaths of office have occurred on inauguration day. From the Senate: "Eight Vice Presidents have taken the oath of office upon the death of a President, while another was sworn in following a Presidential resignation."
  • Vice President John Tyler sworn in on 6 April 1841, following the death of President William Henry Harrison
  • Vice President Millard Fillmore sworn in on 10 July 1850 following the death of President Zachary Taylor
  • Vice President Andrew Johnson sworn in on 15 April 1865 following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
  • Vice President Chester Alan Arthur sworn in on 20 September 1881 following James Garfield
  • Vice President Theodore Roosevelt sworn in on 14 September 1901 following the assassination of President William McKinley
  • Vice President Calvin Coolidge sworn in on 3 August 1923 following the death of President Warren Harding
  • Vice President Harry Truman sworn in on 12 April 1945, following the death of President Franklin Roosevelt
  • Vice President Lyndon Johnson sworn in on 22 November 1963, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy
  • Vice President Gerald R. Ford sworn in on 9 August 1974, following the resignation of President Richard Nixon.



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