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The president-elect doesn't officially become the president the clock strikes noon on January 20th, Inauguration Day, which officially kicks the new term of POTUS, and occurs even when the president is re-elected for a second term. It all started April 30th, 1789, with George Washington. He established the tradition of placing the right hand on the bible before swearing into office. Only three presidents have opted : Theodore Roosevelt, John Quincy, and Franklin Pierce. Adams, in particular, placed his hand on a book of U.S. laws to acknowledge the barrier Church and State, along with his loyalty to the nation's laws all else. Most inaugural ceremonies were held outside the building. Some exceptions were: in 1909, William Howard Taft was sworn in the day after a blizzard that dumped nearly ten of snow, and Ronald Reagan's second inauguration in 1985 with wind chills colder than 20 degrees zero. Before 1937, Inauguration Day was typically held on March 4th, but when the 20th Amendment was ratified, the date changed. So, what happens at the Inauguration? A Supreme Court justice traditionally swears the vice president. He swears to support and defend the constitution of the United States, and to carry the duties of the office. The band then plays the song "Hail Columbia", which was for George Washington's Inauguration. noon, the new president takes his oath. He swears that he "will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States and will to the of my ability preserve, protect and defend the constitution of the United States". The band plays "Hail to the Chief", followed a 21-gun salute. The new president gives his inaugural , which will set the tone for the next four years. There are two other big events that place during Inauguration Day: the parade and the ball, which James Madison and his wife started. the ball, the former president's belongings are removed and the new president's are officially moved , bringing an end to the day's festivities.