Politics

TIMELINE: The 6 best and 7 worst presidential inaugurations

Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
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Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Ronald Reagan (C) salutes beside his wife Nancy Reagan after being sworn in as 40th president of the United States by Chief Justice Warren Burger during inaugural ceremony, on Jan. 20, 1981 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.. At right is vice-president George H.W. Bush.
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Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Protesters shout, wave banners and fly the U.S. flag upside down as newly sworn in U.S. President George W. Bush passes by in his limousine on Pennsylvania Avenue Jan. 20, 2001 in Washington, D.C.
Shawn Thew/AFP/Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
From right: US President-elect John Fitzgerald Kennedy (R,1917-63), US First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy and US Vice-President Lyndon Johnson are all smiles on Jan. 20, 1961 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. during Kennedy's inauguration ball. Nov. 9, 1960, he was the first Catholic, and the youngest person, to be elected for Democratic party the president of the USA. Nov. 22, 1963, Kennedy was assassinated while being driven in an open car through Dallas.
AFP/Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Ronald Reagan (L) is sworn in as 40th president of the United States by Chief Justice Warren Burger (R) beside his wife Nancy Reagan (C) during inaugural ceremony, on Jan. 21, 1985 in the Capitol Rotunda in Washington, D.C.
AFP/Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Franklin D. Roosevelt takes the Oath of Office as President of the United States in 1933 in Washington, D.C.
National Archives/Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
The Inaugural Ballroom in the Pension Office Building, currently the National Building Museum, is decorated for President William H. Taft Jan. 20, 1909 in Washington D.C.
National Archives/Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Warren Burger (R) swears in President Gerald Ford Aug. 9, 1974 in Washingon, DC. The former president passed away at his home in California Dec. 26, 2006. He was 93.
Robert L. Knudsen/Gerald R. Ford Library via Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Portrait of 16th United States President Abraham Lincoln. (1809-1865)
National Archives/Newsmakers
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Portrait of the 15th U.S. President James Buchanan. (1791-1868)
National Archives/Newsmakers
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
William Henry Harrison, ninth President of the United States serving but a month in office, he caught a cold that developed into pneumonia. On April 4, 1841, Harrison was the first president to die in office.
National Archive/Newsmakers/Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Portrait of 7th United States President Andrew Jackson. (1767-1845)
National Archives/Getty Images
Barack H. Obama is sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as the 44th president of the United States of America on the West Front of the Capitol Jan. 20, 2009 in Washington, D.C. Obama becomes the first African-American to be elected to the office of President in the history of the United States.
Portrait of John Adams, second President of the United States who served from 1797 to 1801.
National Archive/Newsmakers


Our nation's come a long way, with 57 inaugural ceremonies, plus several swearing-ins outside of inaugural ceremonies, beginning with George Washington in 1789 and continuing through Monday's 57th inaugural ceremonies for President Barack Obama. Here's a look at some of the best — and the worst.

Sources: The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, CNN, Yahoo News, The World's Work, LiveScience, About.com