The Oath of Office

Caption: Lyndon B. Johnson taking the oath of office on Air Force One following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Dallas, Texas.

An oath is a promise. Certain clubs have their members recite oaths. Certain jobs, such as mayor or judge, use oaths. The Office of President of the United States is no exception. Yes, there is a presidential oath of office!

The writers of the Constitution of our new country, over two hundred years ago, included an oath of office. It is written in Article II, Section 1. It states, "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." The writers did not include a time or place; instead, Congress was to decide. Therefore, originally, Inauguration Day was later in the year. Later, in 1933, it was moved up to January 20. Currently, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies oversees the details.

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