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The inauguration of Zachary Taylor as the 12th President of the United States was held on Monday, March 5, 1849 (one day after his term Constitutionally began) at the eastern portico of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.. This was the second instance (after 1821) of an inauguration being rescheduled due to March 4 falling on a Sunday, the Christian sabbath. The inauguration marked the commencement of Zachary Taylor's only term as President and of Millard Fillmore's only term as Vice President. Taylor died 1 year, 126 days into this term, and Fillmore succeeded to the presidency. The presidential oath of office was administered by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. Inauguration Day started off being cloudy with snow flurries, but turned to heavy snow during the inaugural balls.[1]

Presidential Inauguration of Zachary Taylor
Zachary Taylor-circa1850.jpg
DateMarch 5, 1849; 170 years ago (1849-03-05)
LocationWashington, D.C.
United States Capitol
ParticipantsPresident Zachary Taylor
Vice President Millard Fillmore

Inaugural festivitiesEdit

Three Inaugural balls were held later that day. To accommodate the large numbers of guests anticipated to be at one of them, a temporary wooden building was built in the Judiciary Square plaza.[2] The ticket price for the event was $10 cash; the menu included: terrapins, Charlotte Russe, oysters and Roman punch.[3]

The "presidency" of David Rice AtchisonEdit

Due to the postponement of the swearing-in ceremony until March 5, various friends and colleagues of Senator David Atchison asserted that on March 4–5, 1849 he was Acting President of the United States.[4] They argued that, since both President James K. Polk and Vice President George Dallas ceased to hold their offices at noon on March 4, and since neither Taylor nor Fillmore had yet sworn their prescribed oath of office, both offices were vacant. As a result, they claimed, in accordance with the Presidential Succession Act of 1792, Atchison, by virtue of being the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, was the nation's acting chief executive during the Interregnum. Historians, constitutional scholars and biographers all dismiss the claim.[5][6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "The 16th Presidential Inauguration: Zachary Taylor, March 5, 1849". Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  2. ^ "Inaugural Ball". Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  3. ^ "1849 Inauguration of President Zachary Taylor". Newspaper report, "Taylor Republicanism", the Daily Morning Star, New London, Connecticut, February 20, 1849. Retrieved June 28, 2018.CS1 maint: others (link)
  4. ^ "President for a Day: March 4, 1849". Washington, D.C.: Office of the Secretary, United States Senate. Retrieved June 28, 2018.
  5. ^ Feerick, John D.; Freund, Paul A. (1965). From Failing Hands: the Story of Presidential Succession. New York City: Fordham University Press. pp. 100–101. LCCN 65-14917.
  6. ^ Klein, Christopher (February 18, 2013). "The 24-Hour President". History Stories. History and A+E Networks. Retrieved June 28, 2018.

External linksEdit

  1. ^ Currently a re-direct to the George Washington article
  2. ^ Currently a re-direct to the George Washington article