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Presidential Information

Information about how the United States government undergoes a peaceful transition of presidential administrations

Inaugurations

Presidential Inaugurations are more than just the Oath of Office.  They are steeped in tradition and rituals.  Below are some links to help understand the process and who is involved in planning and ensuring these ceremonies occur.

The JCCIC, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, was established in 1901.  The 20th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution changed the inaugural date from March to January.

The Architect of the Capital works with the JCCIC to erect the platforms and ensure the physical arrangements and grounds are in order for the ceremony.  This site also has a very nice time table of the various Oaths of Office for both the President and Vice-President in reverse chronological order.

For additional information about Presidential Inaugurations,, please refer to the following sites:

I do solemnly swear . . . Inaugural materials from the collections at the Library of Congress

Photos: A history of Presidential Inaugurations charts a nation's course,  Wall Street Journal

Presidential Inaugurations, The Whitehouse Historical Association

Presidential Inaugurations: I do solemnly swear, National Endowment of the Humanities Edcitement

Presidential Inauguration Online, Junior Ranger Book, National Parks Service

 

Inaugural Addresses [Video], National Archives - Presidential Elections & Inaugurations.  Warren G. Harding (1921) to George W. Bush (2001).

Read every presidential inauguration poem ever performed: It's fewer than you think. LitHub [blog], January 20, 2021.

One place you may always receive help with any government information research is Government Information Online (GIO) where librarians across the United States will assist you.

Presidential Transitions

Presidential Transitions - History

The Basics: Frequently Asked Questions About Presidential Transitions

A quick overview of how the mechanics of Presidential office transfer are supposed to work from the non-partisan Center for Presidential Transitions

First Impressions: A Look Back at Five Presidential Transitions

An essay examining lessons learned, or not, from the Clinton to Obama Presidential transitions from the Brookings Institute

U.S. Department of State. Bureau of International Information Programs. E-Journal USA U.S. Presidential Transitions

An entire issue of this journal is devoted to discussing the history of Presidential transitions including a photographic look at Presidential inaugurations through the eyes of the State Department.

Federal web pages related to Presidential Transitions

CRS Reports - Whitehouse Transition Project - Since 1997, the White House Transition Project has provided non-partisan expertise in all phases of democratic transitions, from constitution-building in emerging democracies to regularized, statute driven transfers of power. This page previews those services, beginning with highlighted essays or reports of special interest.

The Digital Transition: How the Presidential Transition Works in the Social Media Age - from the Obama Presidential Archive web site: "Take a look at how we plan to preserve and pass on the digital history of the Obama administration."

Executive Order to Facilitate Presidential Transition

Fact sheet in a Smooth transition

General Services Administration - from the General Services Administration web page: " Learn How GSA Assists Each Transitioning Administration. The support GSA provides to the Presidential Transition process is essential to ensuring a smooth transfer of executive branch operations."

Government Accountability Office - from USA.gov: "The Government Accountability Office (GAO) is an independent, nonpartisan agency in the Legislative branch responsible for examining how the government spends federal funds. The Presidential Transition Act identifies GAO as a source of briefings and materials to help inform new administrations of the major management issues, risks, and challenges they will face."

Moving On, National Archives -  an article from Prologue Magazine by David S. Ferriero published in the Fall 2016. This article reviews the responsibilities of NARA during a presidential transition.

Office of Government Ethics - from USA.gov: "The Office of Government Ethics (OGE) plays a vital role in Presidential transitions, reviewing the financial disclosure reports of Presidential nominees and resolving their conflicts of interest so they can serve with integrity. This nominee work becomes OGE’s primary focus during the transition, when most of the top political leadership in the government turns over. OGE will work in partnership with the Presidential Transition Team to make sure that prospective nominees are free of conflicts of interest, so that top leadership positions can be filled quickly."

The Plum Book - from GSA, "Every four years, after the Presidential election, the “United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions,” commonly known as the Plum Book, is published, alternately, by the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform."

Presidential Transition Act: Provisions and Funding, CRS Report R46602

Presidential Transition Directory  - From USA.gov

Presidential Transition Guide 2-16 - from U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM).  "The Office of the Executive Secretariat oversees Presidential Transition to ensure a smooth transition for both incoming and outgoing Administrations. OPM roles and responsibilities for Presidential Transition include conducting background investigations for lower-level positions and providing guidance to agencies as they prepare for thousands of departing/incoming political appointees; submitting a list of all presidential appointments to candidates after the conventions; collecting information for Plum Book; and submitting quarterly reports to Congress on requests by agencies to appoint political appointees or former political appointees to nonpolitical civil service positions."