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Sworn in as First President

Event Date: 
Thu, 04/30/1789

On the last day of April, Washington was sworn in as president at New York City's Federal Hall. With trembling hands and voice, he addressed a joint meeting of both houses of Congress, wearing a simple brown suit of American-made broadcloth, symbolizing to the world that he was taking the nation's helm, not as a lavishly-robed monarch but as the leader of a new kind of government.

George Washington swearing the oath of office at his inauguration, photograph by Robert Creamer