President John F. Kennedy Inaugural: January 20, 1961


On this day January 20, 1961 – John Fitzgerald Kennedy of Massachusetts was sworn-in as the 35th President of the United States.

On January 20, 1961, on the newly renovated east front of the United States Capitol, John Fitzgerald Kennedy is inaugurated as the 35th president of the United States. It was a cold and clear day, and the nation’s capital was covered with a snowfall from the previous night. The ceremony began with a religious invocation and prayers, and then African-American opera singer Marian Anderson sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and Robert Frost recited his poem “The Gift Outright.” Kennedy was administered the oath of office by Chief Justice Earl Warren. During his famous inauguration address, Kennedy, the youngest candidate ever elected to the presidency and the country’s first Catholic president, declared that “the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans” and appealed to Americans to “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.”

Read the full text of John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address here.

3 Responses to President John F. Kennedy Inaugural: January 20, 1961

  1. Fran McDougall says:

    We should bring back the “hat” fashions for everyone. Maybe if men kept their unbridled, vitriolic comments held incranium by a piece of felt, they might think twice about releasing them.

  2. RiverRatRay says:

    It was a fortunate snow day in Lowell and one I will never forget. I was shoveling the driveway and front steps awaiting the start of the inaugural broadcast. I remember how excited I was when my Mom opened the front door to announce it was time to come in to watch the Inauguration. And with hot chocolate in hand, I was spellbound throughout the day in front of that black and white Zenith. I was hooked for life.