The Constitution contains only two inauguration requirements:
That presidents-elect take office at noon on Jan. 20.
That they repeat the 35-word oath to "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."
But presidents have spent 220 years creating their own inaugural customs. Here's a look at some:
GEORGE WASHINGTON added "so help me God" to the oath and kissed the Bible. His 1789 swearing-in was on a balcony in New York City, the temporary capital.
JOHN ADAMS was the first president sworn in by a chief justice, Oliver Ellsworth, in 1797. (There was no chief justice to swear in Washington because presidents name Supreme Court justices, so New York Chancellor Robert Livingston administered the oath to Washington.)
THOMAS JEFFERSON was the first president inaugurated in Washington, D.C., in 1801. He was the first and only president to walk to and from his inauguration.
JAMES MADISON was the first president to have an inaugural parade and ball, hosted in 1809 by his party-loving wife Dolley.
Madison also inadvertently left the country without a president for a day between his two terms: The Constitution initially specified inaugurations be held on March 4, but March 4, 1813, fell on a Sunday, when civil oaths and celebrations were unheard of. The problem was subsequently remedied by letting new presidents take the oath in advance in private with public inaugurations delayed until Monday.
JAMES MONROE moved inaugurations outdoors again in 1817 after the British burned the Capitol. His was held on the Capitol's East Front, where inaugurations usually were staged until 1981.
MARTIN VAN BUREN was the first U.S.-born citizen-president in 1837. His predecessors predated formation of the United States.
WILLIAM HENRY HARRISON was the first to arrive in Washington by rail. His 1841 inauguration also set the record for the longest inaugural address at 10,000 words. He caught pneumonia and died a month later.
JOHN TYLER, on April 6, 1841, became the first vice president to become president on a president's death.
JAMES K. POLK was the first to have news of his 1845 inauguration telegraphed to the world. Samuel F.B. Morse personally punched the message.
FRANKLIN PIERCE broke Washington's tradition when Pierce didn't kiss the Bible in 1853. He wouldn't "swear" to uphold the Constitution but "affirmed" his duty.
JAMES BUCHANAN'S 1857 inaugural was the first to be photographed. John Wood, photographer for the architect of the Capitol, did the work.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN had the first inaugural parade to include blacks in 1865.
RUTHERFORD B. HAYES was the first to take the oath in the White House. The Red Room ceremony was on Saturday, March 3, 1877, because March 4 was a Sunday and because threats were made on his life. A public ceremony was held Monday.
JAMES GARFIELD was the first president to review the inaugural parade from White House stands in 1881.
WILLIAM McKINLEY'S 1897 inauguration was the first filmed by a motion picture camera.
THEODORE ROOSEVELT was the only president not sworn in on a Bible when he took the oath at Ansley Wilcox' house in Buffalo, N.Y., following McKinley's 1901 assassination.
WILLIAM HOWARD TAFT'S 1909 inaugural parade marked the first time a first lady rode beside her husband.
WOODROW WILSON suspended inaugural balls in 1913. He said they detracted from the dignity of the office. Wilson's 1917 inaugural parade was the first to allow women. (The 19th Amendment giving women the vote was ratified in 1920).
WARREN HARDING was the first president go by car in his inaugural parade. He also revived inaugural balls in 1921, but Congress wouldn't pay. So Harding raised private money to pay for inaugurations and balls - a tradition that continues today.
CALVIN COOLIDGE was sworn in by his father, a justice of the peace, at home in Plymouth, Vt., on Harding's death in 1923. "Silent Cal's" inaugural address following his 1924 election was the first broadcast nationwide by radio.
HERBERT HOOVER'S 1929 inauguration was the first for talking newsreels.
FRANKLIN ROOSEVELT in 1937 was the first president to take office Jan. 20, the new date specified by the 20th Amendment. In 1941, Roosevelt became the first president inaugurated more than twice - a practice later prohibited by the 22nd Amendment. FDR's fourth inauguration in 1945 was on the White House South Portico and lasted only six minutes; Roosevelt died the following April 12.
HARRY TRUMAN was presiding over the Senate on April 12, 1945, when Eleanor Roosevelt summoned him to the White House to tell him FDR was dead. Truman's 1948 inaugural was the first carried on TV.
DWIGHT EISENHOWER broke custom in 1953 by improvising an inaugural prayer. He didn't kiss the Bible and wore a Homburg instead of the traditional top hat.
JOHN KENNEDY wore a stovepipe for his inauguration, to the joy of haberdashers. He was the last president to do so. The first Catholic president, he was sworn in on a Catholic Douay Bible.
LYNDON JOHNSON was the only president sworn in aboard an airplane. After Kennedy's assassination on Nov. 22, 1963, U.S. District Judge Sarah Hughes administered the oath to Johnson aboard Air Force One in Dallas. Johnson's 1965 inaugural parade was the first to have a president ride in a bulletproof limousine and the first to include the first lady officially: Lady Bird held the Bible.
RICHARD NIXON was the first president to require that only people with special invitations be admitted to the Capitol grounds for his 1969 inauguration.
GERALD FORD was the first un-elected vice president to assume the presidency on Nixon's 1974 resignation during Watergate.
JIMMY CARTER was the first to walk from the Capitol to the White House after being inaugurated.
RONALD REAGAN'S 1981 inaugural was the first staged on the Capitol's West Front.
BILL CLINTON'S 1997 inauguration was the first carried live in cyberspace.