Mental Floss

9 Candid Inauguration Photos of the Incoming and Outgoing Presidents

Jennifer M Wood
Photo by Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
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Meeting the person who will replace you at work can be awkward under any conditions—probably even more so when it’s followed by a celebratory parade and a series of black-tie balls. Which may explain the odd, uncomfortable, and sometimes sullen looks that have been captured on camera at inaugurations past as one president passes on the keys to the White House.

Photo by Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

To the victor go the smiles: President-elect Woodrow Wilson (left) and President William Howard Taft (right) share a laugh outside the White House, just before Wilson's inauguration on March 4, 1913. Wilson beat out the incumbent Taft for the presidency. Photo by Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

Cheer up, POTUS! A stern-looking Warren Harding (right) rides in a carriage with former President Woodrow Wilson during Harding's inauguration ceremony on March 4, 1921. Harding died just two years and 151 days into his term. Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

National Photo Company Collection / Library of Congress.

Calvin Coolidge (left) takes a final, wistful look at the White House as he accompanies Herbert Hoover—who looks downright frightened—to his inauguration on March 4, 1929. Image: National Photo Company Collection / Library of Congress.

Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.

President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt (right) seems to be hitting up President Herbert Hoover for some advice as the two make their way to the Capitol, where Roosevelt became the 32nd President of the United States in 1933. FDR would go on to serve a record-breaking four terms in office. Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images.



Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers/Getty Images.

Outgoing President Harry S. Truman (left) seems to approve of what’s happening as Dwight D. Eisenhower takes the Oath of Office during his inauguration on January 20, 1953. Eisenhower’s vice president, Richard Nixon, is just waiting for his turn. Photo by National Archive/Newsmakers/Getty Images.

Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.

President Eisenhower (right) looks on knowingly as John F. Kennedy prepares to be inaugurated as the 35th President of the United States of America on January 20, 1961. Fun fact: Kennedy was the last President-elect to wear a top hat to his swearing-in, which had long been a tradition. Photo by Keystone/Getty Images.

Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

Attaboy! President George Bush (left) and President-elect Bill Clinton (right) meet up at the White House on January 20, 1993 for a pre-inaugural cup of coffee. Clinton was sworn in later that day. Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images.

Photo by Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images.

Eight years after George H.W. Bush welcomed Clinton to the presidential lineup, President-elect George W. Bush and Laura Bush met up with Bill and Hillary Clinton, who bid farewell to the White House after Bush's inauguration on January 20, 2001. Photo by Mike Nelson/AFP/Getty Images.



Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

What’s Dubya thinking? A beaming President-elect Barack Obama and President George W. Bush bide their time on the inaugural stage as Obama readies to be named the 44th President of the United States of America on January 20, 2009. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

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