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Elections and Voting Rights

Overview

Presidential elections happen every four years and involve two components: the popular vote and the Electoral College. Explore information about the Electoral College, and prints and photographs of some past presidents' oath of office.

Prints and Photographs of Presidential Inaugurations and Oaths of Office

Collage of Featured Prints and Photographs of Presidential Inaugurations and Oaths of Office

Prints and Photographs of Presidential Inaugurations and Oaths of Office

Check out this gallery of historic prints and photographs of some Presidential inaugurations and oaths of office, from President Polk to President Clinton. The digital images are from the Library of Congress and National Park Service. Click on the side arrows in this box to see the images.

11th President of the United States, James K. Polk, on March 4, 1845

11th President of the United States, James K. Polk, on March 4, 1845

"Inauguration of President PolkThe oath." 1845. Print retrieved from the Library of Congress

 

 

18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, on March 4, 1873

18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, on March 4, 1873

"Washington D.C.The InaugurationPresident Grant taking the oath of office March 4." 1873. Print retrieved from the Library of Congress

20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, on March 4, 1881

20th President of the United States, James A. Garfield, on March 4, 1881

Prince, G., photographer. “Chief Justice Morrison R. Waite administering the oath of office to James A. Garfield on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol, March 4,/ G. Prince Photo.” Washington D.C, 1881. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, on March 4, 1889

23rd President of the United States, Benjamin Harrison, on March 4, 1889

“Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller administering the oath of office to Benjamin Harrison on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol, March 4.” Washington D.C, 1889. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

25th President of the United States, William McKinley, on March 4, 1897

25th President of the United States, William McKinley, on March 4, 1897

Chief Justice Fuller administering the oath of office to Major McKinley.” Washington D.C, ca. 1897. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, on September 14, 1901

26th President of the United States, Theodore Roosevelt, on September 14, 1901

“Theodore Roosevelt’s 1901 Inauguration.” News. Nashville, Tennessee, October 13, 1901. Print retrieved from the National Park Service  

30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, on August 2, 1923

30th President of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, on August 2, 1923

“Calvin Coolidge taking the oath of office.” Washington D.C, ca. 1924. Print retrieved from the Library of Congress

34th President of the United States, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on January 21, 1957

34th President of the United States, President Dwight D. Eisenhower, on January 21, 1957

“Chief Justice Earl Warren administering the oath of office to Dwight D. Eisenhower on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol.” Washington D.C, 1957. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, on January 20, 1969

37th President of the United States, Richard M. Nixon, on January 20, 1969

“Chief Justice Earl Warren administering the oath of office to Richard M. Nixon on the east portico of the U.S. Capitol.” Washington D.C, 1969. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

39th President of the United States, James E. Carter, on January 20, 1977

39th President of the United States, James E. Carter, on January 20, 1977

Chief Justice Warren E. Burger administering the oath of office to Jimmy Carter on the east portico of U.S. Capitol.” Washington D.C, 1977. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, on January 20, 1989

41st President of the United States, George H.W. Bush, on January 20, 1989

Chief Justice William Rehnquist administering the oath of office to George Bush on the west front of the U.S. Capitol, with Barbara Bush smiling and looking on.” Washington D.C, 1989. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

42nd President of the United States, William J. Clinton, on January 20, 1993

42nd President of the United States, William J. Clinton, on January 20, 1993

Bill Clinton, standing between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton, taking the oath of office of president of the United States.” Washington D.C, 1993. Photograph retrieved from the Library of Congress

Information about the Electoral College

The process to elect a candidate for the Office of the President of the United States has two steps: the popular vote and the Electoral College. The following U.S. Government resources have more information about the Electoral College.


Screenshot of "The Electoral College" website

The Electoral College

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) 

  • NARA's Office of the Federal Register "coordinates certain functions of the Electoral College between the States and Congress." Learn more about the Electoral College, including past electors and how they voted for President and Vice President.
Screenshot of "Electoral College Fast Facts" website

Electoral College Fast Facts

U.S. House of Representatives 

  • This online resources provides concise information about the electoral college, including historic elections and amending the process over the years. 
Screenshot of "Presidential Election Process" website

Presidential Election Process

USA.gov 

  • This website has comprehensive information about the Presidential election process, including the Presidential primaries and caucuses, national conventions, and the Electoral College.