First inauguration of Harry S. Truman

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First Presidential Inauguration of Harry S. Truman
File:Harry S. Truman taking the oath of office.jpg
President Truman being sworn in, following Roosevelt's death, on April 12, 1945.
Date April 12, 1945; 77 years ago (1945-04-12)
Location The White House,
Washington, D.C.
Participants President of the United States, Harry S. Truman
Assuming office
Chief Justice of the United States,
Harlan Fiske Stone
Administering oath

The first inauguration of Harry S. Truman as the 33rd President of the United States was held at the White House on April 12, 1945, following the sudden death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt approximately three months into his fourth term.

Vice President Truman had just adjourned a session of the United States Senate and was on his way to share a drink with Sam Rayburn, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, when he was summoned to the White House. Upon his arrival, he was met by Eleanor Roosevelt, who informed him that President Roosevelt was dead. Shocked, Truman asked Mrs. Roosevelt, "Is there anything I can do for you?", to which she replied: "Is there anything we can do for you? For you are the one in trouble now."[1]

Chief Justice of the United States Harlan Fiske Stone was called to the White House as well to administer the oath of office. When Stone arrived, Truman was asked if he brought his own Bible, which he didn't, because he didn't suspect what was going to happen.[citation needed]

The 33rd President of the United States took the oath of office in the Cabinet Room at 7:00 pm. Among witnesses of this ceremony were his wife Bess Truman, daughter Margaret Truman, Mrs. Roosevelt, Speaker Rayburn, and members of the cabinet.

While reciting the oath, Stone incorrectly intoned "I, Harry Shippe Truman", but Truman correctly answered "I, Harry S. Truman". Truman had no middle name, only a middle initial.

Truman's inauguration was the second presidential inauguration in 1945 after the regularly scheduled inauguration for Roosevelt's fourth term earlier on January 20.


  1. "Eleanor and Harry: The Correspondence of Eleanor Roosevelt and Harry S. Truman". Truman Library. Retrieved 2007-07-26.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Robert J. Donovan, Conflict and Crisis. The Presidency of Harry S. Truman, 1945-1948. University of Missouri Press, 1996

ISBN 0-8262-1066-X, 9780826210661.

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