Video: On this day in 1953: Colourful scenes at Eisenhower inauguration
GENERAL DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER took office as 34th President of the United States today, and in a 20-minute inaugural speech called for good faith among nations to end the cold war.
Before a solemn assembly of politicians, Judges, diplomats and citizens outside the great domed Capitol building, he took the oath of office as the first Republican Head of State since Franklin O. Roosevelt ousted Herbert Hoover in 1933.
“I, Dwight D. Eisenhower.” he solemnly repeated after Chief Justice Fred Vinson, “do solemnly swear that I will 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.”
Tears wetted the great soldier’s cheeks as he repeated the traditional words before a crowd which police estimated at 175,000.
His first three Presidential acts were to shake hands with his predecessor, Harry Truman, to kiss his wife. Mamie, on the cheek, and say a prayer for the success of Administration.
Ten minutes before his chief, Mr. Richard Nixon was sworn in as Vice-President.
His prayer was:—
“Almighty God, as we stand here this moment, my future associates in the executive branch of Government join me in beseeching that Thou wilt make full and complete our dedication to the service the people in this throng and their fellow citizens everywhere.”
“Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong and allow all our words and actions be governed thereby and the laws of this land.”
“Especially pray that our concern shall be for all the people, regardless of station, race or colour.”
“ May co-operation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concept of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”
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