Inauguration - January 20, 1961
- First president to be inaugurated on the extended East Front.
- First time that a Speaker of the House administered the oath of office to the vice president. (Previously the oath had been given by either the President pro tempore of the Senate, the ex-Vice President, or a United States Senator.) (Roll Call, 1/18/1961).
- First time a poet, Robert Frost, participated in the official ceremonies at the Capitol. (See official program.)
- First time that both parents of the president-elect attended their son's inauguration. (Washington Daily News, 1/21/1961).
- As the first Catholic elected president, Kennedy was the first to use a Catholic (Douay) version of the Bible for his oath.
- First inaugural parade for which Army flame throwers were used to clear snow from Pennsylvania Avenue. (Washington Daily News, 1/21/1961).
- First appearance of the Air Force Academy Band in the parade. (Evening Star, 1/3/1961).
- First time that the parade was televised in color (NBC). (New York Times, 1/15/1961).
- First inauguration celebrated with five balls.
- Last president to wear traditional stovepipe hat to the inauguration.
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* This information is based on a compilation by the Office of the Curator, Architect of the Capitol, Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, from contemporary accounts and other sources. Additional research provided by Library of Congress staff.