First inauguration of Harry S. Truman

First inauguration of Harry S. Truman

First Presidential Inauguration of Harry S. Truman
President Truman being sworn in, following Roosevelt's death, on April 12, 1945.
Date April 12, 1945 (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 on April 12, 1945, following the sudden death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt approximately three months into his fourth term. The inauguration marked the commencement of the first term of Harry S. Truman as President. Truman (who was unaware of Roosevelt's death) had been called to the White House by former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. After he arrived he was informed that President Roosevelt died. 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.

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, cabinet members and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn.

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. 
  • 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.