Inauguration of William Howard Taft
The inauguration of William Howard Taft as the 27th president of the United States happened on March 4, 1909. It was the start of the only term of William Howard Taft as president and James S. Sherman's only term as vice president.
Vice president Sherman did not complete his term in office, because he died on October 30, 1912. Since the Twenty-fifth Amendment, which allows for the office of vice president to be filled if it were empty, of the US Constitution was not passed yet, the position remained empty until Taft's term as president ended. As of 2021, Sherman is the most recent vice president to die in office.
Chief Justice Melville Fuller administered the presidential oath of office to Taft. Charles W. Fairbanks gave the vice presidential oath of office to Sherman. This inauguration was the last time Fuller gave the oath. However, the Chief Justice said his lines incorrectly.
Although the weather was not good, the inaugural parade was not canceled. An inaugural ball that evening was held at the Pension Building. The ball would be the last official one, because Taft's successor, Woodrow Wilson, asked the city of Washington to not do one, putting a brief end to the practice. The inaugural balls were brought back in 1949 as part of the second inauguration of Harry S. Truman.
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