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John F. Kennedy’s Inauguration in Pictures

January 20, 2011 |  4:25 am





  Jan. 21, 1961, John F. Kennedy  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

  Jan. 21, 1961, Inauguration  

Jan. 20, 1961: Here is the story of President Kennedy’s inaugural as told through photos from The Times archives. Above, President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy shortly after the inauguration.  Keep reading for more pictures and even a mystery photo!




 
  Jan. 19, 1961, Reviewing Stand  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

Work is nearly finished on the presidential reviewing stand outside the White House.

  1961_0119_john_f_kennedy_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

On the flight from New York to Washington, Kennedy reviews his inauguration speech.

  1961_0120_snow_capitol_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

On the night before the inauguration, a heavy storm blankets Washington with 8 inches of snow.

  1961_0120_john_f_kennedy_truman_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

Kennedy, meeting with former President Truman the night before the inauguration, is unconcerned about the bad weather, which some people feared would affect the inaugural.

  1961_0121_john_f_kennedy_press_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

President-elect Kennedy and President Eisenhower leave the White House en route to the Capitol for Kennedy’s inauguration.

  1961_0121_john_f_kennedy_eisenhower_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

Ike makes an aside to Kennedy as they leave the White House.

  1961_0121_robert_frost_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

In one of the most memorable images from Kennedy’s inauguration, poet Robert Frost, 86, was unable to read a poem written for the occasion, “For John F. Kennedy, His Inauguration” because of glare.  Instead, he recited “The Gift Outright” from memory.

And even here, we find a mystery! Vice President Lyndon Johnson is credited in news accounts with  trying to shield Frost’s text with his hat. However, in this photo, Johnson is clearly visible to the right. And, in fact, video of the inauguration shows Johnson didn’t have a hat.

So who is the fellow to the left?

  color_frame_grab  

Here’s a better look at our mystery fellow with the bald head directly behind Kennedy, in a frame grab from YouTube. The fellow is unidentified in news accounts but in videos of the inauguration, he can be seen acting as a sort of usher, making sure people get to their seats.

  1961_0121_john_f_kennedy_speech_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

Kennedy delivers his inaugural address. In the front row are, from left,  Johnson, Richard Nixon, Sen. John Sparkman (D-Ala.) and Harry Truman.

  Jan. 21, 1961, Inaugural Text  


  1961_0121_john_f_kennedy_nixon_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

Kennedy shakes hands with Nixon after delivering his speech.

  1961_0121_john_f_kennedy_jackie03  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

Jacqueline Kennedy “had a chuck under the chin for her husband, President John F. Kennedy, moments after he took the oath of office.”

  1961_0121_john_f_kennedy_motorcade_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

The presidential motorcade leaves the Capitol en route to the White House.

  1961_0121_motorcade_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

  1961_0121_cadets_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

West Point cadets march past the presidential reviewing stand. The first lady left after an hour but Kennedy watched the entire 3 1/2-hour parade, The Times said. 


  1961_0121_john_f_kennedy_jackie_inaugural_balls_crop  
  Los Angeles Times file photo  

President Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy leave the White House for a tour of the inaugural balls, which were held at four hotels and a National Guard armory.

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