My wife received an invitation to President Barack Obama's Second Inauguration (hey! Barack! who's been blogging for you here since 2008?). The invitation requests the honor of her presence on Monday, January 21—
—wait a minute: January 21? That's not what the Twentieth Amendment says. The President's and Vice-President's terms end on January 20. If we don't swear in the new President on the 20th, the Vice-President takes the office. Holy cow—Uncle Joe is in charge for a day?
Alas, no such fun. January 20 falls on a Sunday. In 1821, President James Monroe set a precedent at his Second Inauguration by taking the oath on Monday. President-Elect Zachary Taylor did the same in 1849. President Rutherford B. Hayes took his oath on Saturday, March 3, 1877, then again at a public ceremony on March 5. President Woodrow Wilson was the first to take the oath privately on a Sunday on March 4, 1917, followed by a big Monday show. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Ronald Reagan did the same in 1957 and 1985, respectively.
Boy, with all that respect for Sunday, you'd think that nice Obama fellow was a Christian.
Bonus Barack Geekdom: The Obama White House understands tradition. It also understands in glorious geek detail why building a Death Star is a bad investment. (I'll bet he knows America will get more mileage out of its own Starship Enterprise!)