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Home > Lyndon B. Johnson Inauguration - January 20, 1965

President Lyndon B. Johnson delivers his  Inaugural Address
Dancing at the Inaugural Ball: Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Muriel Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson

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Photos
These images are in the public domain and may be used free of charge without permissions or fees.

Serial Number: A24-34

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto
Event: Pre-Inauguration preparations
Location: White House, Washington, DC
Description: L-R: President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson.

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Serial Number: A25-2A

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto
Event: Inauguration Day
Location: The White House, Washington DC
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, Lynda Bird Johnson, and Luci Baines Johnson preparing for Inauguration ceremonies.

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Serial Number: 33637

Date: 01/9-20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Unknown
Event: Inauguration, 1965
Location: White House, Washington, DC
Description: Lady Bird Johnson in her Inaugural Gown.

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Serial Number: 33638

Date: 01/9-20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Unknown
Event: Inauguration, 1965
Location: White House, Washington, DC
Description: Lady Bird Johnson in her Inaugural Gown.

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Serial Number: 33711-3

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Unknown
Event: Inauguration Day
Location: White House, Washington, DC
Description: Vice President Hubert Humphrey and Muriel Humphrey walking from the White House.

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Serial Number: C25-314-WH65

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton
Event: Inauguration Day
Location: The Capitol, Washington, DC
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson delivers his Inaugural Address.

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Serial Number: C25-4-WH65

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton
Event: Inauguration Day
Location: The Capitol, Washington, DC
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson delivers his Inaugural Address.

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Serial Number: C25-61-WH65

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton
Event: Inauguration Day
Location: The Capitol, Washington, DC
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, and Muriel Humphrey greet crowd while walking away from the podium after the Inaugural Address.

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Serial Number: 33714-8

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Unknown
Event: Inauguration Parade
Location: Washington, DC
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson in limousine on parade route.

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Serial Number: A34-13

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto
Event: Inauguration Day
Location: Washington, DC
Description: Vice President Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Lady Bird Johnson view the Inaugural Parade from the Review Stand.

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Serial Number: 33735

Date: 01/18/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Unknown
Event: Inaugural Ball
Location: National Guard Armory, Washington, DC
Description: L-R: Lady Bird Johnson, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Muriel Humphrey, Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

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Serial Number: A47-11a

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto
Event: Inaugural Ball
Location: Mayflower, Sheraton-Park, Shoreham, and Statler-Hilton Hotels, and National Guard Armory, Washington, DC
Description: Wide shot of Ballroom showing huge crowd. President Lyndon B. Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson are standing on stage at left.

Serial Number: C25-151-WH65

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton
Event: Presidential Inaugural Ball
Location: Mayflower, Sheraton-Park, Shoreham, and Statler-Hilton Hotels, and National Guard Armory, Washington, DC
Description: L-R: Luci Baines Johnson (pink gown), Lady Bird Johnson, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lynda Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Muriel Humphrey.

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Serial Number: A48-17

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto
Event: Inaugural Ball
Location: Mayflower, Sheraton-Park, Shoreham, and Statler-Hilton Hotels, and National Guard Armory, Washington, DC
Description: L-R: Vice President Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, Lynda Johnson, and Luci Johnson before crowd on Inauguration night.

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Serial Number: A48-4

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Yoichi R. Okamoto
Event: Inaugural Ball
Location: Mayflower, Sheraton-Park, Shoreham, and Statler-Hilton Hotels, and National Guard Armory, Washington, DC
Description: L-R: Muriel Humphrey, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Lady Bird Johnson, Lynda Johnson, and Luci Johnson stand before crowd on Inauguration night.

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Serial Number: C25-208-Wh65

Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton
Event: Presidential Inaugural Ball
Location: Mayflower, Sheraton-Park, Shoreham, and Statler-Hilton Hotels, and National Guard Armory, Washington, DC
Description: Lady Bird Johnson and President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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Serial Number: C25-202-WH65
Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton
Event: Inaugural Ball
Location: Mayflower, Sheraton-Park, Shoreham, and Statler-Hilton Hotels, and National Guard Armory, Washington, DC
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson dances with Lady Bird Johnson in large crowd of media and supporters.

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Serial Number: C25-215-WH65
Date: 01/20/1965
Credit: LBJ Library photo by Cecil Stoughton
Event: Inaugural Ball
Location: Washington, DC
Description: Dancing at the Inaugural Ball: Lady Bird Johnson, Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Muriel Humphrey, President Lyndon B. Johnson.

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Serial: C25-223-WH65
Date: 01/20/1965
Event: Inaugural Ball
Location: Mayflower Hotel, Washington, DC
Description: President Lyndon B. Johnson dances with Margaret Truman Daniel. Both are smiling broadly. Vice President Hubert
Humphrey is seen behind and to the right of the President.
Credit: LBJ Library Photo by Cecil Stoughton
Rights Info: Public Domain Item (No usage fees, no permission required.)

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Serial: C2722-8a
Date: 08/06/1966
Event: Wedding of Luci Baines Johnson and Patrick Nugent
Location: Luci Johnson's bedroom, White House, Washington, DC
Description: Luci Johnson (right) reads a newspaper in the company of an unidentified woman on the morning of her wedding day.
Credit: LBJ Library Photo by Robert Knudsen
Rights Info: Public Domain Item (No usage fees, no permission required.)

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LBJ Inauguration Facts
  • LBJ was sworn in at 12:03 P.M., January 20, 1965. Thus, the United States was technically without a President for three minutes. The Constitution provides that the Presidential term shall end at noon on January 20. LBJ was more punctual than most Presidents. JFK took the oath of office in 1961 at 12:51 P.M., Harry Truman at 12:29 in 1949, and Dwight D. Eisenhower at 12:32 in 1953.
  • LBJ’s speech was 1,500 words, lasted 22 minutes, and drew applause 11 times. This was one of the shortest speeches in Inaugural history. Washington’s second Inaugural Address was the shortest on record (135 words), Lincoln’s second (698 words), Theodore Roosevelt’s (985 words), Franklin Roosevelt’s (559 words), and Zachary Taylor’s (996 words). The longest Inaugural Address was William Henry Harrison’s (8,445 words).
  • The Most Reverend Robert Lucey, Catholic Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas, offered the invocation.
  • Rabbi Hyman Judah Schacatel of Congregation Beth Israel, Houston, Texas, offered a prayer.
  • The Reverend George R. Davis, Minister, National City Christian Church, Washington, D. C., offered a prayer.
  • During the Inauguration ceremony on January 20, 1965, Leontyne Price sang “America the Beautiful” and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sang “This Is My Country.”

  • Earl Warren, The Chief Justice of the United States, administered the oath of office.
  • His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, Greek Orthodox Archbishop of North and South America, pronounced the benediction.
  • The best remembered lines from LBJ’s Inaugural Address are: “It is the excitement of becoming – always becoming, trying, probing, failing, resting and trying again – but always trying and always gaining.” He later confided that he was inspired to add that line when facing the crowd of silently attentive people. It was this line that Mrs. Johnson said “had gone straight to my heart.”
  • Hubert Humphrey was sworn in at 11:58 A.M. Until that time the Speaker of the House, John McCormack, had been next in line for the Presidency after President Johnson. The nation had been without a Vice President for nearly 14 months, since the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.
  • While LBJ was being sworn in as the 36th President of the United States, 150-200 Negroes were arrested in Selma, Alabama, after they tried to enter the Dallas County Courthouse through the front door to register to vote.
  • At the Inauguration ceremony, Muriel Humphrey wore a “stylish” blue wool dress that she made herself.
  • There were 5,400 men protecting the President during the Inauguration, including the D.C. Metropolitan police, Park Police, Secret Service, Treasury agents, State Department Security Officers, Capitol Hill Police, out-of-town detectives, and servicemen from all five branches of the military.
  • Crowd estimates of the Inaugural Parade were 1.2 – 1.5 million, a record turnout.
  • Security was so tight for the Inaugural Parade that the Cochiti Indian tribal dancers from New Mexico were asked to remove the points from their arrows, and they complied.
  • A three-sided screen of bullet-proof glass enclosed the platform in front of the Capitol where the oath of office was administered. A similar sheet of 1.5” glass protected the President during the Inaugural parade.
  • The presidential reviewing stand was equipped with an electronic speaker system and microphone, an adaptation of the electronic bullhorn that was part of every Johnson campaign. He used it three times that day. The first was when Texas Governor John Connally’s open limousine moved by, LBJ said, “Governor, you look mighty pretty.” The second was when the Doland, South Carolina, high school band trooped by, LBJ informed everyone that that was Hubert Humphrey’s old school. The last time was at the end of the parade when the President told the crowd, “You are wonderful people, and you have made this such a lovely day, and we will try so hard to be worthy of your trust and friendship.”
  • LBJ wore a business suit and no hat or topcoat on the reviewing stand. The reviewing stand was heated but Hubert Humphrey donned a coat and scarf during the review. The reviewing stand was occupied by the President and First Lady and their two daughters, the Vice-President and Mrs. Humphrey, other family members and invited guests, and also Him, the President’s beagle.
  • The Inaugural parade consisted of 30 floats, 15,000 marchers, 54 bands, and 54 military units. There were supposed to be 31 floats but Maryland’s float was missing as parade officials deemed that the position of the flag on the float, meant to depict the flag that inspired “The Star-Spangled Banner” and parallel to the street ,was not according to protocol.
  • Every float in the Inaugural parade was pulled by a Jeep CJ5.
  • LBJ jumped out of his armored limousine to speak to the Southwest Texas State College Band (now Texas State University), his alma-mater, to the consternation of his security forces who swiftly cordoned him off.
  • At the swearing-in of his new Commerce Secretary, John T. Connor, President Johnson said to him, “Before you ask me, I don’t have any more tickets for the Inauguration either. If you find some of your business friends who do have, let’s split them between your relatives and mine.”
  • Performers at the Inaugural Gala at the National Guard Armory were: Dame Margot Fonteyn and Rudolf Nureyev, who danced a pas de deux from “La Corsaire,” the Ballet Folklorico, Alfred Hitchcock, Bobby Darin, Carol Channing, Woody Allen, Carol Burnett and Julie Andrews performing a duet, Harry Belafonte, Ann Margret, Mike Nichols and Elaine May, Johnny Carson, and Barbra Streisand.
  • The Inaugural Concert was held on January 19, 1965, at Constitution Hall and featured Beethoven and Mozart pieces by Isaac Stern, Liszt’s “E Flat Piano Concerto” by Van Cliburn, and Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” sung by Theresa Coleman and Todd Duncan.  Howard Mitchell conducted the National Symphony Orchestra.

  • The guest list for the party after the Democratic Gala on January 18, 1965, included the following celebrities (in addition to those that performed that night): Peter, Paul and Mary, The Brothers Four, Mike Nichols, Elliot Gould, Bobby Darrin, Jerry Herman, David Merrick, Sophie Loren and Carlo Ponti, John Reardon, Gregory Peck, and Allen Sherman.

  • The Inaugural Balls were held in five locations: The Mayflower, the Shoreham, the National Guard Armory, the Sheraton Park, and the Statler-Hilton; tickets were $25 with the exception of the Gala with performances at the National Guard Armory. Tickets for that event were $100. Approximately 28,000 persons attended the five balls.
  • At the Inaugural Ball at the Mayflower Hotel LBJ spotted Margaret Truman Daniels, daughter of former President Harry Truman, in a box. He walked over and lifted her in his arms out of the box and onto the dance floor. The crowd broke out in applause.
  • Sometime later, Vice President Humphrey attempted to lift Mrs. Daniels back into her box, but she protested, saying “Oh no, you couldn’t possibly do it.” She smiled and climbed on top of a chair to get back in her box.
  • Dances for the younger set, including the President’s daughters, were the Jerk, the Frug, the Watusi, and the Monkey.
  • On the morning of the Inauguration, President and Mrs. Johnson breakfasted together, eating chipped beef on toast.
  • Expenditures for the 1965 Inauguration were: $1,597,414.53.
Inauguration Firsts
  • Mrs. Johnson was the first President’s wife to hold the Bible at the swearing-in ceremony. She did this at her husband’s behest. The Bible had always been held by the executive secretary of the Joint Congressional Inaugural Committee. The Bible was the one given to LBJ and Lady Bird by LBJ’s mother, Rebekah Baines Johnson, in 1952. It was the same Bible LBJ used to be sworn in as Vice-President under John F. Kennedy. This tradition of the First Lady holding a family Bible has continued to the present.
  • LBJ wore an Oxford gray business suit and gray felt fedora for Inauguration Day, which was a departure from the cutaway coat, striped trousers, and top hat worn by his predecessors. Vice-President Humphrey also wore a business suit and fedora. Adlai Stevenson was the stand out, wearing a homburg.
  • LBJ was the first president since George Washington to dance at his own Inaugural Ball. He danced the first dance of the evening at the Mayflower Hotel with Lady Bird and in a matter of 15 minutes had changed partners nine times.
  • The Inaugural Concert on January 19, 1965, was performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, and for the first time the program was entirely chosen by a professional musician, Howard Mitchell, conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra. This decision was made by Abe Fortas, head of the Inaugural Committee and a music lover and violinist. This decision was not without controversy, as there was criticism that there should have been more American music on the program.
  • For the first time, helicopters were used for the ceremony and the parade. The two helicopters had a Secret Service agent riding with each pilot. The agents maintained constant air to ground communications with the ground forces below, alerting them to any questionable activity on the ground.
  • The presidential limousine was the one used by President Kennedy, but for the first time it had been fitted with a non-removable bullet-resistant bubbletop, as well as armor-plated sides.
  • A heavy armor plate was built into the floor of the presidential reviewing stand to withstand a bomb attack.

Congressional Record description and text of the Inaugural ceremonies

Congressional Record description and text of the Inaugural ceremonies. [Download PDF...]

Text of LBJ’s Inaugural Address

Text of LBJ’s Inaugural Address. [Download PDF...]

Diagram of Seating on President’s Platform
Diagram of Seating on President’s Platform. [Download PDF...]
News stories about LBJ's 1965 Inauguration

The Boston Globe
For inauguration zeal, LBJ '65 may be the precedent for Obama
By Janis Campbell

Louise White Cashin, a young Democratic activist from Southern California, arrived in Washington on the eve of Lyndon B. Johnson's 1965 inauguration to find "just more black people than anyone would have been able to imagine together." [read more...]

News 8 Austin
LBJ family prepares for inauguration day
By News 8 Austin Staff

A record-breaking two million people are expected in Washington for Tuesday's inauguration, breaking the 1.2 million record set at President Lyndon Baines Johnson's inauguration in 1965. [read more...]

POLITICO
LBJ speechwriter: Obama slighting Johnson
By Harry Middleton

The road stretching from Tuesday, when America will inaugurate its first African-American president, back a-century-and-a-half to the end of slavery, has been long and rough and often torturous for black citizens. [read more...]

Chicago Tribune
Is this our inauguration too?
By Manya Brachear

The road stretching from Tuesday, when America will inaugurate its first African-American president, back a-century-and-a-half to the end of slavery, has been long and rough and often torturous for black citizens. [read more...]

PR Newswire
Obama's America - Who We Are Now

Meacham writes about Johnson because "who we are now -- a country in which traditional barriers of race and age and gender are crumbling -- flows in many ways from what LBJ did then." [read more...]

Houston Chronicle
First ladies' inaugural dresses set the tone for presidency
By Clifford Pugh

Michelle Obama is already a fashion icon, so it was surprising that she didn’t announce her inaugural gown designer long before the event, like some other recent first ladies. [read more...]

Lima Ohio
We cannot be satisfied: Answering King’s call
By Heather Rutz

LIMA - Giving his "I Have a Dream" speech Aug. 28, 1963, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. announced the hundreds of thousands had come to the nation's capital "to cash a check." [read more...]

The Herald, Rock Hill, S.C.
Welcome to the White House
By Janis Campbell

Lady Bird Johnson, the wife of President Lyndon Johnson, created the White House's first Children's Garden in 1969. [read more...]

American Public Media
Growing Up in the White House

Luci Baines Johnson was 13 when her dad ran as the running mate of John F. Kennedy in the 1960 presidential election. The circumstances of her father’s swearing in were tragic, so when Luci and her sister moved into the White House, it was without much enthusiasm. [read more...]

Santa Cruz Sentinel
There were ghosts watching the inauguration
By Laina Farhat-Holzman

The early American Congress was composed of aristocrats and the privileged. Yet they voted against their own interests to let all white men have the vote too. They knew it was right. Then after the Civil War, the Congress voted to let all black men have the vote too. [read more...]

Chicago Tribune
Obama family keeps tradition for inauguration ceremony
By Stacy St.Clair

With small gestures and grand displays, the Obamas will begin their barrier-breaking White House occupancy by embracing traditions established by previous First Families. [read more...]

Tracy Press
A letter to the president-elect
By Al Medeiros

With small gestures and grand displays, the Obamas will begin their barrier-breaking White House occupancy by embracing traditions established by previous First Families. [read more...]

Special thanks

Special thanks to Bob Tissing, LBJ Library archivist, for compiling this information.