From the Brainroom: 2005 Inaugural Guide


• Costs for inaugural events, not counting security and construction, are estimated at between $30 and $40 million, which will be paid for by private donors.

• Major donors who’ve given $250,000 include: AT&T, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ford, Marriott, Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Time Warner Cable, and dozens more.

• Significant donors get tickets to the swearing-in ceremony, premier parade route seats, and entry to one of several parties the president and vice president will attend.

• Federal employees who work in the District, Montgomery, Prince George's, Fairfax and Arlington counties, Alexandria and Falls Church are entitled to a holiday on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20. The cost of giving federal workers in the capital area a day off is approximately $66 million.

• It will cost approximately $8.8 million in overtime pay for about 2,000 D.C. police officers.

• It will cost approximately $2.7 million to pay 1,000-plus officers being sent by other jurisdictions across the country.

• Over $3 million to construct temporary reviewing stands.

• $2.5 million to place public works, health, transportation, fire, emergency management and business services on emergency footing.


• Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said, “the security for this occasion will be unprecedented.”

• The first inaugural since the attacks on September 11, 2001 will trump the Superbowl and Academy Awards in cost.

• The four-day event is a National Special Security Event, a designation assigned to events of great size and significance.

• NSSE events mean: The Secret Service creates and oversees the overall plan; The FBI lends intelligence data related to the event; FEMA details responses to possible terror scenarios.

• This is the first inauguration in history where police plan to search all who attend the ceremony and parade.

• Security teams will sweep through all buildings along the parade route and might even keep office workers from sitting near windows overlooking the procession.

• Caterers are being instructed to arrive for work the night before the inauguration so that security can ensure food safety.


• Members of Congress get free tickets for constituents: 400 for Senators/200 for Representatives, regardless of party affiliation.

• Many GOP lawmakers are asking Democrats for their leftovers.

• Blocks of tickets also go to the president, vice president, and Supreme Court.

• Tickets for various inaugural events are selling on eBay for hundreds of dollars.


March 4, 1801
Thomas Jefferson becomes the first president to be inaugurated at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.

March 4, 1809
James Madison holds the first inaugural ball. It is hosted by his wife Dolly and 400 tickets are sold for $4 apiece.

March 4, 1817
James Monroe becomes the first president to take his oath outdoors in Washington.

March 4, 1841
William H. Harrison delivers the longest inaugural address; it was 10,000 words. In comparison, in 1793, George Washington delivers an inaugural address of 135 words.

March 4, 1865
Abraham Lincoln's inauguration was the first time African-Americans participated in the parade.

September 14, 1901
Theodore Roosevelt becomes the first president not sworn in on a Bible.

March 2, 1932
20th Amendment passed by Congress. States that the inauguration ceremony be held on January 20th at noon. Previously, the president had been sworn in on March 4, giving Congress a period of inactivity.

January 20, 1949
Harry S. Truman is the first president to have his inauguration televised.

January 20, 1997
William J. Clinton is the first president to have his inauguration broadcast live on the Internet.


• There are nine "official" nighttime balls that are reserved only for the Republican Party faithful.

• There will also be a special Commander in Chief Ball. It will be free to invited men and women of the armed forces and their families.

• Last-minute tickets could reportedly cost as much as $250,000.

• Tickets were originally listed at $125 but have skyrocketed since.

Click here for the official Website of the 55th presidential inauguration.