Next presidential inauguration will be a Schumer production

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The chief orchestrator of the 2013 presidential inauguration ceremony will be a New York senator who has a reputation for knowing how to stage public events and make them media friendly.
Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer received unanimous support Wednesday from members of the 2013 Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to chair their panel.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee nominated Schumer, who was elected by voice vote by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Alexander; House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va.; and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
Planning for the nation’s 57th presidential inauguration includes moving the date of the public ceremony to Jan. 21 because the constitutionally mandated inauguration date of Jan. 20 falls on a Sunday.
Jan. 21 also marks the federal observance of The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. day. Next year’s inauguration will be the second to coincide with that observance; the first was Bill Clinton’s second inauguration in 1997.
Congress voted earlier this month to move the date to a Monday, following a tradition of avoiding a Sunday that began with James Monroe’s second inauguration in 1821. That year there was no private swearing in on Sunday, March 4, when Monroe’s first term expired.
President Zachary Taylor also waited an extra day for his 1849 inauguration.
Since then presidents have been sworn in privately on Sunday followed by a public ceremony on Monday in years when the inauguration conflicts with the Christian Sabbath. That’s happened on four other occasions – in 1877 with Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1917 with Woodrow Wilson’s second inauguration, in 1957 with Dwight D. Eisenhower’s second inauguration and in 1985 with Ronald Reagan’s second inauguration.
Before enactment of the 20th Amendment to the Constitution in the 1930s, the presidential term began on March 4 instead of Jan. 20.
As chairman of the committee, Schumer will have discretion in determining which foods, wines, silverware, china, gifts and musical groups are used for the ceremonies. That offers an opportunity to showcase New York products and musical talent, according to spokesman Matt House.

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