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Ratification of the 20th Amendment Reducing Lame Duck Period
January 23 @ 12:00 am – 12:00 pm
Initially, Congress and the Presidency changed on the same day, March 4. The 20th Amendment was passed in 1933 moving each earlier on the calendar. Congress begins on January 3 and the Presidency on January 20. The amendment also made clear that should the elected President die between the election and January 20, the Vice President should be inaugurated as a President would be. The First Federal Congress in 1789 began on March 4 in deference to winter traveling and shortening the decision time should there be a tie in the electoral college. FDR was the last President installed on March 4.
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