Why is the Inauguration on Monday, January 21?
The constitutionally mandated transfer of power will occur on Sunday, January 20, 2013. However, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies decided to move the date of the public ceremony and prade to Monday, January 21, 2013 in line with past practice.
Congress voted to move the public ceremony and parade to a Monday, following a tradition of avoiding a Sunday that began with James Monroe's second inauguration in 1821. In that year there was no private swearing in on Sunday, March 4, when Monroe's first term expired. Before enactment of the 20th Amendment in the 1930s, the presidential term began on March 4 instead of January 20.
Moving the date has happened on four other occasions -- in 1877 with Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1917 with Woodrow Wilson's second term and in 1985 with Ronald Regand's second inauguration.
January 21 also marks the federal obervance of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The 57th prsidential inauguration will be the second to coincide with the MLK observance; the first was Bill Clinton's second inauguration in 1997.