Lincoln's Second Inauguration

January 16, 2001


Provided by: Library of Congress
Summary authors & editors: David Bowler

A nation still deeply divided by war reelected Abraham Lincoln in 1864. Lincoln's electoral landslide of 212 votes to 21 hid a much closer popular vote victory (2.2 million to McClellan's 1.8 million). Here Lincoln (standing just above the wooden platform) is pictured on inauguration day: March 4, 1865. (Interestingly, the infamous John Wilkes Booth is pictured up and to the right of Lincoln, but is not clearly visible in this photograph.)

So where's the Earth Science? Well, on this memorable day the weather was not a problem. By noontime skies had cleared, the rain had stopped, and temperatures reached 45F. However, the inauguration weather isn't always this benign. Visit the link below to learn more about the snowstorm on President's Taft's inauguration, the heavy rain that FDR endured, or the bone-chilling cold of President Reagan's 1985 inauguration.

Only a few weeks after this picture was taken, President Lincoln's life would be taken by an assassin's bullet. Lincoln's closing statement in his inaugural address still speaks volumes over 100 years later: "With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations."

Related Links: