Pres. Donald Trump announced that he will not be attending the inauguration of Joe Biden.

How many presidents have not attended the inauguration of their successor?

2 Answers 2


There have been 4 Presidents who had skipped their successors' inauguration.

This Raleigh News & Observer article listed those Presidents and their reasons for not attending their successors' inauguration.

  • John Adams skipped the 1801 inauguration of Thomas Jefferson

    It marked the first time in history the presidency was handed over to the opposing party, and Adams may have wanted to avoid stirring the pot between the Federalists and Democratic-Republicans, the association says.

  • John Quincy Adams skipped the 1829 inauguration of Andrew Jackson

    It’s unclear why John Quincy Adams, the country’s sixth president, didn’t attend the inauguration of his successor, Andrew Jackson.

    Adams didn’t invite Jackson to the White House when he arrived in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 11, according to The White House Historical Association. Jackson also didn’t “call on” Adams.

  • Andrew Johnson skipped the 1869 inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant

    Grant and Johnson were nemeses, and Grant had previously said he would not ride in a carriage to the Capitol with Johnson, according to CNN. Johnson was also reportedly angry about his impeachment, according to NBC News.

  • Richard Nixon skipped the 1974 inauguration of Gerald Ford
    • Note that this is a non-scheduled extraordinary inauguration. Some news sources excluded this instance from their count.

    Nixon, the only U.S. president to resign, informed then-Vice President Gerald Ford on Aug. 8 he planned to resign and that Ford would take office the next day.

    At 9:30 a.m. Aug. 9, Nixon and his family entered the East Room of the White House where Nixon delivered his final address as president

    [ ... ]

    He then left the White House and boarded the presidential helicopter.

    By the time Air Force One landed in California, Ford had been sworn in and Nixon was “an ordinary citizen,” History.com says.

  • 1
    Note: BBC excluded Nixon's case. Jan 8, 2021 at 17:06
  • 1
    @TheSimpliFire Likely because it is a "non-scheduled extraordinary inauguration", as opposed to the others.
    – Panda
    Jan 8, 2021 at 17:07
  • 10
    Also, every president who died in office, for obvious reasons. Jan 8, 2021 at 17:08
  • It's trivia but the plane changed from being Air Force One to SAM 27000 in the air when Ford was sworn in.
    – Eric Nolan
    Jan 8, 2021 at 19:42

In addition to the presidents mentioned in the answer by panda, none of the following Presidents attended the inauguration of the next President:

  • William Henry Harrison (1841)
  • Zachary Taylor (1850)
  • Abraham Lincoln (1865)
  • James A. Garfield (1881)
  • William McKinley (1901)
  • Warren G. Harding (1923)
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945)
  • John F. Kennedy (1963)

Each died in office. They did not, of course, choose to "skip" the next inauguration.

  • This link will be useful for answer - en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/… Jan 8, 2021 at 19:32
  • 5
    I'd be rather disturbed if any of these Presidents had attended. I think we can all be glad they didn't.
    – Bobson
    Jan 8, 2021 at 19:50

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