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President Trump joined four early United States presidents in refusing to attend his successor’s inauguration. While President Washington attended his former vice president’s inauguration, John Adams did not pretend that the incredibly ugly 1800 campaign was normal. He refused to dignify Thomas Jefferson’s inauguration. The two men, formerly friends, were bitter enemies until they reconciled in a long correspondence, years after both returned to private life. Adams’ son, John Quincy Adams, did not attend the inauguration of the founder of the Democratic Party, Andrew Jackson. Yet, J.Q. Adams had a long second political life as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.* You may recall that President Trump chose to feature Andrew Jackson’s portrait in the Oval Office. Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson’s vice president, did not attend the Whig Party candidate, William Harrison’s inauguration.** Andrew Johnson, a Democrat elected on a war unity ticket with Lincoln, refused to attend U.S. Grant’s inauguration after the Radical Republicans impeached but failed to convict Johnson.
President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump gave one last address from the runway apron at Andrews Air Force Base before flying home to Florida. Like farewell addresses by previous presidents, the remarks included thanks to family and those who worked with them, along with both a list of accomplishments and notes of caution about the direction the new administration was likely to take.