January 20, 2021

Every four years, the United States swears in a president. And every four years, it’s both news and history. You’ll find that in this collection of post-inauguration front pages dating back to 1921.

There’s President Warren G. Harding’s death in 1923, which put President Calvin Coolidge in charge. There’s President Harry Truman denouncing communism, President John F. Kennedy promising freedom, and President Lyndon B. Johnson sworn in just two years later after Kennedy’s assassination. There’s President Richard Nixon with both arms up in double peace signs. There’s President Gerald Ford taking over just a year later after Nixon stepped down. It goes on and on and sits alongside the news of the day.

It’s a sobering reminder, as if we needed one right now, the journalism is the first draft of history. As we look ahead to America’s 46th president, here’s a look back.

1921, Shawnee (Oklahoma) News

1923, Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal

1925, Tampa (Florida) Morning Tribune

1929, The Sheboygan (Wisconsin) Press

1933, Asbury Park (New Jersey) Evening Press

1937, The Boston (Massachusetts) Daily Globe

1941, The Charlotte (North Carolina) Observer

1945, The Birmingham (Alabama) News

1949, The Philadelphia (Pennsylvania) Inquirer

1953, The Knoxville (Tennessee) Journal

1957, The Atlanta (Georgia) Constitution

1961, The (Richmond, Indiana) Palladium-Item

1963, New York Daily News

1965, The Burlington (Vermont) Free Press

1969, The Honolulu (Hawaii) Advertiser

1973, The (Phoenix) Arizona Republic

1974, Kenosha (Wisconsin) News

1977, Shreveport (Louisiana) Journal

1981, The (Spokane, Washington) Spokesman-Review

1985, The Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen

1989, Los Angeles Times

1993, Chicago Tribune

1997, The (Salisbury, Maryland) Daily Times

2001, The Kansas City (Missouri) Star

2005, Reno (Nevada) Gazette-Journal

2009, The (Shreveport, Louisiana) Times

2013, The Detroit Free Press

2017, The Greenville, South Carolina) News


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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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