Historically, March 4 is a day for beginning. In 1789, it was the day the federal government first convened under the US Constitution. From that date through 1933, it was the day when presidents–from George Washington through FDR–were inaugurated. Then, pageantry, ritual, excitement, and uncertainty ruled the capital, combining in astonishing scenes richly documented in newspapers, eyewitness accounts, sketchbooks, albumen prints, and later celluloid.
Here is just one such image by way of tribute to our national birthdays past: a magnificent panoramic view of the Capitol on the inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt on March 4, 1905. Please click on the image for a much enlarged view.