December 16, 2016

Chairman Blunt Selects Painting for Inaugural Luncheon

Missouri Artist George Caleb Bingham's "Verdict of the People" to be Displayed

WASHINGTON –  U.S. Senator Roy Blunt (Mo.), Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, earlier today announced the painting that will be on display during the Inaugural Luncheon. He has selected George Caleb Bingham’s “Verdict of the People,” an oil painting from the American art gallery at the Saint Louis Museum of Art.

After the newly-elected President has taken the oath of office and delivered the inaugural address, Chairman Blunt and the JCCIC host a traditional inaugural luncheon in National Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol. Since 1953, the JCCIC has organized a luncheon celebration for the President, Vice President and their spouses, Senate and House leaders, the JCCIC members, and other invited guests. As chairman, Blunt selects a work of art to be displayed during the luncheon.

“Verdict of the People” (1854-55) is one of three works by the Missouri artist that comprise the Election Series, presenting the course of democratic elections from public debate between candidates, to the voting process, to the announcement of election. Bingham wanted to visually record the cultural tensions at play in American democracy in the 1850s.

After Election Day, it often took days to compile the votes. The results were publicly announced at the courthouse, and crowds gathered to hear the “Verdict of the People.” This painting depicts a chaotic street scene just as a clerk calls out the election results. Bingham’s electorate is one of inclusiveness. Everyone is here – the well-to-do farmers, laborers, merchants, westerners, kids, politicians, immigrants, veterans, women, and African-Americans. They are elated, dejected, confounded, argumentative, jovial, and intensely serious.

The painting will be on display in National Statuary Hall on January 20, 2017, then returned to the Saint Louis Art Museum.

October 7, 2016

Chairman Blunt Announces Missouri State University Chorale will Perform at the 58th Presidential Inauguration

Springfield, Mo. – U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt, chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, announced today at the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts that the Missouri State University Chorale will perform during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20, 2017.

“I’m very proud to announce that MSU’s Chorale will represent the university and the state of Missouri on the national stage at the 58th Presidential Inauguration,” said Blunt. “I have no doubt that the millions of Americans watching the ceremony will be as impressed with these incredibly talented students as all of us who have had the opportunity to hear them perform.”

The Chorale, directed by Dr. Cameron LaBarr, will perform outdoors during the nationally televised inaugural ceremony. This select choir of 50 voices is MSU’s flagship touring choir and has toured throughout the United States, Europe, and Africa and regularly performs at conferences of the American Choral Directors Association, Missouri Music Educators Association, and the National Association for Music Education.

“We are honored that the Missouri State University Chorale has been selected to perform at the inauguration,” said Missouri State President Clifton M. Smart III. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for Chorale students to take part in an important and historic event.”

About The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) has been responsible for the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the inauguration of the president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol since 1901. The 58th Presidential Inauguration will take place on Jan. 20, 2017.

About Missouri State University

Missouri State University is a public, comprehensive university system with a mission in public affairs. Our purpose is to develop fully educated persons with a focus on ethical leadership, cultural competence, and community engagement.

September 21, 2016

Construction Begins on 2017 Presidential Inaugural Platform with Ceremonial Driving of the First Nail

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) and the Architect of the Capitol held the First Nail Ceremony for the 2017 Presidential Inauguration. The event marks the traditional launch of construction on the inaugural platform, where the next President of the United States will take the oath of office on Friday, January 20, 2017.

During the ceremony, JCCIC Chairman Roy Blunt, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Rules Committee Ranking Member Charles E. Schumer, Speaker of the House Paul D. Ryan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers drove nails into a plank at the site of the future platform on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol.

“The Presidential Inauguration may seem to be a routine event, but it remains a uniquely American symbol of our constitutional system,” said Chairman Blunt. “While inaugural traditions may have varied over the years, their fundamental premise remains unchanged and unwavering. They have represented both national renewal and continuity of leadership for two centuries and will continue to do so into the future.”

The 58th Presidential Inaugural Platform will be more than 10,000 square feet, the same size as every platform used since the 2005 inaugural, which was the largest platform built for an inauguration. The platform is constructed entirely from scratch for each inaugural ceremony. The completed platform will hold approximately 1,600 inaugural guests, including members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, cabinet members and nominees, Supreme Court justices, former presidents, and the president and vice president and their families.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is charged with the planning and execution of the swearing-in ceremonies and the luncheon for the Inauguration of the President of the United States at the U.S. Capitol since 1901.