HAYES TAKES OATH IN PRIVATE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) On March 3, 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes was sworn in as POTUS in a private ceremony held in the Red Room at the White House.
Although losing the popular vote to Samuel Tilden in the Election of 1876*, Hayes was awarded 20 disputed popular votes in the Compromise of 1877**. Hayes was determined to be the winner by a single electoral vote.
The standard date of presidential inaugurations at that time was March 4, but because that day was a Sunday in 1877, the official public inauguration was scheduled for March 5.
Just like the election, there is some dispute concerning the reason for the private ceremony. History.com says that the reason could be that there were threats on Hayes' life.
In his inaugural address, given on March 5, 1877, President Hayes said...
"He serves his party best who serves his country best."
*Election of 1876: Samuel Tilden (D) won the popular vote by 50,000+ out of 8.3 million votes cast but Rutherford B. Hayes (R) won the electoral vote 185-184.
**Compromise of 1877: Republicans agree to end Reconstruction by withdrawing all Federal troops from the South. In return, Democrats agree to 20 disputed electoral votes going to Hayes giving him the election victory.
"Rutherford B. Hayes is inaugurated in a private ceremony," This Day in History, March 3, www.history.com