The Library of Virginia

Our Governor Elect

Beginning in the early years of the twentieth century, gubernatorial inaugurations gradually developed into the now-familiar elaborate celebrations. Photographs of inaugurations appeared in the newspapers, radio carried inaugural addresses to larger audiences, and parades became standard practice. Every governor since 1902 (Andrew Jackson Montague) has taken office during a joint session of the General Assembly. Beginning in 1914 (Henry Carter Stuart), inaugurations occurred outdoors, weather permitting. Each inauguration included a parade, except for the 1942 inauguration of Colgate Whitehead Darden who, in deference to the United States' entry in World War II six weeks before, dispensed with most of the ceremony. Governor Darden did deliver his inaugural address from the south portico of the Capitol.

Two governors' inaugurations set patterns that remain unaltered in future ceremonies. Henry Carter Stuart was the first Virginia governor to ride in an automobile in his parade (1914). Harry Flood Byrd was the first to use radio (WRVA) and an audio system to broadcast his inaugural address.







Trinkle Family
Outside inauguration scene

Top sheet music courtesy of The Library of Virginia; Center and bottom photos courtesy of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.