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13 Surprising Facts About the Presidential Line of Succession

Best Life Logo By Adam Shalvey of Best Life | Slide 1 of 14: At 9 a.m. on April 30, 1789, church bells rang without interruption for a full 30 minutes throughout New York City. The signal was to remind citizens of the day's monumental event: the first presidential inauguration, which was held at Federal Hall in lower Manhattan. And since about noon on that historic day, when George Washington was officially sworn in as the country's first president, the executive branch of the United States government has been led by 45 different American presidents.Along the way, however, the position of president has seen more than its fair share of unexpected events—assassinations, illness, and one very well-known resignation, to name a few—that have made the transition of power a seriously complex part of American history. What happens when the president can no longer be the president because of death or incapacitation? Who takes over and why? How was this decided? If those sound like questions you've been wanting answers to, here are some illuminating facts and historic events surrounding presidential succession in the U.S. And to learn more interesting information about those who have occupied the Oval Office, check out 30 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About U.S. Presidents.

At 9 a.m. on April 30, 1789, church bells rang without interruption for a full 30 minutes throughout New York City. The signal was to remind citizens of the day's monumental event: the first presidential inauguration, which was held at Federal Hall in lower Manhattan. And since about noon on that historic day, when George Washington was officially sworn in as the country's first president, the executive branch of the United States government has been led by 45 different American presidents.

Along the way, however, the position of president has seen more than its fair share of unexpected events—assassinations, illness, and one very well-known resignation, to name a few—that have made the transition of power a seriously complex part of American history. What happens when the president can no longer be the president because of death or incapacitation? Who takes over and why? How was this decided? If those sound like questions you've been wanting answers to, here are some illuminating facts and historic events surrounding presidential succession in the U.S. And to learn more interesting information about those who have occupied the Oval Office, check out 30 Amazing Facts You Never Knew About U.S. Presidents.

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