"On this day in 1877, Rutherford B. Hayes is sworn in as the 19th president of the United States in the Red Room of the White House. Two days later, Hayes was again inaugurated in a public ceremony.
Some historical accounts claim that Hayes’ first swearing-in ceremony had occurred in secret due to threats made on the new president’s life. Other accounts say that since inaugural day fell on a Sunday, Congress decided to perform a private ceremony the Saturday before the official inauguration date and repeat the performance in public the following Monday.
It is not beyond the realm of possibility that Hayes’ life had been threatened, as his 1876 election had been hotly contested. For four months, competing factions in Congress as well as their like-minded countrymen argued over the election results. Hayes had lost the popular vote by a slim margin of 250,000 votes, yet appeared to have won a majority in the Electoral College.
Accusations of fraudulent Electoral College vote counts in three southern states (including Florida, which would again play a major role in a contested election in 2000) led Congress to form an electoral commission to make the final decision. On March 2, the commission voted along party lines and put the Republican, Hayes, in office."
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