Transition Of Power: The Presidency
On January 20, 2017, at exactly 12pm, the commander-in-chief of the most powerful nation in the world will voluntarily give up the reins of control, and hand them over to a new leader. Donald J. Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. What most people don’t know is that for months, hundreds of people have been hard at work to make the transition from one president to the next as seamless as possible.
An idea invented in America, the transition of executive power was entirely new in the world when George Washington first set this standard in 1796. Subsequent chief executives have followed in his footsteps, solidifying one of the signature achievements of our constitution: the peaceful, orderly transition of power from one leader to another. It’s a process that has stood the test of time, under every conceivable circumstance—in the shadow of war, the face of scandal, and in the wake of sudden tragedy.
TRANSITION OF POWER: THE PRESIDENCY features rare archival material, insights from presidential historians, and first-hand accounts to document the legacy and process of US Presidential Transitions. Using the period between the election and inauguration day as a ticking clock, the 2-hour special threads historical anecdotes from notable transitions throughout to highlight the challenges of our nation’s most important and celebrated hand-over of power.