A Look Back at Some of the Nation’s Previous Inaugural Balls

They’ve existed as long as the presidency itself.

It’s a great American tradition: the presidential inaugural ball. They’ve existed as long as the presidency itself.

In 2017, Donald Trump and Melania danced to Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” which is Trump’s favorite song. But the highlight was surely when the first lady danced with 29-year-old staff sergeant, Jose Medina.

In 2009, Beyonce serenaded Barack and Michelle Obama at their first inaugural ball. The Obamas danced again at their second inaugural ball in 2013, when mega stars like Jennifer Hudson and John Legend performed.

Sometimes, there are multiple inaugural balls. In 2001, George W. Bush and his wife Laura attended so many balls, they were only able to dance from 29 to 50 seconds at each one.

Bill Clinton showed off his chops on the saxophone at his inaugural ball in 1993.

And perhaps the most famous of all was John F. Kennedy’s in 1961, when the glamorous Jackie Kennedy had to carefully make it over a snowbank to get to the ball on time. It was a star-studded gala, attended by some of the biggest names in showbiz, including Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

Now, President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden will get their turn at making inaugural ball history, but with a big difference due to the coronavirus pandemic. There’ll be no traditional ball at all, and certainly no dancing cheek-to-cheek.