Presidents who skipped successors’ inaugurations – including two from one family

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In one of his final tweets before his account was permanently deleted, Donald Trump said he would not be attending Joe Biden's inauguration.

Trump, who has repeatedly peddled baseless claims election fraud being the reason he lost November's election, was never likely to accept the invitation which is always extended to living former Presidents.

It is traditional for the outgoing President to sit close by at the ceremony as their successor takes the oath. Instead, Trump will use Air Force One to jet off to Florida hours before the ceremony.

The double-impeached Trump will join a short list of Presidents – all one of them one-term leaders – who have actively boycotted their successors' inaugurations.

He is also the first to skip the ceremony for 152 years.

John Adams – 1801

John Adams was America's second President, serving from from 1797 to 1801

The US election of 1800 was a bitter vote.

Incumbent Federalist President John Adams sought a second term, but was challenged by his own Vice President, the Democratic-Republican Thomas Jefferson.

Back then the public voted for individuals rather than a single ticket of presidential candidate and running mate, so the top two roles were decided by who received the most votes, regardless of party.

Despite being friends for a number of years, things quickly turned vitriolic in a public war of words containing smears and false stories.

Adams was accused of having a "hideous hermaphroditical character" by Jefferson's supporters, while Adams' team branded Jefferson "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow".

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When Jefferson and Adam Burr – another Democratic-Republican – were tied on votes in the election ahead of Adams, the outgoing president rejected Jefferson's advances to help decide who would be his replacement, saying it was down to the House of Representatives and he couldn't get involved.

Before dawn on the morning of Jefferson's inauguration, his predecessor left Washington DC by public coach for his home in Massachusetts.

The pair didn't speak for 12 years until they started writing letters to one another, rebuilding their friendship until Jefferson's death in 1826.

John Quincy Adams – 1829

John Quincy Adams followed in his father's footsteps by becoming President and then refusing to attend his successor's inauguration

Skipping inaugurations ran in the Adams family as John Adams' eldest son, John Quincy Adams, missed the swearing in of Andrew Jackson in 1829.

History repeated itself as the pair were friends until they both ran for office in 1824. Although Jackson won the popular vote, his rival was elected by the House of Representatives amid rumours he had struck a deal with the Speaker, Henry Clay.

A fuming Jackson declared a "corrupt bargain" had taken place and vowed to run four years later.

It was a contentious election in 1828.

Jackson's wife Rachel was vilified, branded a "convicted adulteress" as she had been married before, as mud was thrown at the couple.

Jackson himself was also depicted as as a budding tyrant, an American Caesar with a fierce temper. That claim had some merit though as he had fought duels and been involved in bar brawls.

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His supporters accused the incumbent of being an aristocrat, pointing to the 1824 election deal, and corrupt. He'd never shaken off the image of being crooked and intent on lining his own pockets.

Jackson cruised to victory, 178 electoral college votes to 83, but his win was overshadowed when Rachel suffered a fatal heart attack in December, just as he was preparing to leave for Washington.

Although an embittered President-elect held Speaker Clay mainly responsible for the ugly press attacks on his wife – which he believed contributed to her death – he did not regard the outgoing President as blameless.

Soon after Rachel's death Jackson said: "May God almighty forgive her murderers as I know she would forgive them. I never can."

He refused to visit Quincy Adams in the days leading up to the inauguration in March 1829. Quincy Adams took that as a deliberate snub and refused to attend the inauguration, leaving the White House the evening before Jackson was sworn in.

Andrew Johnson – 1869

Andrew Johnson was the first President to be impeached in 1868

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Andrew Johnson was Vice President when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

The following three years were controversial as Johnson clashed with both Congress and the Senate, including when he pardoned Confederate slave owners and blocked attempts to grant civil rights to freed slaves.

This culminated in Johnson becoming the first President to be impeached in March 1868 on 11 charges, the most serious being his firing of the Secretary of War without approval of the Senate.

He survived the trial, but failed to secure his party's nomination for the election later that year.

In November his nemesis, General Ulysses S. Grant, was voted in, ironically thanks to the votes of the Freedmen whose rights Johnson had tried to restrict during his term of office.

Neither man wanted anything to do with the other.

Johnson refused to attend the inauguration, staying in the White House to sign last-minute legislation after Grant dismissed the tradition at the time of sharing a carriage with his predecessor to the ceremony.

Other Presidents to miss inaugurations

Of course, others have missed inaugurations due to ill-health or death.

In total eight of America's 45 Presidents – excluding Biden – have died in office. They are – along with the years of their death:

William Henry Harrison (1841)

Zachary Taylor (1850)

Abraham Lincoln (1865)

James A. Garfield (1881)

William McKinley (1901)

Warren G. Harding (1923)

Franklin D. Roosevelt (1945)

John F. Kennedy (1963)