The Eisenhowers and Kennedys got together for coffee and a friendly chat at the White House before the big ceremony today.
Dwight Eisenhower sent his bubbletop car and Secret Service agents to pick up Mr. and Mrs. John F. Kennedy. Bare-headed and grinning, Eisenhower greeted them on the steps.
Mrs. Kennedy, wide eyed and smiling, wore a beige wool coat with blue pillbox. She carried a fur muff.
Mrs. Eisenhower was in the lobby to greet the couple who came for coffee and will stay four years. Also present at the surprise gathering were Vice President Lyndon Johnson and House Speaker Sam Rayburn.
Things really got hot when Richard Cardinal Cushing delivered the invocation. Smoke wisped out of the lectern and blew into the faces of Kennedy and Eisenhower.
There was the noticeable smell of burning wire and some people thought they could see a small fire. Firemen and Secret Service agents moved in and rectified the trouble - apparently caused by a short circuit.
Kennedy and other officials appeared concerned at first but chuckled when the smoke stopped.
Despite freezing weather and snow - clogged streets, hardy spectators began gathering at the inaugural site at 5 a.m., seven hours before the ceremony.
As the crowd swelled, some took their minds off the cold by singing. Hundreds wore blankets, many of which had hotel insignia on them.
Eleanor Roosevelt, widow of FDR, arrived early and took a seat in a section reserved for guests of the diplomatic corps. She declined an invitation to a seat on the presidential stand.
Harry Truman, who has taken the presidential oath twice and expressed other oaths frequently, was in a gay mood. He kept time to the music with his feet. He also gave a kiss to Mrs. Woodrow Wilson, aged widow of the WWI president.