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WATCH LIVE: President Donald Trump pledges a strong America

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President Donald Trump. President Donald Trump.
The Obamas and the Trump wave from the protico of the White House before the inaugural. AP photo The Obamas and the Trump wave from the protico of the White House before the inaugural. AP photo

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(NBC News) - After an election won by an unconventional candidate, Inauguration Day will likely be a return to traditions that have held for decades, if not longer.

When President-elect Donald Trump meets President Obama at the White House before being sworn in, he will be following an example set in 1877 by Rutherford B. Hayes, who, after a historically contentious election, met with Ulysses S. Grant at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. before heading to the Capitol building.

The morning prayer service the president-elect and incoming First Lady Melania Trump attend at St. John’s Episcopal Church on the morning of Trump’s inauguration was first enshrined as an inaugural tradition by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and his wife, Eleanor, when they attended the same service before FDR’s inauguration in 1933.

There are traditions for Melania Trump alone to follow, too. Since William Howard Taft took office, first ladies have been donating their dresses to the Smithsonian Museum’s “The First Ladies Collection.” Melania Trump, a former model, is expected to carry on the tradition.

The luncheon hosted by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies has welcomed every incoming president since 1953, save one. At former President Jimmy Carter’s request, there was no luncheon in 1977.

Even the location of inauguration is a tradition, this one started by Ronald Reagan, who was the first president to be sworn in on the west front of the Capitol building.

The Obama’s have their share of tradition to follow. In addition to meeting the President-elect before the first family and first family to-be head to the Capitol, the Obamas will leave Washington aboard Marine One, as every departing First Family has done since 1977.

When Donald Trump delivers his inaugural address on Friday, he will be continuing a tradition with more than 200 years of history behind it.

Every president since George Washington’s election in 1789 has given an address upon (or shortly before) taking the oath of office. But there have been some changes since the 18th century.

The earliest inaugurations were held in the chambers of congress. But during his first inauguration in 1829, Andrew Jackson was sworn into office on the east front portico of the U.S. Capitol.

President Ronald Reagan would later spawn today’s tradition of delivering an address from the Capitol’s west front terrace, overlooking the National Mall and its many inaugural patrons.

While Trump has promised a brief address, it’s unlikely his speech will be shorter than Washington’s second inaugural address, which lasted for all of 135 words and consisted solely of Washington acknowledging his election and pledging to uphold his office and explaining the oath needed to occupy it.

It’s also unlikely that Trump will go the way of William Henry Harrison, who famously delivered the longest inaugural address of any U.S. president without donning a coat on a cold, wet day. He died one month later after contracting pneumonia, becoming the shortest-serving U.S. president and the first to die in office.

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