Why is it always January 20?
A lot of things changed since the days of Franklin D Roosevelt, but the date remains For nearly a century, the office of US President has officially transferred from one man to the next (and it's always been a man) at noon on January 20. The date was originally March 4 to allow the new office-holder plenty of time to get ready to take the reins of power. But this was changed in 1933 after new technology, including the railroad, meant everything could be in place several weeks earlier. Politicians wanted to end the "lame duck syndrome" that meant outgoing Presidents were in charge but had little real power. Since then we've had e-mail, Twitter and coast-to-coast TV - but the January 20 date is protected by the 20th Amendment to the constitution.
What else does Obama do before Trump arrives?
President Obama is now a 'lame duck' - but he still has executive power
(Photo: The White House) It's a tradition for the outgoing President to leave a gracious in the Oval Office. George Bush's note to Obama wished the new leader well on the "fabulous new chapter" he was about to begin. In 1993, George Bush Sr's note to Bill Clinton said: "I wish you great happiness here. I never felt the loneliness some Presidents have described." It added: "You will of course be OUR President when you read this note. I wish you well. I wish your family well." Obama's already granted 78 in December, and later commuted the sentence of military leaker Chelsea Manning.