UPDATED 5:05 PM PT – Saturday, January 9, 2021
Although his decision is a rare one, President Trump would actually be the fourth outgoing president to decline to attend the event in which his successor is sworn in. The incumbent’s attendance is generally a symbol of a peaceful transition, although the former presidents skipped the ceremony for different reasons.
The two were at odds politically and their disdain for one another was mutual.
In 1829, John Quincy Adams did not attend the inauguration ceremony for President Andrew Jackson. Adams had actually beaten Jackson in the previous election. The race itself was especially tense with both parties accusing the other of different forms of corruption.
The first president to skip his successor’s inauguration was John Adams in 1801 when he left Washington before Thomas Jefferson’s’ swearing-in.
First seen at © OANN, History of White House transitions and inauguration