On January 20, 2021, the country and the world watched as Joseph. R. Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris took her oath of office as his second in command. The events of Inauguration Day were scaled back owing to the COVID-19 pandemic as well as security concerns following the attempted insurrection on the U.S. Capitol by a violent mob earlier this month. However, as unprecedented as it was, it still held some key historical moments that will set the tone for this incoming administration.
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Trump leaves Washington D.C. before the inauguration ceremony
Breaking with tradition, outgoing President Donald Trump did not attend the inauguration of his successor, choosing to leave the White House early alongside outgoing First Lady Melania Trump.
Kamala Harris sworn in as the first woman and person of color to assume the Office of Vice President
Kamala Harris was sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court. Her spouse Doug Emhoff held the Bible as she took her oath of office.
Amanda Gorman becomes youngest Poet Laureate to read a poem at a Presidential Inauguration
The country’s first National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman became the youngest person to read at an Inauguration. The 22-year-old impressed audiences with a moving, powerful recitation of her poem ‘The Hill we climb’.
Senate becomes a 50-50 split
Vice President Kamala Harris swore in new members of the senate including her successor from California and the two Democratic winners from Georgia’s race. With the senate now at a 50-50 split, the Vice President will have the tie-breaker vote.
Star power shines at Inauguration Day
Lady Gaga, Garth Brooks, and Jennifer Lopez at the inauguration ceremony at the Capitol but there was even more star power waiting in the wings. The televised event ‘Celebrating America’ held in the evening, featured performances by Tom Hanks, Jon Bon Jovi, Bruce Springsteen, Katy Perry, John Legend, and more.