Joseph “Joe” Robinette Biden Jr., 78, of Delaware, United States was inaugurated as the 46th U.S. president at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., USA on January 20, 2021. It was the country’s 59th presidential inauguration.
Kamala Devi Harris, 56, of California, USA was inaugurated as the 49th U.S. vice president. She is the first woman, first African-American and first Asian American to hold the position, which also makes her the highest ranking female elected official in U.S. history.
Overseen by the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, the Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies planned the inauguration ceremony. The bipartisan committee was composed of U.S. representatives Nancy Pelosi, 80, Steny Hoyer, 81, and Kevin McCarthy, 55, and U.S. senators Mitch McConnell, 78, Amy Klobuchar, 60, and Roy Blunt, 71, who served as the chairman.
The ceremony was different from the previous ones for numerous reasons. Here are some facts about the event:
- It took place amid the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic so each persons in attendance wore a face mask.
- It happened 14 days after supporters of 45th U.S. president Donald Trump, 74, breached the U.S. Capitol building.
- While Trump and his wife Melania Trump, 50, did not attend the ceremony, 48th U.S. vice president Mike Pence did.
- Along with former first ladies Hillary Clinton, 73, Laura Bush, 74, and Michelle Obama, 57, 42nd U.S. president Bill Clinton, 74, 43rd U.S. president George W. Bush, 74, and 44th U.S. president Barack Obama, 59, attended the ceremony along with their respective wives
- 44th U.S. vice president Dan Quayle, 73, was the only former vice president who attended the ceremony.
- Among the Asian people who attended the ceremony was Hsiao Bi-khim, 49, the first ever representative of Taiwan in the U.S. invited to attend a U.S. presidential inauguration.
- The national anthem was sang by Stefani Joanne Angelina “Lady Gaga” Germanotta, 34, who is of Italian, French-Canadian, English, German and Scottish descent.
- “This Land Is Your Land” and “America the Beautiful” by Puerto Rican-American Jennifer Lopez, 51.
- “Amazing Grace” was performed by country singer Garth Brooks, 58, who is of Irish descent.
- “The Hill We Climb” was recited by African-American poet and inaugural U.S. National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, 22, making her the youngest poet to write and recite a piece at a U.S. presidential inauguration.
- Harris’s oath of office was administered by Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, 66, who is Puerto Rican and the first Hispanic and Latina member of the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Biden’s oath of office was administered by 17th U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts, 65, who is of Irish, Welsh and Slovak descent.
- Biden composed his 21-minute inaugural address with the help of Indian-American speechwriter Vinay Reddy, senior advisor Mike Donilon, 61, who is of Irish descent, Jewish American secretary of state Tony Blinken, 58, and 30th White House chief of staff Ron Klain, 59, who is also Jewish.