Biden, Harris inaugurated
The 2021 Presidential Inauguration took place on January 20th at the United States Capitol Building. On this day, Joseph Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States, and Kamala Harris was sworn in as the vice president.
The “National Anthem” was sung by Lady Gaga, with other popular artists such as Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks performing as well. Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate, was personally picked by Biden to read a poem she wrote at an event.
This is a historical inauguration as Harris became the first female, first Black, and first South Asian vice president in United States history. Formerly, Harris served as the attorney general of California from 2011 to 2017 before becoming a senator for California in 2017 until her inauguration. Harris, along with former First Lady Michelle Obama and former First Lady, Secretary of State, and 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton all donned purple in their attires, likely a nod to what many suffragettes wore during the early days of the Women’s Rights Movement and bipartisanship (purple is created by mixing blue and red, the colors associated with each party). Harris’s husband, Douglas Emhoff became the first Jewish spouse of a vice president and the first second gentleman.
Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, are scheduled to move into the White House soon after he takes his oath of office. Instead of hosting a formal inaugural dinner per tradition, the Bidens will instead take part in a celebratory televised special entitled “Celebrating America.” Hosts for inaugural events included Tom Hanks, Eva Longoria, Kerry Washington, and Lin-Manuel Miranda, with performances by John Legend, Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Tim McGraw, and the Foo Fighters.
Former President Donald J. Trump was not in attendance of the ceremony, making him the first president in over 150 years since Andrew Jackson did not attend Ulysses S. Grant’s inauguration in 1869. Instead, after his send off at Joint Base Andrews, him, former First Lady Melania Trump, and their son Barron arrived at their private club, Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida.
While Trump did not attend, there were still many notable people there; Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, as well as the majority of Congress, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and former vice president Mike Pence.
Within the first hours of being president, Biden already reversed many actions that occurred during the Trump administration, such as rejoining the Paris Climate Agreement, cutting off funding for the border wall, revoking the travel ban, and initiating a federal mask mandate. Biden also rejoined the World Health Organization. He is expected to sign more executive orders on COVID in the next few days.
Congratulations to President Biden and Vice President Harris!