The Fifty-Ninth Presidential Inauguration

Joseph R. Biden, Jr
January 20, 2021 marked the inauguration of the United States' 46th President, Joseph R. Biden, and Vice President, Kamala Harris. It was our nation's 59th inaugural event. It is also fitting that it marked an historic event of the first Asian-African American woman to attain the office of Vice President of the United States. Just 232 years earlier, the nation hailed George Washington as the first president of the United States of America when he was inaugurated at Federal Hall on April 30, 1789.

In George Washington's words, “The magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, being sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens, a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications, could not but overwhelm with despondence, one, who, inheriting inferior endowments from nature and unpracticed in the duties of civil administration, ought to be peculiarly conscious of his own deficiencies.”

–And later, in the words of Joseph R. Biden Jr., upon his inauguration as the President of the United States, “To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America requires so much more than words. It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy: unity, unity."
Kamala Harris

The public ceremony was held on the west front of the United States Capital Building in Washington, D.C. President Biden was sworn in with his left hand on a family Bible from 1893. Held in Washington, D.C., the inaugural theme was “America United,” it “reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together.” The inauguration itself also looked different, with the typical parade and inaugural balls giving way to safer virtual celebrations.

Last updated: January 21, 2021

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