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Inauguration Day in the United States

Inauguration Day does not occur in 2022This year:Doesn't occur in 2022Next year:Doesn't occur in 2023Last year:Wed, Jan 20, 2021District of Columbia, Maryland, and VirginiaList of dates for other…

Inauguration Day does not occur in 2022

This year:Doesn't occur in 2022
Next year:Doesn't occur in 2023
Last year:Wed, Jan 20, 2021District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia

List of dates for other years

United States holidays 2022

United States holidays 2023

Inauguration Day occurs in the USA once every four years on January 20. It is held in the year after presidential elections have been held.


Crowds gather at the capitol building in Washington D.C. to witness the inauguration of a president.


Is Inauguration Day a Public Holiday?

Inauguration Day is a holiday for federal employees only in the District of Columbia, Montgomery and Prince George's counties in Maryland, Arlington and Fairfax counties in Virginia, and the cities of Alexandria and Falls Church in Virginia. It is also a holiday for district employees in Washington DC.

What Do People Do?

The new terms of office of the president and vice-president officially begin at noon in Washington DC.

On Inauguration Day, the candidates who won the elections in the previous year are sworn into office as president and vice-president of the United States. The swearing-in ceremony takes place at the U.S. Capitol and is organized by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. It is usually followed by a parade along Pennsylvania Avenue.

The new president watches the parade from the presidential viewing stand in front of the White House. The route of the parade is often lined by thousands of people. However, many Americans watch the ceremony on television or listen to it on the radio.

Public Life

Inauguration Day is not a public holiday in most of the United States and most people are expected to work as usual. Many schools, stores, and other organizations are open as normal in many parts of the USA. Public transport services run on their regular schedules. There may be changes to normal broadcasting schedules on television and radio, as news stations cover the inauguration ceremony.

In and around Washington D.C., there can be considerable disruption to public life, both on Inauguration Day and in the days before and after the ceremony. This is not only due to the actual ceremony and parades that accompany it but also the protests and demonstrations that are organized and the massive security operation that takes place. If you have business affairs in this area in the second half of January in an inauguration year, it is wise to check carefully that you will be able to do what you need to.


The head of state of the USA has been a president since 1789. In that year, George Washington was elected and inaugurated as president of the United States of America. He was inaugurated for the first time on April 30, 1789, and for the second time on March 4, 1793. Subsequent inaugurations were held on March 4 until the second inauguration of President Franklin Roosevelt on January 20, 1937. Since then, Inauguration Day has been held on January 20 and the term of office officially starts at 12:00 noon on that date.

Usually, the vice-president is sworn in first and the president at exactly 12:00 noon. After they have been sworn in, the president and vice-president are given four ruffles and flourishes. The ruffles are played on drums and the flourishes on bugles, which are simple brass instruments with no valves. The ruffles and flourishes form a fanfare before a performance of the president's anthem, “Hail to the Chief,” and the vice-president's anthem, “Hail, Columbia.” There is then a 21-gun salute from the howitzers of the military district of Washington.

After the ceremony, the president and vice-president are guests of honor at a luncheon given by the United States Congress. Later in the day, they parade down Pennsylvania Avenue and walk part of the way from the Capitol to the White House. If Inauguration Day falls on a Sunday, the presidential oath is usually administered in a private ceremony on that day and a public ceremony and celebrations are held on the following day.

On January 20, 2009, Barack Obama became the first African-American president to be inaugurated. On January 20, 2021, Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. (Joe Biden) was inaugurated as the 46th president of the United States. His vice president, Kamala Harris, is the first female vice president of the country.

While we diligently research and update our holiday dates, some of the information in the table above may be preliminary. If you find an error, please let us know.

EnglishInauguration Day
Arabicيوم القسم الرئاسي
GermanTag der Amtseinführung des US-Präsidenten
Hebrewיום השבעתו של הנשיא
Korean대통령 취임일
NorwegianPresidentens innsettelsesdag
SpanishDía de Inauguración
2021 inauguration day schedule: Biden Harris event details

19-01-2021 · The 2021 inauguration will be atypical. ... Next, he’ll tackle other policies on his long-term presidential agenda. Biden policies on COVID-19, guns, policing, climate, and more .


The tumultuous 2020 election cycle is finally coming to a close. On Wednesday, President Trump will leave office after serving a four-year term. President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States alongside Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The inauguration ceremonies are slated to begin shortly before 9 a.m. Pacific.

Los Angeles Times journalists will kick off the action with a pre-ceremony live chat starting at 7:30 a.m. Pacific.

Inauguration events will be covered by all major cable TV networks, including CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Fox News. ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, Telemundo and Univision channels will also provide event coverage.

Sling, FuboTV, Hulu Live TV and CBS All Access plan to livestream inauguration events. Additionally, inauguration livestreams will be available on:

Several events will take place throughout the day:

Lady Gaga performed at a drive-in rally for then-Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden in November.

Here are additional performances:

  • Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem
  • Jennifer Lopez will also perform
  • The Rev. Leo O’Donovan will read the invocation
  • Georgia firefighter Andrea Hall will lead the Pledge of Allegiance
  • First National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman will read a poem
  • The Rev. Silvester Beaman of Delaware will give the benediction

Inauguration festivities will be capped off with Tom Hanks’ “Celebrating America” TV special at 5:30 p.m. Pacific, which will be broadcast on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC and PBS. Celebrities slated to appear include:

  • Demi Lovato
  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Lin-Manuel Miranda
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Foo Fighters
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • John Legend

President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump will not be attending any of the 2021 inauguration events. After election results were announced in November, Trump refused to concede for months. He first acknowledged his loss the day after a mob of his supporters rioted at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. The horrific event led to Trump’s second impeachment during his presidency.

The 2021 inauguration will be atypical. With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting down large gatherings across the country, the usual boisterous inauguration parades and events aren’t feasible. There will be increased security measures in Washington, D.C. to ensure minimal crowds, following the Capitol riot.

The Capitol riot exposed the fractured political nature of the United States. Biden hopes to address that divide with his inauguration theme: “America United.” The Presidential Inaugural Committee has stated that this theme champions Biden’s pledge to bring the country together when he takes office.

After assuming his new role, Biden plans to focus on immigration, climate change and COVID-19. Next, he’ll tackle other policies on his long-term presidential agenda.

Inauguration Day schedule: Joe Biden, Kamala Harris sworn in

Inauguration Day:What to know about Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history It is anticipated there will be roughly 1,000 guests in attendance. Most will be members of Congress ...

WASHINGTON – Landing in the midst of a deadly pandemic, and now facing security concerns due to an insurrection attempt at the U.S. Capitol last week by a pro-Trump crowd, President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration will lack the crowds, and much of the fanfare, that those in years past had.

In light of those two issues, the Presidential Inaugural Committee has rethought how this year's event will look. Much of it will be virtual. 

The committee is also stressing each event "will be socially distanced" and the inaugural committee "will have vigorous health and safety protocols in place."

The inaugural committee has not released specific times for all parts of the event.

Here is the schedule of events for Biden's inauguration on Wednesday, and the events of the days leading up to it, as we currently know it: 

Wednesday: Inauguration Day

The departing president and the president-elect typically ride down Pennsylvania Avenue together after the incumbent greets the incoming president at the White House. However, that is will likely not happen this year as Trump has said he is not attending the ceremony. 

Instead, Trump will leave the White House for Florida shortly before Biden's inauguration. Trump will hold a farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews, the usual jumping-off point for Air Force One, in Maryland just outside Washington before his departure from the capital city, sources said.

More:Trump to hold departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews on morning of Biden inauguration

8:45 a.m.: Biden, Harris and their spouses will attend mass at Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. They will be joined by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif.

10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Our White House: An Inaugural Celebration for Young Americans

The inaugural committee will "host a first-ever curated livestream for young Americans before and during the Inaugural Ceremonies."

The livestream will be hosted by entertainer and advocate Keke Palmer, feature appearances from Dr. Jill Biden, include segments about presidential pets, excerpts of student voices from PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs “We the Young People” programming, and more. 

10:30 a.m.: Biden, Harris and their spouses will arrive at U.S. Capitol for the inauguration.

11:15 a.m., inauguration ceremony begins: At the swearing-in, the Rev. Leo O’Donovan, a former Georgetown University president, will give the invocation. The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Andrea Hall, a firefighter from Georgia.

Joe Biden's inauguration: Which celebrities are performing, where and how to watch

Lady Gaga, who campaigned with and performed for Biden during the election, will perform the National Anthem. 

There will be a poetry reading from Amanda Gorman, the first national youth poet laureate, and the benediction will be given by Rev. Silvester Beaman of Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware. 

There will be additional musical performances.

Harris will be sworn in first by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a history-making event in which the first Black, South Asian and female vice president will take her oath of office from the first Latina justice, shortly before noon.

Opinion:Kamala Harris makes history. Her swearing-in as vice president shows ‘strength of our democracy.’

Harris chose Sotomayor for the task, according to the Associated Press. She’ll also use two Bibles for the swearing-in, one of which belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

Noon, Biden sworn in as president: Biden will be sworn in on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol building becoming the 46th president of the United States, around noon. 

Following tradition Chief Justice John Roberts will lead Biden in the oath of office. He will take the oath using his 127-year-old, 5-inch-thick family Bible.

After Harris and Biden take their oaths of office, Biden will deliver an inaugural address to layout "his vision to defeat the pandemic, build back better, and unify and heal the nation," according to the inaugural team. 

Inauguration Day:What to know about Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history

It is anticipated there will be roughly 1,000 guests in attendance. Most will be members of Congress and their guests.

1:40 p.m.: After the official swearing-in ceremony, Biden, the incoming First Lady, Harris, and the incoming Second Gentleman will participate in a Pass in Review on the East Front of the Capitol with members of the military.

"Pass in Reviews are a long-standing military tradition that reflects the peaceful transfer of power to a new Commander-in-Chief," the inaugural committee stated of the event.

2:25 p.m., Arlington National Cemetery, Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: Biden and Harris, and their spouses, will then visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.  

Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton, will also attend the ceremony at Arlington.

More:Obama, Bush and Clinton to join Biden for wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington Cemetery after inauguration

3:15 p.m.: Biden will then receive a presidential escort from 15th Street to the White House.

The escort will include representatives of every branch of the military, including the U.S. Army Band, a Joint Service Honor Guard, and the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard and Fife and Drum Corps from the 3rd U.S. Infantry “The Old Guard.”

"Participants will be socially distanced and PIC will have vigorous health and safety protocols in place," according to Matt Hill, a spokesman for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Virtual Parade Across America: A “virtual parade” will then occur, which will be televised and feature performances in communities across the country.

The parade will celebrate America’s heroes, highlight Americans from all walks of life in different states and regions, and reflect the country’s diversity, heritage and resilience, inaugural planners said.

More:Joe Biden's virtual 'Parade Across America' to feature 'heroes' and Jon Stewart, Andra Day, Kenny Ortega

More:Joe Biden to get 'presidential escort' to White House, virtual parade instead of traditional inaugural festivities

The event will celebrate the nation's heroes and highlight the diversity, heritage and resilience of the country, the Presidential Inaugural Committee said Monday.

5:15 p.m.: Biden will sign executive orders and "other presidential actions" in the Oval Office.

8:30 PM, "Celebrating America" Primetime Special: The 90-minute live special will feature remarks from Biden and Harris, as well as tributes to COVID-19 first responders. 

This event will replace the usual inaugural balls, which were scrapped this year due to COVID-19 concerns.

Then-Vice President Joe Biden and second lady Jill Biden dance at the Inaugural Ball, Jan. 21, 2013, at the start of the second term of President Barack Obama, at the Washington Convention Center.

Actor Tom Hanks, who became the first major celebrity to announce he contracted the novel coronavirus last March, will host the special.

The already-announced performers include Rock icon Jon Bon Jovi, Musician/actor Justin Timberlake, Pop singer Demi Lovato and Singer-songwriter Ant Clemons, among others.

The inaugural committee named some additional artists who will perform in the television special, which include the Foo Fighters, John Legend, and Bruce Springsteen.

"Celebrating America" special will air live at 8:30 p.m. EST/PST on ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC and MSNBC. Additionally, it will be streamed live on the PIC's social media channels: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch; and will be available on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DirecTV and U-verse.

The day is expected to end just before 10 p.m., when Biden and his wife will make an appearance on the Blue Room Balcony at the White House.


Send-off event in Delaware

Biden spoke at a send-off event in Wilmington, Delaware" on Tuesday and delivered emotional remarks.

“This is kind of emotional for me,” said Biden, choking up at the “send-off” event before taking a short flight to the nation’s capital. "You've been with me my whole career, through the good times and the bad. I want to thank you for everything.”

5:30 p.m., Nationwide COVID-19 Memorial: The inaugural committee is hosting a lighting ceremony commemorating the American lives lost to COVID-19. 

The vigil will be held the day before the inauguration, with the inaugural team calling it the “first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost.” 

"The inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris represents the beginning of a new national journey," Pili Tobar, the communications director for the Presidential Inaugural Committee, said in a statement.

Harris and Biden will both speak at the vigil.

More:Biden inaugural events to include memorial ceremony for COVID-19 victims on Jan. 19

The ceremony will also include building lightings and church bells ringing across Washington, D.C., and the committee has called on Americans across the country to join in as part of “a national moment of unity and remembrance.”

“In the midst of a pandemic — when so many Americans are grieving the loss of family, friends, and neighbors — it is important that we honor those who have died, reflect on what has been one of the more challenging periods in the nation’s history, and renew our commitment to coming together to end the pandemic and rebuild our nation,”  Tobar said.

The virus has killed around 400,000 people nationwide.

Coronavirus updates: COVID-19 memorial will mark 400K US deaths; fired Florida data scientist-turned-whistleblower arrested

How to Watch the 2021 Presidential Inauguration

20-01-2021 · Inauguration schedule. Coverage will begin around 10 a.m. Eastern, with the swearing-in ceremony scheduled for later in the morning on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington. Kamala Harris ...


The 59th presidential inauguration will be largely virtual, but will still feature a number of ceremonial events and celebrations. Here’s what’s happening and how to watch from home.

Coverage will begin around 10 a.m. Eastern, with the swearing-in ceremony scheduled for later in the morning on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington. Kamala Harris will first be sworn in as vice president by Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Shortly before 12 p.m., Joseph R. Biden Jr. will then be sworn in as president by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. The ceremony will feature a musical performance from Jennifer Lopez, and Lady Gaga will sing the national anthem. Garth Brooks is also expected to perform.

Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris, along with their spouses, Jill Biden and Douglas Emhoff, will then conduct a review of the military and visit Arlington National Cemetery to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. They will be joined by three former presidents and their wives, who will also be present at the swearing-in: Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Finally, Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris will head to the White House. Instead of a parade along Pennsylvania Avenue, a virtual procession hosted by the actor Tony Goldwyn at 3:15 p.m. will showcase performers and speakers from across the country. Jon Stewart will make an appearance, and musical acts including Earth Wind & Fire will perform.

  • The New York Times will stream the inauguration live, accompanied by real-time analysis and coverage from our reporters.

  • The Biden Inaugural Committee will broadcast an official livestream of all events on its website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch. The White House will also stream the inauguration live.

  • Television networks, including ABC, CBS, CNN, C-SPAN, Fox, PBS, NBC and MSNBC, will air live coverage of the inauguration.

  • The Roku Channel will carry streams from several news outlets.

  • The streaming network Newsy will carry the inauguration via a number of cable providers and streaming platforms.

  • The actor Keke Palmer will also host an inauguration livestream for kids from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will include a message from Dr. Biden. The Presidential Inaugural Committee will stream the special on YouTube. It will also be broadcast on Nickelodeon and Discovery Education.

At 8:30 p.m., Tom Hanks will host a 90-minute event that will include remarks from the new president and vice president and performances from Justin Timberlake, Demi Lovato, Ant Clemons and Jon Bon Jovi, as well as Foo Fighters, John Legend, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Bruce Springsteen.

  • The New York Times will stream the prime-time celebration live.

  • ABC, CBS, CNN, PBS, NBC and MSNBC will air the special on television.

  • The Biden Inaugural Committee will carry the official livestream on its website, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Twitch.

  • If you don’t have cable television, Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DirecTV and U-verse will also be carrying the special live.

How to Watch the Inauguration Live

19-01-2021 · After a lengthy and contentious election, Joe Biden will finally be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021. Joe Biden’s inauguration will …


After a lengthy and contentious election, Joe Biden will finally be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on January 20, 2021. Joe Biden’s inauguration will put a cap on the Trump era and usher in a new administration that hopes to curb the spread of COVID-19, stabilize the economy, and address the very real threat of white nationalist violence and domestic terror, among other goals.

While President Trump has made it clear that he will not be attending Biden’s inauguration, Americans of all stripes should make it a point to tune in for the historic day. What time is the inauguration? How do I watch the Biden inauguration live on TV? Consider this your official Biden-Harris inauguration TV guide.


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will be sworn in as the 46th president and 49th vice president of the United States on Wednesday, January 20. The inauguration will take place on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol, the same building attacked two weeks ago by a pro-Trump mob.


Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony will begin at 12 p.m. ET/9 a.m. PT on Wednesday. Afterwards, he will give his inaugural address, a long-standing tradition for newly sworn-in presidents.


Practically every major network, cable news service, and digital platform will be airing some kind of inauguration coverage throughout the day on January 20. The bulk of inauguration TV coverage begins Wednesday morning and will carry on throughout the early afternoon before taking a break ahead of Biden’s star-studded primetime special, Celebrating America.


Cable customers should have an easy time finding the Biden-Harris inauguration. Here’s everything you need to know about timing for various channels:

ABC: Inauguration coverage begins Wednesday morning with a special episode of Good Morning America at 7 a.m. ET. Coverage will continue throughout the day, with special primetime programs The Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr. – An ABC News SpecialCelebrating America, World News Tonight, and Nightline airing later Wednesday evening.

CBS: CBS This Morning will kickoff coverage live from Washington beginning at 7 a.m. ET. Norah O’Donnell will then take over special coverage at 9 a.m., with assistance from the network’s many correspondents and reporters.

NBC: A special edition of Today will air at 7 a.m. ET with co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb and Craig Melvin, news anchor and Today 3rd Hour co-host, reporting live from Washington. Coverage will continue throughout the day, before culminating in an expanded one-hour edition of NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Fox News: Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino will begin Inauguration Day coverage at 9 a.m. ET with a live report from Capitol Hill. Later, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will anchor Fox News’ Inauguration of Joseph R. Biden, Jr.: 46th President special.

CNN: In-depth coverage will begin in the early hours Wednesday morning (as in, 5 a.m. ET) and continue all day. Expect to see coverage from Wolf Blitzer, Erin Burnett, Anderson Cooper, and Van Jones, among others.

MSNBC: Live inauguration coverage begins at 6 a.m. with Morning Joe. MSNBC anchors Brian Williams, Rachel Maddow, Nicolle Wallace, and Joy Reid will continue coverage throughout the day, beginning at 9 a.m.

PBS: PBS NewsHour will provide live coverage beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET on PBS stations across the country.

Photo: Getty Images


No cable? No problem. Customers with a valid subscription to Hulu Live TV, YouTube TV, and other live cable services can livestream their favorite networks (including CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News) all throughout inauguration day. Additionally, you can access cable live streams on the following digital platforms:

ABC News Live: ABC’s digital streaming service will air live coverage beginning at 9 a.m. ET and continue throughout the day. Watch ABC News Live here.

CBS News: CBS News is offering live digital coverage beginning at 7 a.m. ET with CBSN AM. Stream CBS News digital coverage across CBSN,, the CBS app, and CBS News social accounts.

Fox News: Fox News viewers can watch inauguration coverage live at, through the Fox mobile app, or through streaming service Fox Nation. The network’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts will also be broadcasting Biden’s swearing-in ceremony live.

NBC and MSNBC: NBC and MSNBC coverage is available to stream live with a cable log-in at and, or on the NBC News app. You can also find an NBC special event coverage via NBC News NOW, which can be streamed for free live and on demand on Peacock, The Roku Channel, YouTube TV, Amazon Fire TV, and social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

CNN: Joe Biden’s inauguration and related commentary will stream live in their entirety on CNN’s digital platforms, including, the CNN app, and CNNgo. A cable log-in is not required to access the live stream.

PBS: PBS NewsHour’s live inauguration coverage will also air on the program’s digital and social platforms, including YouTube and Facebook.


Still not satisfied? Roku users can also watch Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony directly through The Roku Channel, where you can access free coverage from ABC News, Cheddar, NBC News NOW, Newsy, and more outlets. Plus, the 2021 inauguration will be available to livestream for free on Amazon Prime Video, Microsoft’s Bing, NewsNOW from Fox, and AT&T DIRECTV and U-Verse.

NBCUniversal’s new service Peacock will also be offering free inauguration coverage through its free, exclusive channel The Choice. To stream, sign up for Peacock at

And finally, various news outlets, including NBC News, CBS News, and PBS NewsHour, will be live streaming the Inauguration ceremony on YouTube. Check out NBC News’ livestream when it goes live at 7 a.m. ET below.

Biden inauguration 2021: Schedule, start time, how to watch, and ...

19-01-2021 · Biden’s inaugural committee has planned, instead, a number of virtual events. Those events, which start at 10 am ET, will be livestreamed on the Biden team’s official …


President-elect Joe Biden has seen the inauguration of 13 presidents, but his own will look very different.

Instead of following the tradition of greeting the incoming president at the White House, President Donald Trump held a campaign-style event at Joint Base Andrews Wednesday morning, giving a short, off-the-cuff speech in which he did not mention Biden by name. Trump and first lady Melania Trump boarded Air Force One and left Washington before the events of the day began.

On Wednesday at noon, Biden is scheduled to take the oath office in what will be a muted affair, reflecting the seriousness of security threats following the January 6 attack on the Capitol and the pandemic gripping the country.

Socially distanced members of the military and a relatively small number of guests will attend the public swearing-in. The traditional parade has been canceled this year. Biden’s inaugural committee has planned, instead, a number of virtual events. Those events, which start at 10 am ET, will be livestreamed on the Biden team’s official channels, broadcast on multiple cable networks, and available on various other platforms like Twitch and Facebook. Vox will stream the event here:

Officials have discouraged people from traveling to DC for the ceremony. According to CNN, escalating security concerns forced Biden to alter his plans, too. On Tuesday night he did not take the train from his home in Wilmington, Delaware, to DC, a trip he famously took for years while serving in the Senate.

DC Mayor Muriel Bowser, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, and Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam jointly urged Americans not to come to DC for the inauguration: “Due to the unique circumstances surrounding the 59th Presidential Inauguration, including last week’s violent insurrection as well as the ongoing and deadly COVID-19 pandemic, we are taking the extraordinary step of encouraging Americans not to come to Washington, DC and to instead participate virtually.”

The inaugural theme is “America United.” Former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton will accompany Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery shortly after Biden and Harris take the oath of office. Jimmy Carter, the only other living former president, now 96, will skip the event for the first time since his own inauguration in 1977.

If you want to participate from home, here’s what to expect for the rest of the week.

How to watch the ceremony and inaugural events

There are several ways to watch the inauguration and its associated events. In addition to Vox’s livestream, you can also watch on the Biden team’s official channels as well as any of their social media channels: YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Twitch.

If you’re watching on your television, ABC, CBS, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and PBS will be carrying it live. There are more details on accessible viewing options that the committee has put together here.


Here’s a rundown of events on Wednesday, January 20.

President Donald Trump’s counterprogrammed farewell, around 8 am ET

Trump left town before Biden’s inauguration. On Wednesday morning he hosted his own, campaign-style event at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland. Vice President Mike Pence did not attend the sendoff, citing logistical reasons. Their relationship has soured since the president publicly blamed Pence for refusing to challenge Biden’s electoral votes — a power that Pence argued he did not have.

Virtual presidential inaugural prayer service, around 10 am ET

President-elect Biden’s public day started with a Virtual Presidential Inaugural Prayer Service at Saint Matthew’s Cathedral, the Catholic church where John F. Kennedy’s funeral was held. Biden is the first Catholic president since Kennedy.

It will include worship from interfaith leaders as well as artists and other voices: Bishop William J. Barber II will deliver the homily, and Josh Groban, Patti LaBelle, and the Clark Sisters will perform. Biden will be joined by congressional leadership: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

Inaugural ceremonies, coverage begins 10:30 am ET

The inauguration will feature Lady Gaga performing the national anthem, Jennifer Lopez with a traditional performance, and a poetry reading from Amanda Gorman, who recently made history as the first national youth poet laureate. The invocation will be led by Leo O’Donovan, an American Jesuit Catholic priest and the benediction by Rev. Silvester Beaman, the pastor of Bethel African Methodists Episcopal Church in Wilmington, Delaware — both of these faith leaders are longtime friends of the Biden family.

Biden will take his oath of office from Chief Justice John Roberts, and Harris will take hers from the first woman of color to sit on the Supreme Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor.

Post-inaugural events, around 2 pm ET

Following the inauguration, the Bidens and the Harris family, along with the Obamas, the Bushes, and the Clintons, will lay wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery. Then the traditional “Pass in Review” reflecting the transfer of power to a new commander-in-chief will occur on the east front of the Capitol building. Biden will then be escorted to the White House alongside each branch of the military.

At this point, there would usually be a presidential parade; instead, the inaugural committee has planned a virtual parade across America modeled on the Democratic National Committee’s virtual roll call last summer. It will be hosted by actor Tony Goldwyn and feature Jon Stewart, New Radicals, and Earth, Wind & Fire, among others.

“Celebrating America” primetime special, 8:30 pm ET

The inaugural activities will finish with a “Celebrating America” special hosted by actor Tom Hanks, Biden and Harris will give remarks alongside appearances from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, chef José Andrés, Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, and Kerry Washington, among others.

The program will also feature ordinary Americans such as a UPS driver, a child who started a food and essential supplies pantry in his community, a kindergarten teacher, and the first American to receive a Covid-19 vaccine outside of a clinical trial.

What to expect in the events

Biden has signaled very clearly throughout his campaign and transition that he hopes to focus on the twin themes of American unity and “Build Back Better,” his campaign slogan.

He has recently released a


.9 trillion relief plan, which Vox’s Emily Stewart explained is “a big deal ... more than double the 0 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that Democrats passed in 2009 in the wake of the Great Recession.” Biden has been signaling a desire to take advantage of historically low interest rates to revitalize the economy by spending big early in his term. Encouraging Congress to act quickly on his proposal could play a large role in his remarks, especially as the Trump impeachment proceedings threaten to overshadow his priorities.

“Frankly, I think President-elect Biden has been doing exactly what he needs to do, which is being presidential,” Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA) told Vox. “I think one of the most important ways to unite our country right now is to address the pandemic that is surging while we’re all focusing on the insurrection last week.”

Biden has certainly made Covid-19 and its toll a focus of his inaugural activities. On Tuesday, he held a “Nationwide Covid-19 Memorial” to “remember and honor the lives lost to Covid-19 in cities and towns across the country” on Tuesday.

It’s still a question how many lawmakers will attend the inauguration (either for political reasons, worries over Covid-19 transmission, or the threat of another attack), but several lawmakers Vox spoke with said they would be in attendance. The presence of up to 25,000 National Guard troops will likely ease fears of at least the third consideration.

“That’s something I certainly intend to be here for, and recognize the peaceful transfer of power,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) told Vox. Sens. Ted Cruz, Roger Marshall, and Josh Hawley, Tommy Tuberville, who all objected to the legitimacy of some of Biden’s Electoral College votes in the Capitol last week, will all be in attendance, according to reporting by Fox. House and Senate GOP leadership have also confirmed that they will be in attendance.

Democrats have had to seriously ramp up their virtual hosting chops in the last year — they abandoned a lot of face-to-face campaigning for the sake of safety (to uncertain success) and hosted a virtual convention (to much more certain success).

“We are modeling our inauguration after our national convention,” House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn (D-SC) told Vox. “We’ve hired the same people to put that together to put this one together. It was very effective, I thought. The virtual roll call worked famously, and people loved it.”

Inauguration Day 2021: Everything You Need to Know

20-01-2021 · Today, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris will become president and vice-president. Here’s how to watch the ceremony and what to expect.


Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Today, when the clock strikes noon, Donald Trump’s presidential term — a tumultuous one defined by the mass rollback of civil rights, the transformation of the federal judiciary, and extreme pettiness — will finally end. Concurrently, Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, and alongside him, Kamala Harris will become the country’s first female vice-president.

While Inauguration Day typically brings swarms of people to the nation’s capital and is celebrated with a public parade and a lavish ball, this year’s ceremony won’t resemble those of the past. Due to the coronavirus, much of the ceremony will be virtual, and Biden’s Inaugural Committee has discouraged members of the public from traveling to Washington, D.C., for the festivities. Additionally, following the riot at the U.S. Capitol last week, the threat of right-wing violence looms, which has put the city on high alert.

Here’s everything you need to know.

When: Wednesday, January 20. The ceremony will begin around 11:15 a.m., and Biden will be sworn in around 12 p.m. (The date and time are actually mandated by the 20th Amendment to the Constitution, which states, “the terms of the President and Vice President shall end at noon on the 20th day of January.”)

Where: Biden will be sworn in on the U.S. Capitol’s West Front in Washington, D.C.

Due to a surge in cases of COVID-19, a disease which has killed nearly 400,000 Americans in less than a year, this year’s ceremony will be scaled back, and many of the celebrations will be virtual.

The swearing-in ceremony is expected to begin around 11:15 a.m., with Father Leo J. O’Donovan delivering the invocation. Other notable guests at the ceremony include Andrea Hall, a firefighter who will recite the Pledge of Allegiance; Lady Gaga, who will sing the national anthem; Amanda Gorman, who will do a poetry reading; Jennifer Lopez, who will give a musical performance; and Reverend Dr. Silvester Beaman, who will deliver the benediction. Just before 12 p.m., Biden and Harris will each take the oath of office, after which Harris will be sworn in by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Biden by Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. Then, once the ceremony has concluded, Biden will give his Inaugural Address.

According to the New York Times, after taking oath, Biden will be publicly escorted one block toward the White House, by representatives of each military branch, which will provide “the American people and world with historic images of the President-elect proceeding to the White House without attracting large crowds and gatherings,” the Presidential Inaugural Committee said. Per the committee, there will also be a virtual “Parade Across America,” which will tributes to frontline workers and musical acts, including a performance by the band the New Radicals, which is reuniting for the first time in more than two decades to play “You Get What You Give.”

Biden’s committee has also prepared a 90-minute primetime TV special, which will start at 8:30 p.m. ET. The special, called “Celebrating America,” will be hosted by Tom Hanks, and feature performances from artists including Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato, and John Legend.

Even before Biden defeated Trump in the presidential election, experts who study right-wing and extremist violence warned that the period between the election and Inauguration Day would see unrest. Following the mayhem that unfolded last week at the U.S. Capitol, when a destructive mob of Trump supports breached the building, causing some elected officials to fear for their lives, those fears have only mounted. Earlier this week, CNN obtained an internal FBI bulletin showing that the agency has information that “armed protests” are planned for Inauguration Day at every state capitol.

Megan Squire, a computer-science professor at Elon University who studies how the far-right operates in the online world, thinks this is likely. While she doesn’t anticipate we’ll see an exact repeat of the Capitol riot, due to heightened security measures, she told the Cut that she expects extremists will “redirect their energies at the state capitols, for example, or governors who they’re annoyed with.” She continued, “All indications are that, if they show up, a healthy percentage will be armed.”

In anticipation of violence, a number of extra security measures have been put in place. Last weekend, Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser asked the U.S. Interior Department to “cancel any and all public gathering permits in the District of Columbia, and deny any applications for a public gathering during the period Jan. 11 through Jan. 24.” On Inauguration Day, the National Guard presence is expected to surpass 20,000, and the National Mall will be closed to the public.

The swearing-in ceremony is intended to mark a peaceful transfer of power, which Trump begrudgingly promised to comply with after the Capitol insurrection. Nevertheless, he will not be in attendance — a decision made by just three other presidents before him, according to the New York Times. In fact, Trump has already departed the White House. Just past 8 a.m., he boarded a helicopter and headed toward the military facility Joint Base Andrews, where he touched down to give brief remarks. He assured his supporters that, one day, “we will be back in some form,” before parting with, “have a good life.” Then, he descended the stage to his go-to walk-off song, “YMCA.”

Trump’s own vice-president, Mike Pence, did not attend Trump’s farewell “ceremony.” Instead, his schedule shows that he’s planning to be at Biden’s inauguration, as are most living former presidents and their spouses: Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton. (Jimmy Carter, who is 96, announced that he and his wife will not be present for the ceremony.)

Every major news network is expected to broadcast the ceremony live: ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, and others. The Presidential Inaugural Committee will also livestream the events.

This post has been updated.

Everything You Need to Know About Inauguration Day