WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden has officially become the 46th president of the United States.
Biden took the oath of office just before noon Wednesday during a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol. The presidential oath was administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.
Biden was sworn in using a Bible that has been in his family since 1893 and was used during his swearing-in as vice president in 2009 and 2013. The 5-inch thick Bible, which could be seen on a table next to Biden’s chair on the dais, has a Celtic cross on its cover and was also used each time he was sworn- n as a U.S. senator.
Biden’s late son, Beau, also used the Bible for his own swearing-in ceremony as attorney general of Delaware and helped carry the Bible to his father’s 2013 ceremony.
In his first remarks as president, Biden said Wednesday that his swearing-in marks a day of “history and hope.”
A few minutes earlier, at 11:45 a.m., Kamala Harris was sworn in as the nation’s first female first president.
The former U.S. senator from California is also the first Black person and the first person of South Asian descent elected to the vice presidency and becomes the highest-ranking woman ever to serve in government.
She was sworn in Wednesday by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina to serve on the Supreme Court.
Inauguration Day for President-elect Joe Biden looked unlike anything the nation had seen before, as the scars of COVID-19 and the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol turned the West Front into a virtual ghost town compared to years past.
Instead of a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, there was a memorial at Arlington National Cemetery. Instead of balls, there were Zoom parties. And instead of hundreds of thousands congregating on the Capitol grounds and on the National Mall, there were thousands of National Guard members.
Below are images of key moments from the Jan. 20, 2021 presidential inauguration.
Lady Gaga performed the national anthem at the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
She took to the stage ahead of Harris’ swearing-in ceremony Wednesday.
In a statement on Twitter, Lady Gaga called singing during the ceremony her “honor.”
Inaugural poet Amanda Gorman summoned images dire and triumphant as she called out to the world “even as we grieved, we grew.”
Gorman is 22, by far the youngest inaugural poet since Robert Frost read for John F. Kennedy in 1961. She quoted biblical scripture and echoed the oratory of Kennedy and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. among others as she recited her poem at President Joe Biden’s inauguration on Wednesday.
She referred to the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump, an event that she said helped inspire her to finish her poem, “The Hill We Climb.”
The day also included musical performances from Jennifer Lopez and Garth Brooks.
Garth Brooks sung a gospel-tinged rendition of “Amazing Grace.” The country superstar took off his black cowboy hat and kept his eyes closed for much of the powerful song, performing it a capella and without strain.
Brooks also performed during the inaugural celebration of President Barack Obama in 2009.