NewsCovering America

Actions

Breakdown of what happened during the inauguration of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris

BidenCloser.jpg
Biden Inauguration
Joe Biden, Kamala Harris
Posted at 4:25 AM, Jan 20, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-20 17:04:14-05

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on Wednesday, bringing to an end an election season unlike any in the country's history.

Biden's path to the presidency included an improbable comeback following two defeats in the Democratic primary, a bitter campaign disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and months-long protests against police brutality, several days of delayed election results and a transition marred by violence from his successor's supporters.

Despite the challenges, Biden took the oath of office at the U.S. Capitol shortly before noon ET. Wednesday's inauguration ceremony took place in front of an empty National Mall due to the COVID-19 pandemic and threats of violence.

WATCH THE INAUGURATION CEREMONIES BELOW:

BELOW IS A BREAKDOWN OF THE DAY'S EVENTS:

UPDATE, 3:55 ET: A virtual "Parade Across America" began being broadcasted. The inauguration committee says the event featured “diverse, dynamic performances in communities across the country.”

UPDATE, 3:50 ET: Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden arrived at the White House for the first time as president and first lady.

Biden Inauguration
President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden wave as they arrive at the North Portico of the White House, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, Pool)

UPDATE, 3:20 ET: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris received an escort to the White House and participated in a parade through D.C.

Kamala Harris, Doug Emhoff
Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Doug Emhoff, ride during the Inauguration Day Parade Route in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021, after being sworn in as the 46th vice president of the United States. The Washington Monument is rear. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

UPDATE, 2:40 ET: President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama were also in attendance.

UPDATE, 2:09 ET: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris departed the U.S. Capitol for Arlington National Cemetery.

UPDATE, 2 ET: President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris reviewed the readiness of military troops in a pass in review on the east front of the U.S. Capitol.

UPDATE, 1:30 ET: Senate and House leaders presented congressional gifts to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

UPDATE, 12:47 ET: Vice President Kamala Harris and former Vice President Mike Pence shared a moment before departing Capitol Hill.

UPDATE, 12:19 ET: Amanda Gorman, a young poet, recited a poem that touched on the violence seen at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. She used her roughly 5-minute speech to echo an optimistic journey for the country, using the pro-Trump riot to illustrate the country's resolve.

UPDATE, 12:15 ET: Country star Garth Brooks performed "Amazing Grace" following President Joe Biden's speech.

UPDATE, 12:09 ET: At the end of his remarks, President Joe Biden said his first act as president would be to ask Americans to join him in a moment of silence to honor those lost to COVID-19 over the past year.

UPDATE, 12:08 ET: President Joe Biden took a moment in his speech to speak to those outside of America, promising to restrengthen alliances and lead the world by example.

"My message to those beyond our borders: America has been tested, and we've come out stronger for it," said Biden.

UPDATE, 12 ET: President Joe Biden says he’ll work to bring the parties together to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic and other big challenges the nation faces.

"Politics don't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't need to be total war," said Biden.

The president said he’ll fight for all Americans, even those who didn’t vote for him.

"I will be a president for all Americans. ALL Americans. I promise I will fight just as hard for those who did not support me as though who did," said Biden. "We must end this un-civil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal."

UPDATE, 11:57 ET: President Joe Biden called for unity after officially taking office, repeating a phrase he began his campaign with.

"To restore the soul and future security of America, it requires the most elusive of all things in democracy — unity," said Biden. "My whole soul is in this: Bringing our people together, uniting our nation."

UPDATE, 11:49 ET: Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States of America. Chief Justice of the Supreme Court John Roberts administered the oath of office.

UPDATE, 11:45 ET: Singer and actress Jennifer Lopez performed a medley of songs, including "This Land Is Your Land" and "America the Beautiful."

UPDATE, 11:42 ET: Kamala Harris took the oath of office and was sworn in as the Vice President of the United States. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath.

Biden Inauguration
Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor as her husband Doug Emhoff holds the Bible during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

UPDATE, 11:41 ET: Andrea Hall, a career firefighter, recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

UPDATE, 11:37 ET: Grammy-winning singer Lady Gaga performed the national anthem in a large red and navy blue gown.

Biden Inauguration
President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harrise watch as Lady Gaga walks away during the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, Pool)

UPDATE, 11:33 ET: Father Leo J. O’Donovan delivered the invocation before the swearing-in ceremony.

UPDATE, 11:23 ET: Sen. Amy Klobuchar was the first to speak at the inauguration and referenced the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

"When an angry, violent mob staged an insurrection and desecrated this temple of our democracy, it awaken us to our responsibilities as Americans," said Klobuchar. "This is the day when our democracy picks itself up, brushes off the dust and does what America always does — goes forward"

UPDATE, 11:20 ET: President-elect Joe Biden and future first lady Dr. Jill Biden arrived at the balcony of the U.S. Capitol ahead of the swearing-in ceremony.

Biden Inauguration
President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden arrive at his Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)

UPDATE, 11:13 ET: Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, arrived at the balcony of the U.S. Capitol and were greeted with cheers before the beginning of the ceremony.

Biden Inauguration
President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff, arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

UPDATE, 11 ET: Arrivals were nearly complete at the U.S. Capitol ahead of the swearing-in ceremony. Among those announced over the PA system included former Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, as well as the families of both Biden and Harris.

APTOPIX Biden Inauguration
Former President Bill Clinton and his wife former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)
Biden Inauguration
Former President George W. Bush and his wife Laura arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)
APTOPIX Biden Inauguration
Former President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle arrive for the 59th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol for President-elect Joe Biden in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Vice President Mike Pence was also in attendance. He chose to attend despite the absence of President Donald Trump.

Biden Inauguration
Vice President Mike Pence arrives at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington. (Win McNamee/Pool Photo via AP)

UPDATE, 10:30 ET: President-elect Joe Biden and vice-president elect Kamala Harris arrived at the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration.

Their arrival came as several media outlets reported a bombed threat had been called into the Supreme Court building, which is located just blocks from the Capitol. The Supreme Court building was not evacuated.

UPDATE, 9 a.m. ET: Donald Trump boarded Air Force One and left Washington, D.C. for the last time as president.

In an address at Joint Base Andrews, Trump briefly shared what he felt were his administration's top accomplishments. He also spoke directly to the American people.

"We will never stop fighting for you. I will be watching, and I'll be back in some way," Trump said.

He also wished the "incoming administration" the best of luck, but did not refere to president-elect Joe Biden by name.

First lady Melania Trump also addressed the nation.

"Being your first lady was my greatest honor...you will be in prayers," she said. "God bless you all, God bless your families."

UPDATE, 8 a.m. ET: President Donald Trump left the White House for the final time of his term.

Marine One took Trump to Joint Base Andrrews, where he delivered an address before boarding Air Force One. He arrived in Florida later in the day at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach.

Trump's decision to not attend Biden's inauguration broke with longstanding precedent that typically signifies a peaceful transfer of power. Trump is just a handful of presidents not to attend the inauguration ceremony of his elected successor.

Upon leaving the White House for the last time, Trump called it a "great honor" to serve as president and said that he "loved" the American people.