On Monday, January 21, President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term in office at the 57th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, D.C. In his Inaugural address, delivered from the U.S. Capitol building, Obama called on Americans to work as one for the common good.
“America’s possibilities are limitless, for we possess all the qualities that this world without boundaries demands: youth and drive, diversity and openness, of endless capacity for risk and a gift for reinvention,” Obama said. “My fellow Americans, we are made for this moment and we will seize it, as long as we seize it together.”
Among the hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the nation’s capital for Inauguration Day, many seemed ready to take on the President’s challenge. Bundled up in heavy winter coats, hats and gloves, they had arrived before dawn to be a part of the historic event. By mid-morning, a thick band of people stretched from the grassy lawn of Capitol Hill, along the National Mall to the Washington Monument. Huge screens broadcast the ceremony live. Despite cold weather and overcast skies, the mood was celebratory, with people waving American flags and chanting “O-bama-a, O-bam-a.”
Making It Official
The U.S. Constitution calls for the President to take the Oath of Office by noon on January 20. On Sunday, Obama was formally sworn in at a low-key ceremony at the White House, with his wife, Michelle Obama and daughters Sasha and Malia by his side. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Oath of Office. He did so again at Monday’s ceremony. Because January 20 fell this year on Sunday, the public oath-taking took place today.
By mid afternoon, skies brightened above the nation’s capital, just in time for the Inaugural Parade from the Capitol to the White House. A smiling Mr. and Mrs. Obama, walking side by side down Pennsylvania Avenue, waved to spectators along the parade route. The First Family and guests then proceeded to a specially built Presidential Reviewing Stand set up in front of the White House. They watched marching bands, military groups and floats go by.
The celebration continues tonight with two official Inaugural Balls. The President and First Lady will attend them both. Beyoncé, Alicia Keys and Stevie Wonder are among the musical artists scheduled to perform at the black-tie events.