President Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term in office Sunday in a private ceremony, to be followed up by a much larger, public event on Monday.
According to the U.S. Constitution, presidents must be sworn in on January 20, but planners opted to go with a private ceremony on the actual date and the inauguration galas and public swearing in on Monday, to avoid having a large ceremony fall on a Sunday and incur extra costs.
1. Official Ceremony Held at the White House Today
Obama gathered with his family in the White House’s Blue Room on the ceremonial main floor of the White House and was sworn in by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts. This year’s activities mean Obama will have been sworn in four times — two for each term — the same as Franklin D. Roosevelt, who served four terms. Obama needed to go through a second swearing in 2009 after Roberts made some mistakes the first time through.
2. First Oath Given by A Hispanic Judge
Also this morning, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor gave Vice President Joe Biden the oath of office, marking the first time a Hispanic judge delivered the oath for one of the country’s two top officials.
3. Just Another Sunday for the Obamas
After this morning’s ceremony, Obama and his family went to services at the Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church in Washington D.C., where he was welcomed with a rousing service. Obama and Biden also laid a wreath of flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers at Arlington National Ceremony.
4. Monday Will Prove Much More Busy
The ceremonial swearing-in ceremony will begin on Capitol Hill begins at 11:30 a.m. It will start off with music from the U.S. Marine Corps Band, students from PS 22 in Staten Island, New York and the Lee University Festival Choir from Cleveland, Tenn.
5. Roberts and Sotomayor Will Once Again Perform the Duties
Sotomayor will administer the oath of office to Biden, followed by a performance by classic rocker James Taylor, singing “America the Beautiful.” After that, Roberts will swear in Obama, who will then give his inaugural address.
6. The Ceremony Will Have Plenty of Star Power
The event will wrap up with a song by Kelly Clarkson, singing “My Country Tis of Thee” and the National Anthem, being sung by Beyonce. We’re not sure where Aretha Franklin’s hat will spend the day, however.
7. The Inaugural Parade Winds Through Washington on a Traditional Route
The parade will start at 2:35 p.m., featuring floats and vehicles that represent more than 58 groups. Sorry, but nobody will be throwing candy. It’s not that kind of parade.
8. There Will Only be Two Inaugural Balls Monday
When Obama first took office, there were no fewer than 10 inaugural balls. This time around, because of austerity measures and because it’s his second term, only two balls are being held. The Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball, which honors the miltary, starts at 6 p.m. at the Washington Convention Center and the Inaugural Ball for Obama supporters starts at 6:30 p.m.
9. The Inaugural Balls Will Also Have a Lot of Star Power
The president has a lot of celebrity supporters, and Katy Perry, Alicia Keys, Usher and Brad Paisley are all performing at balls throughout the holiday weekend. Eva Longoria, Will.i.am., and George Lopez are all in town for the festivities and will likely be in the audience.
10. This is One of the Funniest Tweets of the Day
— John Yowan (@Yowan) January 20, 2013
True, Obama’s first inauguration was even more significant, as he was the first African-American to be sworn in as president. However, this one is significant as well, as it is on a historical day that marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington.
But even when it’s a historical event, there’s always room for some humor.