Fifty-Fourth Inaugural Ceremonies, January 20, 2001
The Inaugural Luncheon tradition dates back to William McKinley's first inauguration in 1897. Today we continue this tradition and commemorate several historic milestones: the first presidential inauguration of the 21st century and the new millennium, the 200th anniversary of the first presidential inauguration in Washington, D.C. and the 100th anniversary of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. In recognition of the 200th anniversary of the first presidential inauguration in Washington, DC, the portrait West Front, Steps of the Capitol by American artist Colin Campbell Cooper is displayed above the head table. The portrait depicts the West Front Terrace, designed in 1874 by Frederick Law Olmstead, and the site of today's presidential inauguration. The portrait is on loan from MBNA America.
- The Reverend Billy Graham
Presentation and Toast
- Mitch McConnell
- J. Dennis Hastert
- Pastor Kirbyjon H. Caldwell
United States Army Band Brass Quintet
The President and Vice President received a custom-crafted crystal bowl with solid crystal base, created by Lenox, Inc. Guests received a polished pewter box with an image of the U.S. Capitol as the building appeared on March 4, 1801.
The first inauguration of the 21st century and the new millennium followed one of the most contested elections in U.S. history, which hinged on a few thousand disputed ballots in Florida. Vice President Albert Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush took their case to the Supreme Court. More than a month after the election, Bush was declared the winner following the Supreme Court's decision that the state's different systems of recounting in different counties violated the Constitution's equal protection provision. Governor Bush, the son of former president George Bush, took the oath of office from Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who had also sworn in his father.