Swearing-In Ceremony for President Barack H. Obama
Fifty-Sixth Inaugural Ceremonies, January 20, 2009
The United States Marine Band; Colonel Michael J. Colburn, Director
Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks
- Dianne Feinstein
- Dr. Rick Warren
- Aretha Franklin
Vice Presidential Oath of Office
Administered to Joseph R. Biden Jr. by the Honorable John Paul Stevens, Associate Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.
- Yo-Yo Ma
- Anthony McGill
- Gabriela Montero
- Itzhak Perlman
Composed and arranged by John Williams
Presidential Oath of Office
Administered to Barack H. Obama by the Honorable John G. Roberts Jr., Chief Justice of the United States.
- Bible Used: The Lincoln Bible. The Lincoln Bible was the Bible used by president Abraham Lincoln at his presidential inauguration. The Bible is part of the collection of the Library of Congress. The Bible itself is an Oxford University Press edition published in 1853, has 1280 pages, and measures approximately 15 cm (6 in) in length and 10 cm (4 in) in width, and 4.5 cm in thickness, and is bound in burgundy red velvet with gilt edges.
- Attire: Hart Schaffner Marx suit
‘Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious, and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America—they will be met.’
Read the address
(Time: 21 minutes, 21 seconds; Words: 2404)
- Elizabeth Alexander
- The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
The National Anthem
The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters
Noon conditions: Temperature: 28°F with winds NNW at 13 mph, gusting to 23 mph. Few clouds at 4,500 feet, overcast at 25,000 feet.
Facts, Firsts & Precedents
Largest attendance of any event in the history of Washington, DC
Largest attendance of any Presidential Inauguration in U.S. history
First African American to hold the office of President of the United States
First citizen born in Hawaii to hold the office
Highest viewership ever of the swearing-in ceremonies on the Internet
First woman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, to emcee the ceremony
First inaugural webcast to include captioning
First swearing-in ceremony to include an audio description
Theme: A New Birth of Freedom
The Presidential Inauguration of 2009 took place as the nation prepared to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The President-elect took the oath of office and addressed the nation from the West Front of the United States Capitol, looking across the National Mall toward the Lincoln Memorial, where many of the sixteenth President’s immortal words are inscribed. Although some inaugural traditions have changed since Lincoln’s time, the swearing-in ceremony continues to symbolize the ideals of renewal, continuity, and unity that he so often expressed.
Slideshow and Video
Nail Driving Ceremony for the 2009 Inaugural Platform
See images of the Nail Driving Ceremony for the 2009 Inaugural Platform, the event that kicks-off the preparation for the Inaugural festivities in Washington, DC.