56TH INAUGURAL CEREMONIES

BARACK H.

OBAMA

January 20, 2009

JOSEPH R.

BIDEN

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.

INAUGURAL COMMITTEE

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Chair

Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV)

Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT)

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD)

Rep. John A. Boehner (R-OH)

THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONIES

The Swearing-In Ceremony:

Barack H. Obama was sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States, and Joseph R. Biden was sworn-in as the 17th Vice President of the United States.

Location:

West Front, U.S. Capitol

Weather:

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.

Bible:

The Lincoln Bible—originally used by president Abraham Lincoln at his Inauguration.

THE SWEARING-IN CEREMONIES

The Swearing-In Ceremony:

Barack H. Obama was sworn-in as the 44th President of the United States, and Joseph R. Biden was sworn-in as the 17th Vice President of the United States.

Location:

West Front, U.S. Capitol

Weather:

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.

Bible:

The Lincoln Bible—originally used by president Abraham Lincoln at his Inauguration.

FACTS, FIRSTS, AND PRECEDENTS

Largest attendance of any event in the history of Washington, D.C.; 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.

OPENING MUSICAL SELECTION

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band

CALL TO ORDER AND
WELCOMING REMARKS

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

INVOCATION

Dr. Rick Warren


MUSICAL SELECTION

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


MUSICAL SELECTION

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


INAUGURAL ADDRESS
President Barack H. Obama


POEM
Elizabeth Alexander

BENEDICTION
The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery


THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters

OPENING MUSICAL SELECTION

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band

CALL TO ORDER AND
WELCOMING REMARKS

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

INVOCATION

Dr. Rick Warren


MUSICAL SELECTION

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


MUSICAL SELECTION

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


INAUGURAL ADDRESS
President Barack H. Obama


POEM
Elizabeth Alexander

BENEDICTION
The Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery


THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters

HONORARY DEPARTURE

Following the Swearing-In Ceremony on the West Front, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama escorted outgoing President George W. Bush and outgoing First Lady Laura Bush to the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, where they departed via Executive One.

HONORARY DEPARTURE

Following the Swearing-In Ceremony on the West Front, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama escorted outgoing President George W. Bush and outgoing First Lady Laura Bush to the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, where they departed via Executive One.

THE SIGNING CEREMONY

Following the Swearing-In Ceremonies, the President gathers in the President’s Room just off of the Senate Chamber to sign nominations and sometimes memorandums, proclamations, or executive orders. President Obama, surrounded by the JCCIC Members and the Vice President, signs his first official actions as President.

THE SIGNING CEREMONY

Following the Swearing-In Ceremonies, the President gathers in the President’s Room just off of the Senate Chamber to sign nominations and sometimes memorandums, proclamations, or executive orders. President Obama, surrounded by the JCCIC Members and the Vice President, signs his first official actions as President.

THE INAUGURAL LUNCHEON

Members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies hosted a luncheon in honor of the newly sworn-in President and Vice President. Approximately 200 guests including the new President, Vice President, members of their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership attended­­ the event in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.

THE INAUGURAL LUNCHEON

Members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies hosted a luncheon in honor of the newly sworn-in President and Vice President. Approximately 200 guests including the new President, Vice President, members of their families, the Supreme Court, Cabinet designees, and members of Congressional leadership attended­­ the event in the Capitol’s National Statuary Hall.

INAUGURAL PAINTING

View of the Yosemite Valley
By: Thomas Hill
oil on canvas, 1865
New-York Historical Society, Gift of Charles T. Harbeck

Niagara Falls, a painting by Ferdinand Richardt, is a panoramic view of the American Falls and the Horseshoe Falls at Niagara, capturing the sweep of the river. 

In the foreground, the sidewheeler Maid-of-the-Mist can be seen navigating the rapids. Completed at a time when America’s history as an independent nation was not yet a century old, Richardt’s painting symbolized to Americans of that era the grandeur, power, and possibility of America. 

A Danish artist, Richardt (1819-1895) came to America in 1855. He is best known for his depictions of Niagara Falls and composed this painting in 1856 as the seventeenth in a series. The New York Evening Post proclaimed it to be one of the most accurate views of Niagara Falls ever exhibited. The painting, displayed above the head table, was loaned by the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C.

Presidential and Vice Presidential Gifts

During the Inaugural Luncheon it is traditional for the President and Vice President to be presented with gifts by the Congress on behalf of the American people. The President and Vice President will each be presented with a framed official photograph taken of their swearing-in ceremony by a Senate photographer, as well as flags flown over the U.S. Capitol during the inaugural ceremonies.

 The President and Vice President will also receive one-of-a-kind engraved crystal bowls, created by the Lenox Company of Lawrenceville, NJ. President Obama will receive a bowl depicting the White House on a crystal base inscribed with “Barack H. Obama, January 20, 2009, The Presidential Inaugural.” Vice President Biden will receive a bowl depicting the United States Capitol, on a crystal base inscribed with “Joseph R. Biden, Jr., January 20, 2009, The Vice Presidential Inaugural.” The bowls were designed by Timothy Carder and hand-cut by master glass-cutter Peter O’Rourke.

WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

BENEDICTION
Reverend Daniel Coughlin, Chaplain, United States House of Representatives

LUNCHEON

First Course: Seafood Stew

Second Course: Brace of American Birds with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes

Third Course: Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake and Sweet Cream Glacé


PRESENTATION OF FLAGS

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, United States House of Representatives


PRESENTATION OF
THE OFFICIAL INAUGURAL PHOTO

Bob Bennett,
United States Senate


PRESENTATION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL GIFTS

Chair Dianne Feinstein,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

WELCOME AND OPENING REMARKS

The Honorable Dianne Feinstein

BENEDICTION
Reverend Daniel Coughlin, Chaplain, United States House of Representatives

LUNCHEON

First Course: Seafood Stew

Second Course: Brace of American Birds with Sour Cherry Chutney and Molasses Sweet Potatoes

Third Course: Apple Cinnamon Sponge Cake and Sweet Cream Glacé


PRESENTATION OF FLAGS

Nancy Pelosi, Speaker, United States House of Representatives


PRESENTATION OF
THE OFFICIAL INAUGURAL PHOTO

Bob Bennett,
United States Senate


PRESENTATION OF THE PRESIDENTIAL GIFTS

Chair Dianne Feinstein,
Speaker Nancy Pelosi,
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid

PASS IN REVIEW

President Barack H. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden, along with Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Becker, U.S. Army, is commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR), stand on the steps of the East Front to participate in the Pass in Review prior to departing the Capitol for the Inaugural Parade to the White House.

PASS IN REVIEW

President Barack H. Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joseph R. Biden, and Dr. Jill Biden, along with Maj. Gen. Bradley A. Becker, U.S. Army, is commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region (JFHQ-NCR), stand on the steps of the East Front to participate in the Pass in Review prior to departing the Capitol for the Inaugural Parade to the White House.