Inauguration of Barack Obama

Inauguration of Barack Obama

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The inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 took place on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. The inauguration, which set a record attendance for any event held in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

, marked the commencement of the four-year term of Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 as President and Joe Biden
Joe Biden
Joseph Robinette "Joe" Biden, Jr. is the 47th and current Vice President of the United States, serving under President Barack Obama...

 as Vice President
Vice President of the United States
The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

. Based on the combined attendance numbers, television viewership, and Internet traffic, it was among the most observed events ever by the global audience.

"A New Birth of Freedom", a phrase from the Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg Address
The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the most well-known speeches in United States history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery...

, served as the inaugural theme to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth year of Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination in April 1865. He successfully led his country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis – the American Civil War – preserving the Union, while ending slavery, and...

. In his speeches to the crowds, Obama referred to ideals expressed by Lincoln about renewal, continuity and national unity. Obama mentioned these ideals in his speech to stress the need for shared sacrifice and a new sense of responsibility to answer America's challenges at home and abroad.

Obama and others paid homage to Lincoln in the form of tributes and references during several of the events, starting with a commemorative train tour from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Philadelphia is the largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the county seat of Philadelphia County, with which it is coterminous. The city is located in the Northeastern United States along the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers. It is the fifth-most-populous city in the United States,...

 to Washington, D.C. on January 17, 2009. The inaugural events held in Washington, D.C. from January 18 to January 21, 2009 included concerts, a national day of community service on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, the swearing-in ceremony, luncheon and parade, inaugural balls, and the interfaith inaugural prayer service. The presidential oath as administered to Obama during his swearing-in ceremony on January 20 strayed slightly from the oath of office prescribed in the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, which led to its re‑administration the next evening.

In addition to a larger than usual celebrity attendance, the Presidential Inaugural Committee increased its outreach to ordinary citizens to encourage greater participation in inaugural events compared with participation in recent past inaugurations. For the first time, the committee opened the entire length of the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

 as the public viewing area for the swearing-in ceremony, breaking with the tradition of past inaugurations. Selected American citizens participated in the train tour and other inaugural events, and a philanthropist organized a People's Inaugural Ball for disadvantaged people who otherwise would be unable to afford to attend the inaugural festivities. Among the celebrations for the inauguration, the committee hosted a first-ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball with free or affordable tickets for ordinary citizens.

Context


The January 20 inauguration marked the formal culmination of the Presidential transition of Barack Obama
Presidential transition of Barack Obama
The presidential transition of Barack Obama began when he won the United States presidential election on November 4, 2008, and became the President-Elect. He was formally elected by the Electoral College on December 15, 2008...

 that began when he won the United States presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

 on November 4, 2008
Election Day (United States)
Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The earliest possible date is November 2 and the latest possible date is November 8...

, and became the President-Elect
President-elect of the United States
President-elect of the United States is the title used for an incoming President of the United States in the period between the general election on Election Day in November and noon eastern standard time on Inauguration Day, January 20, during which he is not in office yet...

. In accordance with Article I, Section 6 of the United States Constitution
United States Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the United States of America. It is the framework for the organization of the United States government and for the relationship of the federal government with the states, citizens, and all people within the United States.The first three...

, Obama resigned from the United States Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 effective November 16, 2008. He was formally elected by the Electoral College on December 15, 2008. The results were certified by a joint session of Congress
United States Congress
The United States Congress is the bicameral legislature of the federal government of the United States, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Congress meets in the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C....

 on January 8, 2009.
Obama, who originally campaigned using the slogan "Change We Can Believe In" and later "Change We Need", was widely celebrated as the first African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 president of the United States and a symbol of change from his Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 predecessor, George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

. Obama also represented a generational change as the first man elected President who was born in the 1960s. He inherited what Peter Orszag
Peter Ország
Peter Ország is a Slovak ice hockey referee, who referees in the Slovak Extraliga.-Career:He has officiated many international tournaments including the Winter Olympics. He has been named Slovak referee of the year....

 termed an "economic mess" that became known as the late-2000s financial crisis
Late-2000s financial crisis
The late-2000s financial crisis is considered by many economists to be the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s...

. According to a CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 poll, he embodied youthful energy and transition at a time of economic despair, and inspired more confidence than his immediate predecessors.

Planning



The inauguration was planned primarily by two committees: the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
United States Congress Joint Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
A Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is a special committee formed every four years to manage presidential inaugurations.- Membership :...

 and the 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee. Although the election was scheduled for November 4, 2008, the congressional committee began construction of the inaugural platform on September 24, 2008.

Joint Congressional Committee


The swearing-in ceremony and the inaugural luncheon for President-elect
President-elect of the United States
President-elect of the United States is the title used for an incoming President of the United States in the period between the general election on Election Day in November and noon eastern standard time on Inauguration Day, January 20, during which he is not in office yet...

 Obama and Vice President-elect Biden were planned by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, a committee composed of United States Senators Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Feinstein
Dianne Goldman Berman Feinstein is the senior U.S. Senator from California. A member of the Democratic Party, she has served in the Senate since 1992. She also served as 38th Mayor of San Francisco from 1978 to 1988....

, committee chair, Bob Bennett and Harry Reid
Harry Reid
Harry Mason Reid is the senior United States Senator from Nevada, serving since 1987. A member of the Democratic Party, he has been the Senate Majority Leader since January 2007, having previously served as Minority Leader and Minority and Majority Whip.Previously, Reid was a member of the U.S...

, and United States Representatives John Boehner
John Boehner
John Andrew Boehner is the 61st and current Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. A member of the Republican Party, he is the U.S. Representative from , serving since 1991...

, Steny Hoyer
Steny Hoyer
Steny Hamilton Hoyer is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1981. The district includes a large swath of rural and suburban territory southeast of Washington, D.C.. He is a member of the Democratic Party....

 and Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Pelosi
Nancy Patricia D'Alesandro Pelosi is the Minority Leader of the United States House of Representatives and served as the 60th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives from 2007 to 2011...

. The committee is overseen by the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration.

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies chose the inaugural theme, "A New Birth of Freedom", a phrase from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
Gettysburg Address
The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the most well-known speeches in United States history. It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery...

 from the Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

 era. The theme, which was selected by the committee to mark the inaugural occasion and honor the 200th anniversary year of Lincoln's birth, expressed "Lincoln's hope that the sacrifice of those who died to preserve the United States would lead to 'a new birth of freedom' for the nation.'" In his reliance on the inaugural theme, Obama wanted "to give Americans reassurance that today, as in Lincoln's time, the country would find its way through any crisis".

The congressional committee released the full schedule of the January 20 inaugural events on December 17, 2008. The inauguration schedule referred to the President‑elect as "Barack H. Obama", although Obama specified previously that he intended to use his full name for his swearing-in ceremony, including his middle name Hussein
Husayn
Hussein , is an Arabic name which is the diminutive of Hassan, meaning "good", "handsome" or "beautiful"...

. Obama decided to use his full name "Barack Hussein Obama" to "follow the tradition, not trying to make a statement one way or the other" for the inaugural ceremony. During the election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

 campaign, Obama's detractors tried to use his middle name to imply falsely that he was a Muslim.

The District of Columbia City Council
Council of the District of Columbia
The Council of the District of Columbia is the legislative branch of the local government of the District of Columbia. As permitted in the United States Constitution, the District is not part of any U.S. state and is instead overseen directly by the federal government...

 passed legislation to enable bars and restaurants to stay open around‑the‑clock to provide hospitality services to the inaugural festivities attendees. After reaching an agreement with the congressional committee, District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty
Adrian Fenty
Adrian Malik Fenty was the sixth, and at age 36, the youngest, mayor of the District of Columbia. He served one term—from 2007 to 2011—losing his bid for reelection at the primary level to Democrat Vincent C. Gray...

 signed legislation to temporarily allow bars and restaurants to operate 24 hours during the weekend leading up to the inauguration, but with 4:00 a.m. EST as the cut‑off for alcoholic beverage service. The Hotel Association of Metropolitan Washington agreed to pay for extended train service provided by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is a tri-jurisdictional government agency that operates transit service in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, including the Metrorail, Metrobus and MetroAccess...

 on January 19 to accommodate visitors attending inaugural events and workers providing support for those events.

Presidential Inaugural Committee


The 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee organized several other inauguration‑related events at the direction of the President‑elect and Vice President‑elect of the United States, such as the train ride, concerts, parade, balls and prayer service. The co-chairs of the committee were William Daley
William M. Daley
William Michael “Bill” Daley is an American lawyer and former banker and is the current White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama. He served as U.S...

, Penny Pritzker
Penny Pritzker
Penny Sue Pritzker is an American business executive, and a member of the Pritzker family of Chicago, one of America's wealthiest business families...

, John Rogers
John W. Rogers, Jr.
John Washington Rogers, Jr. is an investment manager who founded Ariel Capital Management , which is the United States' largest minority-run mutual fund firm, in 1983. He is chairman and CEO of the company. He served as the Board President of the Chicago Park District for six years in the 1990s...

, Patrick Ryan
Pat Ryan (executive)
Patrick G. Ryan is the founder and retired executive chairman of Aon Corporation. He served as the Chairman and CEO of the Chicago 2016 Olympic bid committee. Following the unsuccessful 2016 Chicago bid, he founded Ryan Specialty Group as a holding company aimed at providing specialty services to...

 and Julianna Smoot
Julianna Smoot
Julianna Smoot is the Deputy Manager of Barack Obama's 2012 presidential reelection campaign, having previously served as White House Social Secretary, Deputy Assistant to the President., and Chief of Staff to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Smoot previously served as a professional...

.

For the first time in history, the Presidential Inaugural Committee opened the full length of National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

, which extends from the United States Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 to the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

, as the public viewing area for the swearing-in ceremony. The presidential committee set aside a section of the mall close to the U.S. Capitol for people holding reserved tickets for the inaugural event. The committee directed the opening of the entire National Mall to make the event "'the most open and accessible in history,' allowing those who [could not] get the [reserved] tickets to the swearing-in ceremony on the Capitol grounds to fill the mall". To enable people in attendance to see and hear the swearing-in ceremony, the committee arranged for placement of JumboTron
Jumbotron
A JumboTron is a large-screen television using technology developed by Sony, typically used in sports stadiums and concert venues to show close-up shots of the event. Although JumboTron is a registered trademark owned by the Sony Corporation, the word jumbotron is often used by the public as a...

s at points along the entire mall.

Despite criticism that such a large event could not be carbon-friendly
Carbon footprint
A carbon footprint has historically been defined as "the total set of greenhouse gas emissions caused by an organization, event, product or person.". However, calculating a carbon footprint which conforms to this definition is often impracticable due to the large amount of data required, which is...

, the presidential committee incorporated environment-friendly
Zero waste
Zero waste is a philosophy that encourages the redesign of resource life cycles so that all products are reused. Any trash sent to landfills and incinerators is minimal. The process recommended is one similar to the way that resources are reused in nature...

 measures in its planning of the inaugural events. The environmental measures included the use of recyclable carpet for the platform, retrieval of recyclable items from outdoor areas after an event, and the use of recycled paper for invitations and inaugural ball tickets.

Fundraising


The 2009 Presidential Inaugural Committee attempted to raise more individual contributions in smaller dollar amounts compared with the second inauguration of George W. Bush
Second inauguration of George W. Bush
The second inauguration of George W. Bush as the 43rd President of the United States took place on Thursday January 20, 2005. The inauguration marked the beginning of the second term of George W. Bush as President and Dick Cheney as Vice President. Ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist...

 in 2005. The 2009 contribution limit was set at $50,000 for donations by individuals, whereas individuals and companies were able to give a maximum of $250,000 apiece for the 2005 event. As of January 30, 2009, the presidential committee raised more than $53 million, with at least 458 people giving the committee-imposed maximum of $50,000, including celebrity donors such as George Soros
George Soros
George Soros is a Hungarian-American business magnate, investor, philosopher, and philanthropist. He is the chairman of Soros Fund Management. Soros supports progressive-liberal causes...

, Halle Berry
Halle Berry
Halle Berry is an American actress and a former fashion model. Berry received an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and an NAACP Image Award for Introducing Dorothy Dandridge and won an Academy Award for Best Actress and was nominated for a BAFTA Award in 2001 for her performance in Monster's Ball, becoming...

, Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
Eric Marlon Bishop , professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host. As an actor, his work in the film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a...

 and George Lucas
George Lucas
George Walton Lucas, Jr. is an American film producer, screenwriter, and director, and entrepreneur. He is the founder, chairman and chief executive of Lucasfilm. He is best known as the creator of the space opera franchise Star Wars and the archaeologist-adventurer character Indiana Jones...

. Emphasizing a change from business as usual, the committee set stringent guidelines for campaign contributions, barring donations from corporations, political action committee
Political action committee
In the United States, a political action committee, or PAC, is the name commonly given to a private group, regardless of size, organized to elect political candidates or to advance the outcome of a political issue or legislation. Legally, what constitutes a "PAC" for purposes of regulation is a...

s, registered federal lobbyist
Lobbying
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence decisions made by officials in the government, most often legislators or members of regulatory agencies. Lobbying is done by various people or groups, from private-sector individuals or corporations, fellow legislators or government officials, or...

s, labor and trade unions, registered foreign agents
Foreign Agents Registration Act
The Foreign Agents Registration Act is a United States law passed in 1938 requiring that agents representing the interests of foreign powers be properly identified to the American public. The act was passed in response to German propaganda in the lead-up to World War II...

 and non-U.S. citizens
United States nationality law
Article I, section 8, clause 4 of the United States Constitution expressly gives the United States Congress the power to establish a uniform rule of naturalization. The Immigration and Naturalization Act sets forth the legal requirements for the acquisition of, and divestiture from, citizenship of...

. The committee did accept donations from people with active lobbying interests before the federal government, but not registered as federal lobbyists, such as Google
Google
Google Inc. is an American multinational public corporation invested in Internet search, cloud computing, and advertising technologies. Google hosts and develops a number of Internet-based services and products, and generates profit primarily from advertising through its AdWords program...

 executive Eric Schmidt and Microsoft
Microsoft
Microsoft Corporation is an American public multinational corporation headquartered in Redmond, Washington, USA that develops, manufactures, licenses, and supports a wide range of products and services predominantly related to computing through its various product divisions...

 executive Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
Steven Anthony "Steve" Ballmer is an American business magnate. He is the chief executive officer of Microsoft, having held that post since January 2000. , his personal wealth is estimated at US$13.9 billion, ranking number 19 on the Forbes 400.-Early life:Ballmer was born in Detroit, Michigan to...

.

Based on its fundraising efforts and crowd estimates for the Obama inauguration, the presidential committee set its budget at $160–$170 million for the inauguration, including about $45 million for the gala events. The federal government
Federal government of the United States
The federal government of the United States is the national government of the constitutional republic of fifty states that is the United States of America. The federal government comprises three distinct branches of government: a legislative, an executive and a judiciary. These branches and...

 contributed about $49 million, including $1.2 million to cover the actual swearing-in ceremony. The District of Columbia and the neighboring states of Maryland
Maryland
Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

 and Virginia
Virginia
The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

 projected costs to provide support for inaugural events at more than $75 million alone for police, fire and medical services. To help fund the efforts, President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 declared a federal state of emergency
State of emergency
A state of emergency is a governmental declaration that may suspend some normal functions of the executive, legislative and judicial powers, alert citizens to change their normal behaviours, or order government agencies to implement emergency preparedness plans. It can also be used as a rationale...

 as a precaution so that funds could be sought from Federal Emergency Management Agency
Federal Emergency Management Agency
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is an agency of the United States Department of Homeland Security, initially created by Presidential Reorganization Plan No. 1 of 1978 and implemented by two Executive Orders...

.

Invitations and tickets



The Presidential Inaugural Committee and members of the 111th U.S. Congress
111th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eleventh United States Congress was the meeting of the legislative branch of the United States federal government from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011. It began during the last two weeks of the George W. Bush administration, with the remainder spanning the first two years of...

 distributed invitations and color-coded tickets to both dignitaries
Very Important Person
A Very Important Person, or VIP is a person who is accorded special privileges due to his or her status or importance.Examples include celebrities, heads of state/heads of government, major employers, high rollers, politicians, high-level corporate officers, wealthy individuals, or any other...

 and ordinary citizens for the reserved sections on or near the U.S. Capitol
United States Capitol
The United States Capitol is the meeting place of the United States Congress, the legislature of the federal government of the United States. Located in Washington, D.C., it sits atop Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall...

 grounds to view the swearing-in ceremony. Invitations
Invitations to the inauguration of Barack Obama
One million invitations to Barack Obama's inauguration were sent out in the first week of January 2009. Printed between December 11, 2008, and January 2, 2009, the invitations invited people to celebrate Barack Obama's inauguration as the forty-fourth President of the United States...

 and tickets were sent to ambassadors and chiefs of diplomatic missions to the United States and their spouses, but not to other representatives of foreign countries, and invitations were distributed to U.S. politicians and an array of dignitaries across the spectrum of business and industry. House
United States House of Representatives
The United States House of Representatives is one of the two Houses of the United States Congress, the bicameral legislature which also includes the Senate.The composition and powers of the House are established in Article One of the Constitution...

 and Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 congressional members distributed free tickets for the inaugural ceremony to the public by lottery or on a first‑come, first served basis because of overwhelming requests to attend the event.

Because of high demand and limited availability of the reserved tickets, some people planned to offer their tickets for sale through ticket brokers, Internet auctions and classified listing services. Sales offers for tickets reached as high as $1,750 each for the reserved standing room section behind the Capitol Reflecting Pool
United States Capitol Complex
The United States Capitol Complex is a group of about a dozen buildings and facilities in Washington, D.C., that are used by the United States government...

, $5,500 each for the reserved standing room section in front of the Reflecting Pool and $20,000 each for the VIP section on the Capitol grounds. In one case, a former legislative aide to Representative Ted Poe
Ted Poe
Lloyd "Ted" Poe is a Republican politician currently representing Texas's 2nd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives. The district includes most of northern Houston, as well as most of the Beaumont-Port Arthur metropolitan area. He is the first Republican to ever...

 was exposed by a prospective buyer after the former aide used Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist is a centralized network of online communities featuring free online classified advertisements, with sections devoted to jobs, housing, personals, for sale, services, community, gigs, résumés, and discussion forums....

 and e‑mail to offer five tickets to the buyer for $4,500.

Federal and state officials became concerned about ticket scalping
Ticket resale
Ticket resale is the act of reselling tickets for admission to events. Tickets are bought from licensed sellers and are then sold for a price determined by the individual or company in possession of the tickets. Tickets sold through secondary sources may be sold for less or more than their face...

 and fraud related to sales of the tickets for the swearing-in ceremony. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, introduced legislation in mid-November 2008 to ban sales of tickets to the swearing-in ceremony. At the same time, the joint congressional committee contacted online auction operators, ticket resellers and classified listing services to block sales of the tickets. To address the committee's concerns, StubHub
Stubhub
StubHub is an online marketplace owned by eBay, which provides services for buyers and sellers of tickets for sports, concerts, theater and other live entertainment events....

 and eBay
EBay
eBay Inc. is an American internet consumer-to-consumer corporation that manages eBay.com, an online auction and shopping website in which people and businesses buy and sell a broad variety of goods and services worldwide...

 agreed to ban ticket sales for the swearing-in ceremony on all of its sites. Senator Feinstein re-introduced legislation in December 2008 to ban ticket sales for the swearing-in ceremony after amending the bill to exempt tickets issued by official presidential inaugural committees for inaugural event fundraising. The U.S. Senate failed to pass the final bill, which caused the bill to die in the closing days of the lame duck legislative session.

Train ride: Commemorating Lincoln


On January 17, 2009, Obama hosted a whistle stop train tour
Whistle stop train tour
A whistle stop or whistle-stop tour is a style of political campaigning where the politician makes a series of brief appearances or speeches at a number of small towns over a short period of time...

 in honor of the 200th anniversary of the birth year of Abraham Lincoln. Obama reenacted the final part of Lincoln's 1861 train tour from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Washington, D.C. to capture the mood of the 1861 Springfield
Springfield, Illinois
Springfield is the third and current capital of the US state of Illinois and the county seat of Sangamon County with a population of 117,400 , making it the sixth most populated city in the state and the second most populated Illinois city outside of the Chicago Metropolitan Area...

 to Washington train tour traveled by Lincoln to his own inauguration
Abraham Lincoln 1861 presidential inauguration
The first inauguration of Abraham Lincoln as the 16th President of the United States took place on March 4, 1861 on the eve of American Civil War...

. For his train ride to the nation's capital, Obama rode in the Georgia 300
Georgia 300
The Georgia 300 is a privately-owned railroad car, owned by John H. “Jack” Heard based in Florida and has been used by several recent presidents for various campaign related Whistle Stop Tours.-History:...

, a vintage railroad car used by past presidents and the same one he used for touring Pennsylvania during his presidential primary campaign
Democratic Party (United States) presidential primaries, 2008
The 2008 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2008 U.S. presidential election...

. On the tour, Obama was accompanied by his wife Michelle, their daughters Malia and Sasha, and a host of friends and guests.


For the train ride to Washington, Obama invited 41 "everyday Americans" that he met during his presidential campaign to accompany him on the tour and attend other inaugural events, including the swearing-in ceremony, the parade and an inaugural ball. The group of citizens who joined the tour had shared stories with then-candidate Obama about themselves and their families during the presidential campaign, and included Matt Kuntz and Lilly Ledbetter
Lilly Ledbetter
Lilly Ledbetter was the plaintiff in the American employment discrimination case Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. She has since become a women's equality activist.-Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.:...

. Kuntz, who lost his own step‑brother to suicide
Suicide
Suicide is the act of intentionally causing one's own death. Suicide is often committed out of despair or attributed to some underlying mental disorder, such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, alcoholism, or drug abuse...

 after returning home from the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

, dedicated his efforts to improve mental health screening for Iraq War veterans. Ledbetter, who learned years later that her employer had discriminated against her in pay based on gender, lost her case before the Supreme Court because she did not file her claim within 180 days of the discriminatory act. Nine days after his inauguration, Obama as president signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, allowing claims filed against employers not only within 180 days of the pay discrimination, but also restarting the 180-day period for claims upon receiving any paycheck based on a discriminatory pay action.

Obama commenced the tour in Philadelphia by holding a town hall meeting at 30th Street Station
30th Street Station
30th Street Station is the main railroad station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and one of the five stations in SEPTA's Center City fare zone. It is also a major stop on Amtrak's Northeast and Keystone Corridors...

 with a few hundred supporters. At the first stop in Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington, Delaware
Wilmington is the largest city in the state of Delaware, United States, and is located at the confluence of the Christina River and Brandywine Creek, near where the Christina flows into the Delaware River. It is the county seat of New Castle County and one of the major cities in the Delaware Valley...

 Vice President‑elect Biden and his family joined the tour. Biden, dubbed "Amtrak Joe" for his daily commutes on Amtrak
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 between Wilmington and Washington, built a reputation as a supporter of increased funding for U.S. commuter rail transport
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

ation. The train continued to Baltimore, Maryland, its second stop, where Obama spoke to a crowd of about 40,000 people.

During his speeches to the crowds, he emphasized the theme "A New Birth of Freedom" using phrases associated with Lincoln such as "better angels" and "a new declaration of independence". Obama referred to patriotic
Patriot (American Revolution)
Patriots is a name often used to describe the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who rebelled against British control during the American Revolution. It was their leading figures who, in July 1776, declared the United States of America an independent nation...

 forebearers in his speech when he reminded the crowds that "we should never forget that we are the heirs of that first band of patriots, ordinary men and women who refused to give up when it all seemed so improbable; and who somehow believed that they had the power to make the world anew." Thousands of well‑wishers gathered at various points along the train route taking pictures, cheering and waving American flag
Flag of the United States
The national flag of the United States of America consists of thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red alternating with white, with a blue rectangle in the canton bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows of six stars alternating with rows...

s and homemade signs, with Obama reciting his trademark rejoinder "I love you back" to the enthusiastic crowds. The one-day train tour concluded at Union Station
Union Station (Washington, D.C.)
Washington Union Station is a train station and leisure destination visited by 32 million people each year in the center of Washington, D.C. The train station is served by Amtrak, MARC and Virginia Railway Express commuter rail services as well as by Washington Metro subway trains and local buses...

 in Washington, D.C.

We Are One concert


On January 18, 2009, the day after Obama arrived in Washington, D.C., an inaugural concert, "We Are One", took place at the Lincoln Memorial
Lincoln Memorial
The Lincoln Memorial is an American memorial built to honor the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The architect was Henry Bacon, the sculptor of the main statue was Daniel Chester French, and the painter of the interior...

. The concert featured performances and readings of historical passages by more than three dozen celebrities. Attendance at the concert was free to the public, and HBO broadcast the concert live on an open feed, enabling anyone with cable television to watch the event. An estimated 400,000 people attended the concert at the Lincoln Memorial. The Washington Metro
Washington Metro
The Washington Metro, commonly called Metro, and unofficially Metrorail, is the rapid transit system in Washington, D.C., United States, and its surrounding suburbs. It is administered by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority , which also operates Metrobus service under the Metro name...

 recorded 616,324 passenger trips during the day, breaking the old Sunday ridership record of 540,945 passenger trips set on July 4, 1999.

King Day of Service


The eve of the Inauguration Day, January 19, 2009, fell on Martin Luther King, Jr.  Day, a U.S. federal holiday in recognition of Dr. King
Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the...

's birthday. Obama called upon communities everywhere to observe the King Day of Service, a day of citizen volunteer service honoring the human rights leader. More than 13,000 community service events took place across the nation on the day, the largest participation in the 14 years since Congress passed the King Holiday and Service Act and more than double the previous year's events.

Obama spent an hour at Walter Reed Army Medical Center
Walter Reed Army Medical Center
The Walter Reed Army Medical Center was the United States Army's flagship medical center until 2011. Located on 113 acres in Washington, D.C., it served more than 150,000 active and retired personnel from all branches of the military...

 meeting privately with the families of troops who were recovering from wounds sustained in the Iraq War and the War in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

. After visiting the medical center, he, along with Martin Luther King, III, headed to the Sasha Bruce House homeless shelter
Homeless shelter
Homeless shelters are temporary residences for homeless people which seek to protect vulnerable populations from the often devastating effects of homelessness while simultaneously reducing the environmental impact on the community...

 for teens to participate with others in service activities.

Joe Biden hung drywall
Drywall
Drywall, also known as plasterboard, wallboard or gypsum board is a panel made of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper...

 at a Habitat for Humanity home in N.E. Washington, D.C. Biden's wife, Jill
Jill Biden
Jill Tracy Biden is an American educator and, as the wife of Vice President Joe Biden, is the Second Lady of the United States....

, their daughter, Ashley Biden, Michelle Obama
Michelle Obama
Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is the wife of the 44th and incumbent President of the United States, Barack Obama, and is the first African-American First Lady of the United States...

 and the Obamas' daughters, Malia and Sasha, spent the morning at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium where they helped thousands of volunteers prepare more than 85,000 care package
CARE Package
The CARE Package was the original unit of aid distributed by the humanitarian organization CARE...

s destined for U.S. troops overseas. Later that evening, the president-elect hosted three separate bipartisan dinners to honor the service of John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

, Colin Powell
Colin Powell
Colin Luther Powell is an American statesman and a retired four-star general in the United States Army. He was the 65th United States Secretary of State, serving under President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2005. He was the first African American to serve in that position. During his military...

 and Joe Biden.

Kids' Inaugural: "We Are the Future"


On the evening of January 19, 2009, Michelle Obama and Jill Biden hosted the "Kids' Inaugural: We Are the Future" event at the Verizon Center
Verizon Center
Verizon Center is a sports and entertainment arena in Washington, D.C., USA, named after telecommunications sponsor Verizon Communications, and has been nicknamed the "Phone Booth" because of its association with telecommunications companies...

. Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus
Miley Ray Cyrus is an American actress and pop singer-songwriter. She achieved wide fame for her role as Miley Stewart/Hannah Montana on the Disney Channel sitcom Hannah Montana....

, Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato
"She’s got the range, the full emotional spectrum, incredible control… Vocally, she’s the best thing Disney’s had since Christina Aguilera."—Producer Toby Gad on Demi Lovato's vocals...

, and the Jonas Brothers
Jonas Brothers
The Jonas Brothers are an American boy band. The band gained its popularity from the Disney Channel children's television network. From the shore region of New Jersey, the band consists of three brothers: Paul Kevin Jonas II , Joseph Adam Jonas , and Nicholas Jerry Jonas...

 honored military families in concert. The show was broadcast live on the Disney Channel
Disney Channel
Disney Channel is an American basic cable and satellite television network, owned by the Disney-ABC Television Group division of The Walt Disney Company. It is under the direction of Disney-ABC Television Group President Anne Sweeney. The channel's headquarters is located on West Alameda Ave. in...

 and on Radio Disney
Radio Disney
Radio Disney is a radio network based in Burbank, California and headquartered out of the Disney Channel headquarters on West Alameda Ave., from where it has been based since November 2008. Prior to that, the network was based in Dallas, Texas...

. Other celebrity participants included Bow Wow, George Lopez
George Lopez
George Lopez is an American comedian, actor, and talk show host. He is mostly known for starring in his self-produced ABC sitcom George Lopez. His stand-up comedy examines race and ethnic relations, including the Mexican American culture...

, Corbin Bleu
Corbin Bleu
Corbin Bleu Reivers , known professionally as Corbin Bleu, is an American actor, model, dancer, producer, and singer-songwriter. He performed in the High School Musical film series, the Discovery Kids drama series Flight 29 Down, and the Disney Channel Original Movie Jump In!...

, Queen Latifah
Queen Latifah
Dana Elaine Owens , better known by her stage name Queen Latifah, is an American singer, rapper, and actress. Her work in music, film and television has earned her a Golden Globe award, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, two Image Awards, a Grammy Award, six additional Grammy nominations, an Emmy...

, Billy Ray Cyrus
Billy Ray Cyrus
William "Billy" Ray Cyrus is an American country music singer, songwriter, actor and philanthropist, who helped make country music a worldwide phenomenon...

, Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille O'Neal
Shaquille Rashaun O'Neal , nicknamed "Shaq" , is a former American professional basketball player. Standing tall and weighing , he was one of the heaviest players ever to play in the NBA...

 and Jamie Foxx
Jamie Foxx
Eric Marlon Bishop , professionally known as Jamie Foxx, is an American actor, singer-songwriter, stand-up comedian, and talk radio host. As an actor, his work in the film Ray earned him the Academy Award and BAFTA Award for Best Actor as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor in a...

. In keeping with the service theme of the day, Michelle Obama issued a call for children to become engaged in public service by volunteering in homeless shelters, visiting elderly people or writing letters to U.S. troops.

Ceremony: "A New Birth of Freedom"



The inaugural ceremony took place at the West Front of the United States Capitol on January 20, 2009. The ceremony opened with the playing of pre‑recorded music and a live performance by "The President's Own" United States Marine Band
United States Marine Band
The United States Marine Band is the premier band of the United States Marine Corps. Established by act of Congress on July 11, 1798, it is the oldest of the United States military bands and the oldest professional musical organization in the United States...

, followed by live performances by the San Francisco Boys Chorus
San Francisco Boys Chorus
The San Francisco Boys Chorus is a choir for boys consisting of 230 members based in San Francisco with additional campuses in Oakland and San Rafael. It is known officially as "San Francisco's Singing Ambassadors to the World"....

 and San Francisco Girls Chorus
San Francisco Girls Chorus
San Francisco Girls Chorus is a regional center for music education and performance for girls and young women, ages 7–18, based in San Francisco. More than 300 singers from 160 schools in 48 San Francisco Bay Area cities and towns participate in this internationally recognized program...

. Senator Dianne Feinstein, chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies and the first woman to preside over a U.S. presidential inauguration, acted as the day's Master of Ceremonies
Master of Ceremonies
A Master of Ceremonies , or compere, is the host of a staged event or similar performance.An MC usually presents performers, speaks to the audience, and generally keeps the event moving....

.


Evangelical
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

 pastor Rick Warren
Rick Warren
Richard Duane "Rick" Warren is an American evangelical Christian minister and author. He is the founder and senior pastor of Saddleback Church, an evangelical megachurch located in Lake Forest, California, currently the eighth-largest church in the United States...

 delivered the invocation
Invocation
An invocation may take the form of:*Supplication or prayer.*A form of possession.*Command or conjuration.*Self-identification with certain spirits....

 for the inaugural ceremony, followed by a performance by vocalist Aretha Franklin
Aretha Franklin
Aretha Louise Franklin is an American singer, songwriter, and pianist. Although known for her soul recordings and referred to as The Queen of Soul, Franklin is also adept at jazz, blues, R&B, gospel music, and rock. Rolling Stone magazine ranked her atop its list of The Greatest Singers of All...

, who sang "My Country, 'Tis of Thee
My Country, 'Tis of Thee
"My Country, 'Tis of Thee", also known as "America", is an American patriotic song, whose lyrics were written by Samuel Francis Smith. The melody derived from Muzio Clementi's Symphony No. 3, and is shared with "God Save the Queen," used by many members of the Commonwealth of Nations...

". The program featured a performance of John Williams
John Williams
John Towner Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career spanning almost six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in the history of motion pictures, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T...

' composition "Air and Simple Gifts
Air and Simple Gifts
Air and Simple Gifts is a classical quartet composed and arranged by American composer John Williams for the January 20, 2009, inauguration of Barack Obama as President of the United States...

", which was both pre-recorded and performed live synched with the recording by cellist Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma
Yo-Yo Ma is an American cellist, virtuoso, and orchestral composer. He has received multiple Grammy Awards, the National Medal of Arts in 2001 and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2011...

, violinist Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman is an Israeli-born violinist, conductor, and instructor of master classes. He is regarded as one of the pre-eminent violinists of the 20th and early-21st centuries.-Early life:...

, pianist Gabriela Montero
Gabriela Montero
Gabriela Montero is a Venezuelan-American pianist.Born in Caracas, Venezuela, of an American-born mother and a Venezuelan father, Gabriela Montero was barely a seven-month-old infant when her parents, at the insistence of her maternal grandmother, placed a toy piano in her playpen. It had been...

 and clarinetist Anthony McGill
Anthony McGill
Anthony McGill is the principal clarinetist for the Metropolitan Opera. McGill is originally from Chicago, Illinois, growing up in the city's Chatham neighborhood....

. National Public Radio described the performance by the quartet as "a transporting moment that moved many with its beauty and calm", while The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

called it the "classical-music equivalent of lip-syncing". Aretha Franklin made a fashion statement by wearing a hat with a distinctive Swarovski
Swarovski
Swarovski is the brand name for a range of precisely-cut crystal and related luxury products produced by Swarovski AG of Wattens, Austria...

 crystal-studded bow.

Vice President‑elect Biden took his oath from Associate Justice
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States are the members of the Supreme Court of the United States other than the Chief Justice of the United States...

 John Paul Stevens
John Paul Stevens
John Paul Stevens served as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States from December 19, 1975 until his retirement on June 29, 2010. At the time of his retirement, he was the oldest member of the Court and the third-longest serving justice in the Court's history...

. After he completed his oath of office, Biden received in his honor as the new Vice President the first playing of four ruffles and flourishes
Ruffles and flourishes
Ruffles and flourishes are preceding fanfare for honors music .Ruffles are played on drums, and flourishes are played on bugles...

 and the march "Hail, Columbia
Hail, Columbia
"Hail, Columbia" is an American patriotic song. It was considered, with several other songs, one of the unofficial national anthems of the United States until 1931, when "The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially named the national anthem...

" by members of the armed forces. After the performance of "Air and Simple Gifts", Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to President‑elect Obama shortly after noon. The inaugural ceremony ran longer than scheduled, which delayed the administering of the oath so that it finished around 12:05 p.m. EST (17:05 UTC). However, Obama assumed the presidency at the expiration of President Bush's term at noon under the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution establishes the beginning and ending of the terms of the elected federal offices. It also deals with scenarios in which there is no President-elect...

. After he completed the presidential oath, Obama received in his honor as the new President the 21-gun salute
21-gun salute
Gun salutes are the firing of cannons or firearms as a military or naval honor.The custom stems from naval tradition, where a warship would fire its cannons harmlessly out to sea, until all ammunition was spent, to show that it was disarmed, signifying the lack of hostile intent...

, and the first playing of four ruffles and flourishes and the march "Hail to the Chief
Hail to the Chief
"Hail to the Chief" is a march primarily associated with the President of the United States. Its playing accompanies the appearance of the President at many public appearances. For major official occasions, the United States Marine Band and other military ensembles generally are the performers, so...

" by members of the armed forces.

Obama delivered his inaugural address to the crowds as the President of the United States following his swearing-in ceremony. Poet Elizabeth Alexander
Elizabeth Alexander (poet)
Elizabeth Alexander is an American poet, essayist, playwright, and a university professor.-Early life:Alexander was born in Harlem, New York City and grew up in Washington D.C. She is the daughter of former United States Secretary of the Army and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairman...

 then delivered the inaugural poem, "Praise Song for the Day
Praise Song for the Day
"Praise Song for the Day" is an occasional poem written by the American poet Elizabeth Alexander and delivered at the 2009 presidential inauguration of President Barack Obama. The poem is the fourth to be delivered at a United States presidential inauguration, following in the tradition of recitals...

", and civil rights activist Joseph Lowery
Joseph Lowery
Joseph Echols Lowery is a minister in the United Methodist Church and leader in the American civil rights movement. He later became the third president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, after Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his immediate successor, Rev. Dr...

, minister of the United Methodist Church
United Methodist Church
The United Methodist Church is a Methodist Christian denomination which is both mainline Protestant and evangelical. Founded in 1968 by the union of The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church, the UMC traces its roots back to the revival movement of John and Charles Wesley...

, delivered the benediction
Benediction
A benediction is a short invocation for divine help, blessing and guidance, usually at the end of worship service.-Judaism:...

. The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters"
United States Navy Band
The United States Navy Band, based at the historic Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., has served the nation as the official musical organization of the United States Navy since 1925...

 chorus concluded the ceremony with a performance of the United States national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner
The Star-Spangled Banner
"The Star-Spangled Banner" is the national anthem of the United States of America. The lyrics come from "Defence of Fort McHenry", a poem written in 1814 by the 35-year-old lawyer and amateur poet, Francis Scott Key, after witnessing the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships...

.

Oath of office


Chief Justice John Roberts
John Roberts
John Glover Roberts, Jr. is the 17th and current Chief Justice of the United States. He has served since 2005, having been nominated by President George W. Bush after the death of Chief Justice William Rehnquist...

 administered the Oath of office of the President of the United States to Obama. Michelle Obama held the Bible
Lincoln Bible
The Lincoln Bible is the Bible used by US President Abraham Lincoln at his first presidential inauguration. This Bible, part of the collection of the Library of Congress, was also used by Barack Obama at his presidential inauguration in 2009....

, which was used by Abraham Lincoln at his 1861 inauguration, as Barack Obama placed his hand on the Bible and recited the presidential oath.

During the swearing-in ceremony, Obama did not recite, and Roberts as the administering official did not execute, the 35‑word oath of office exactly as prescribed by the United States Constitution. The first misstep occurred during the first part of the oath. Roberts had not yet completed the first phrase when Obama began reciting the oath. After the correct recitation of the first phrase of the presidential oath, Roberts recited incorrectly the next part of the oath by saying "that I will execute the Office of President to the United States faithfully", rather than "that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States". Obama recited the words "I will execute", and then paused. Roberts then tried to correct his mistake in administering the oath by reciting "faithfully the Office of President of the United States", followed by Obama repeating Roberts' first incorrect phrase.


Roberts ended the presidential oath by appending the phrase "so help you God" to the end of the constitutionally prescribed oath, and Obama responded "so help me God" when he was prompted. Obama had asked previously to include "so help me God" after the oath. Roberts then congratulated Obama as the new President.

Much public discussion arose about the missteps in administering and reciting the oath, with one constitutional scholar observing that "it's an open question whether [Obama is] president until he takes the proper oath."
Although Robert Gibbs
Robert Gibbs
Robert Lane Gibbs was the 28th White House Press Secretary. Gibbs was the communications director for then-U.S. Senator Barack Obama and Obama's 2008 presidential campaign...

, White House press secretary
White House Press Secretary
The White House Press Secretary is a senior White House official whose primary responsibility is to act as spokesperson for the government administration....

, indicated at first that President Obama did not plan to retake the oath, Chief Justice Roberts agreed to re-administer the oath at the request of White House counsel
White House Counsel
The White House Counsel is a staff appointee of the President of the United States.-Role:The Counsel's role is to advise the President on all legal issues concerning the President and the White House...

. The second oath ceremony took place on the evening of January 21, 2009 in the Map Room
Map Room (White House)
The Map Room is a room on the ground floor of the White House, the official home of the President of the United States.The Map Room takes its name from its use during World War II, when Franklin Roosevelt used it as a situation room where maps were consulted to track the war's progress...

 of the White House
White House
The White House is the official residence and principal workplace of the president of the United States. Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW in Washington, D.C., the house was designed by Irish-born James Hoban, and built between 1792 and 1800 of white-painted Aquia sandstone in the Neoclassical...

 before a small audience of presidential aides, reporters and a White House photographer. According to White House counsel Greg Craig
Greg Craig
Gregory Bestor "Greg" Craig is a Washington-based lawyer and former White House Counsel under President Barack Obama. He has represented numerous high-profile clients, including John W. Hinckley, Jr., who was acquitted of the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan by reason of insanity, and, in...

, the presidential oath was re-administered out of an abundance of caution over concerns about the legality of the oath as it was administered by Roberts on Inauguration Day. Craig added that "the oath of office was administered effectively and ... the President was sworn in appropriately ... But the oath appears in the Constitution itself." No Bible was present during the retake of the inauguration, which aroused some criticism.

Inaugural address


A central theme of President Obama's inaugural address was a call to restore responsibility—both in terms of accountability in Washington and the responsibility of ordinary people to get involved. Obama's address did not have memorable sound bite phrases. Instead, he used traditional references to connect his new administration with the nation's history in a speech that was understated deliberately, according to rhetoric expert James Mackin.

Obama concluded the second paragraph of his address by saying, "we the people have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents." The speech reinforced words such as "legacy" and "heritage", as well as values such as "honesty", "courage" and "patriotism", which "are old" values. Near the end of the speech, Obama referred to words written by Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine
Thomas "Tom" Paine was an English author, pamphleteer, radical, inventor, intellectual, revolutionary, and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States...

 in The American Crisis
The American Crisis
The American Crisis was a series of pamphlets published from 1776 to 1783 during the American Revolution by 18th century Enlightenment philosopher and author Thomas Paine. The first volume begins with the famous words "These are the times that try men's souls". There were sixteen pamphlets in total...

, which were ordered by George Washington
George Washington
George Washington was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1799. He led the American victory over Great Britain in the American Revolutionary War as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army from 1775 to 1783, and presided over the writing of...

 to be read to his troops: "Let it be told to the future world ... that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive ... that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]." Because Obama's campaign
Barack Obama presidential campaign, 2008
Barack Obama, then junior United States Senator from Illinois, announced his candidacy for the presidency of the United States in Springfield, Illinois, on February 10, 2007. On August 27, 2008, he was declared nominee of the Democratic Party for the 2008 presidential election...

 message focused on the need for change, Mackin noted that Obama sought to reassure Americans that he would operate as President within the margins of the nation's traditions.

Obama’s goal for his Inaugural speech was to stir the following response among Americans: “This is why I want to go into public service and be a better politician. This is why I want to go home and be a better parent, better worker, better citizen.”

As part of Obama's call for responsibility, he said "what is required of us now is a new era of responsibility—a recognition, on the part of every American" and "those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account." Obama quoted the lyrics of the Jerome Kern
Jerome Kern
Jerome David Kern was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music. One of the most important American theatre composers of the early 20th century, he wrote more than 700 songs, used in over 100 stage works, including such classics as "Ol' Man River", "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man", "A...

 and Dorothy Fields
Dorothy Fields
Dorothy Fields was an American librettist and lyricist.She wrote over 400 songs for Broadway musicals and films...

 song "Pick Yourself Up
Pick Yourself Up
"Pick Yourself Up" is a popular song composed in 1936 by Jerome Kern, with lyrics by Dorothy Fields. It has a verse and chorus, as well as a third section, though the third section is often omitted in recordings...

" from the musical
Musical film
The musical film is a film genre in which songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by dancing. The songs usually advance the plot or develop the film's characters, though in some cases they serve merely as breaks in the storyline, often as elaborate...

 comedy
Comedy film
Comedy film is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. They are designed to elicit laughter from the audience. Comedies are mostly light-hearted dramas and are made to amuse and entertain the audiences...

 Swing Time, saying that "starting today, we must pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and begin again the work of remaking America." In an article for The New York Times, columnist and former drama critic Frank Rich
Frank Rich
Frank Rich is an American essayist and op-ed columnist who wrote for The New York Times from 1980, when he was appointed its chief theatre critic, until 2011...

 noted the link to the lyric in Field's song from the movie, writing that Obama offered in his address "one subtle whiff of the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

".

Obama's speech contained several biblical
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

 references and was compared to oratory of the "black church tradition." Obama also highlighted the United States' religious diversity, referring to the country's "patchwork heritage" as a strength and saying, "We are a nation of Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and non-believers." This was the first time a United States President acknowledged American non-believers
Irreligion in the United States
Encompassing agnosticism, atheism, deism, skepticism, freethought, secular humanism or general secularism and even some forms of alternative spirituality such as New Age, various polls have put the population of "non-religious" North Americans at between 20 and 35 million...

 in an inaugural address.

Obama's inaugural address received mixed reviews, with some describing the tone of the speech a praiseworthy one of restraint and plain speaking, while others described the speech as low-brow and cliched. Despite his optimism, Obama was critical of former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

. David E. Sanger
David E. Sanger
David E. Sanger is the Chief Washington Correspondent for The New York Times. A 1982 graduate of Harvard College, Sanger has been writing for the Times for over 26 years covering foreign policy, globalization, nuclear proliferation, and the presidency...

, chief Washington correspondent for The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, described the speech as the harshest rebuke of an outgoing President during an inaugural address since Franklin Roosevelt's call for restoration of American values. The Bush administration was upset about the tone of the speech, saying that the speech veered from that of a ritualistic but respectful thanks to that of a public diatribe. Members of the Republican party viewed the speech as a missed chance to seek unity, while Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Emanuel
Rahm Israel Emanuel is an American politician and the 55th and current Mayor of Chicago. He was formerly White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama...

, Obama's White House Chief of Staff
White House Chief of Staff
The White House Chief of Staff is the highest ranking member of the Executive Office of the President of the United States and a senior aide to the President.The current White House Chief of Staff is Bill Daley.-History:...

, described the speech as a reflection of the mandate of the people. In an analysis of the inaugural address, one reporter described the speech as one that emphasized the burdens of the moment and the cloudy future whose challenges may be met with the resolve that is part of our American heritage.

Prayers


Obama's selections of Warren and Lowery to deliver prayers for the inaugural ceremony were controversial. Warren had a history of vocal opposition to same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

, and Lowery had a background as a civil rights
Civil rights
Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression.Civil rights include...

 activist. Neither Obama nor Warren made references during the inaugural program to issues of direct concern to the gay community. In the invocation, Warren asked for "forgiveness for Americans 'when we fight each other' and 'civility in our attitudes even when we differ.'" Warren mentioned Dr. Martin Luther King and Jesus in the invocation, and he concluded the invocation with the Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, it appears in two forms: in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the discourse on ostentation in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the Gospel of Luke, which records Jesus being approached by "one of his...

. Lowery used both humor and sincerity as he delivered the benediction. One of his sincere messages was the statement that "as we leave this mountaintop, help us to hold on to the spirit of fellowship and the oneness of our family." Lowery concluded the benediction with a humorous message of anticipation for the day "when brown
Brown people
Brown people or brown race is a political, racial, ethnic, societal, and cultural classification, similar to black people and white people. Like these, it is a metaphor for race based on human skin color, reflecting the fact that there are shades of skin colour intermediate between "Mediterranean" ...

 can stick around, when yellow
Mongoloid race
Mongoloid is a term sometimes used by forensic anthropologists and physical anthropologists to refer to populations that share certain phenotypic traits such as epicanthic fold and shovel-shaped incisors and other physical traits common in East Asia, the Americas and the Arctic...

 will be mellow, when the red man
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 can get ahead man and when white
Caucasian race
The term Caucasian race has been used to denote the general physical type of some or all of the populations of Europe, North Africa, the Horn of Africa, Western Asia , Central Asia and South Asia...

 would embrace what is right". Conservatives, including Rush Limbaugh
Rush Limbaugh
Rush Hudson Limbaugh III is an American radio talk show host, conservative political commentator, and an opinion leader in American conservatism. He hosts The Rush Limbaugh Show which is aired throughout the U.S. on Premiere Radio Networks and is the highest-rated talk-radio program in the United...

 decried Lowery's benediction, which quoted from "Lift Every Voice and Sing" (the "Black National Anthem"), as racist, while Democrats disagreed. Another of Lowery's rhymes, "When black
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 will not be asked to get in back", particularly offended the likes of Limbaugh who felt that Obama's ascension on that day symbolized the fact that America had come to that point already.

Post-ceremony traditions



After the inaugural ceremony, President Obama, First Lady
First Lady
First Lady or First Gentlemanis the unofficial title used in some countries for the spouse of an elected head of state.It is not normally used to refer to the spouse or partner of a prime minister; the husband or wife of the British Prime Minister is usually informally referred to as prime...

 Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden escorted former President George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and former First Lady Laura Bush
Laura Bush
Laura Lane Welch Bush is the wife of the 43rd President of the United States, George W. Bush. She was the First Lady of the United States from January 20, 2001, to January 20, 2009. She has held a love of books and reading since childhood and her life and education have reflected that interest...

 to a departure ceremony on the east side of the U.S. Capitol. Before the luncheon and in keeping with tradition, President Obama signed his first presidential orders in the President's Room at the Capitol, and then signed the guest book for the luncheon. The first order signed by Obama was a proclamation declaring his Inauguration Day a "National Day of Renewal and Reconciliation", in which he called "upon all of our citizens to serve one another and the common purpose of remaking this Nation for our new century". Obama signed orders to officially present the nominations for his Cabinet
United States Cabinet
The Cabinet of the United States is composed of the most senior appointed officers of the executive branch of the federal government of the United States, which are generally the heads of the federal executive departments...

 and several sub‑Cabinet officials to the U.S. Congress for its approval. The Obamas and Bidens then attended an inaugural luncheon at the U.S. Capitol before traveling from there to the presidential reviewing stand at the White House to watch the parade.

Luncheon


As former President and Mrs. Bush began their journey to their Texas
Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

 home, the Obamas and Bidens joined several congressional guests for the inaugural luncheon in National Statuary Hall
National Statuary Hall
National Statuary Hall is a chamber in the United States Capitol devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans. The hall, also known as the Old Hall of the House, is a large, two-story, semicircular room with a second story gallery along the curved perimeter. It is located immediately south of the...

 at the U.S. Capitol. Guests included top Washington lawmakers as well as former Presidents and Vice Presidents. Commemorating the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial, the red and white china used during the luncheon were replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

s of those used in the Lincoln White House.
A luncheon at the U.S. Capitol has been part of the inaugural program since 1953 (before that time, the luncheon was usually held at the White House and hosted by the outgoing President and First Lady). The menu for the 2009 inaugural luncheon, which often features dishes representative of the home states of the new President and Vice President, included seafood stew, duck and pheasant
Pheasant
Pheasants refer to some members of the Phasianinae subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes.Pheasants are characterised by strong sexual dimorphism, males being highly ornate with bright colours and adornments such as wattles and long tails. Males are usually larger than females and have...

 entrees with Pinot noir
Pinot Noir
Pinot noir is a black wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera. The name may also refer to wines created predominantly from Pinot noir grapes...

 wine, and a dessert of apple cinnamon sponge cake
Sponge cake
Sponge cake is a cake based on flour , sugar, and eggs, sometimes leavened with baking powder which has a firm, yet well aerated structure, similar to a sea sponge. A sponge cake may be produced by either the batter method, or the foam method. Typicially the batter method in the U.S. is known as a...

 with sweet cream glacé
Candied fruit
Candied fruit, also known as crystallized fruit or Glacé fruit, has been around since the 14th century. Whole fruit, smaller pieces of fruit, or pieces of peel, are placed in heated sugar syrup, which absorbs the moisture from within the fruit and eventually preserves it...

. Since 1985, a painting has served as a backdrop for the head table. For the 2009 inaugural luncheon, the featured painting was Thomas Hill's
Thomas Hill (painter)
Thomas Hill was an American artist of the 19th century. He produced many fine paintings of the California landscape, in particular of the Yosemite Valley, as well as the White Mountains of New Hampshire.-Biography:...

 1865 View of the Yosemite Valley, a painting that commemorated Abraham Lincoln's 1864 signing of the Yosemite Grant, which was the first time the federal government protected park lands for public use.

During the luncheon, Senator Ted Kennedy
Ted Kennedy
Edward Moore "Ted" Kennedy was a United States Senator from Massachusetts and a member of the Democratic Party. Serving almost 47 years, he was the second most senior member of the Senate when he died and is the fourth-longest-serving senator in United States history...

 collapsed after suffering a seizure, and he was transported to a hospital for medical treatment. Early reports about the medical emergency suggested erroneously that Senator Robert Byrd
Robert Byrd
Robert Carlyle Byrd was a United States Senator from West Virginia. A member of the Democratic Party, Byrd served as a U.S. Representative from 1953 until 1959 and as a U.S. Senator from 1959 to 2010...

, the oldest member of the Senate, also fell ill during the luncheon. These reports were later denied, and Byrd, a longtime friend of Kennedy, eventually explained that the Kennedy incident disturbed him and caused him to leave.

Parade



The inaugural parade route ran along Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue
Pennsylvania Avenue is a street in Washington, D.C. that joins the White House and the United States Capitol. Called "America's Main Street", it is the location of official parades and processions, as well as protest marches...

, N.W. from the U.S. Capitol, ending at the north face of the White House. During most of the parade, President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama traveled in the new armored limousine because of potential security threats. The President and First Lady twice exited their limousine, walking on Pennsylvania Avenue for portions of the parade. Vice President Biden and his wife Jill walked the parade route at several points with their children Beau
Beau Biden
Joseph Robinette "Beau" Biden III is an American lawyer, Army JAG officer, and politician from Wilmington, Delaware. He serves as the Attorney General of Delaware and a Major in the Delaware Army National Guard...

, Hunter and Ashley.

The parade lasted more than two hours during the afternoon and early evening following the inaugural ceremony. Parade participants included 15,000 people, 240 horses, a mariachi
Mariachi
Mariachi is a genre of music that originated in the State of Jalisco, in Mexico. It is an integration of stringed instruments highly influenced by the cultural impacts of the historical development of Western Mexico. Throughout the history of mariachi, musicians have experimented with brass, wind,...

 band, dozens of marching bands, the Virginia Military Institute
Virginia Military Institute
The Virginia Military Institute , located in Lexington, Virginia, is the oldest state-supported military college and one of six senior military colleges in the United States. Unlike any other military college in the United States—and in keeping with its founding principles—all VMI students are...

 corps of cadets, and two drum and bugle corps: The Cadets
The Cadets Drum and Bugle Corps
The Cadets are a Drum Corps International World Class drum and bugle corps based in Allentown, Pennsylvania...

 and the Colts
Colts Drum and Bugle Corps
The Colts Drum and Bugle Corps are a World Class drum and bugle corps based in Dubuque, Iowa and founded in 1963, and are a member corps of Drum Corps International...

. Obama invited the marching band from Punahou School
Punahou School
Punahou School, once known as Oahu College, is a private, co-educational, college preparatory school located in Honolulu CDP, City and County of Honolulu in the U.S. State of Hawaii...

, his high school in Hawaii, to perform in the parade along with the marching unit of its Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps
Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps
The Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps is a Federal program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces in high schools across the United States...

.

Vice President Joe Biden invited several groups from Delaware to march in the parade. The Delaware section was led by the Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association
Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association
The Delaware Volunteer Firemen's Association is an organization established to assist the volunteer fire companies of the state of Delaware.- History :...

 of which Biden is an honorary member, the Fightin' Blue Hen Marching Band, The Pride of Delaware, from Biden's alma mater, the University of Delaware
University of Delaware
The university is organized into seven colleges:* College of Agriculture and Natural Resources* College of Arts and Sciences* Alfred Lerner College of Business and Economics* College of Earth, Ocean and Environment* College of Education and Human Development...

, and the Delaware State University
Delaware State University
Delaware State University , is an American historically black, public university located in Dover, Delaware, and there are two satellite campuses located in Wilmington, Delaware, and Georgetown, Delaware...

 Hornets Approaching Storm marching band.

Inaugural balls


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama attended 10 official inaugural balls during the evening of January 20, 2009. Barack Obama wore a new tuxedo
Black tie
Black tie is a dress code for evening events and social functions. For a man, the main component is a usually black jacket, known as a dinner jacket or tuxedo...

 made by Hart Schaffner Marx, a Chicago-based menswear company. Michelle Obama wore a white, one-shouldered, sleeveless gown designed by 26 year-old New York
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

-based designer Jason Wu
Jason Wu
Jason Wu is a Manhattan-based Taiwanese American fashion designer.-Biography:Born in Taiwan, Wu moved to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada at age nine and attended Eaglebrook School in Deerfield, Massachusetts and Loomis Chaffee, in Windsor ,Connecticut. He learned how to sew by designing and...

, breaking with the recent practice set by former first ladies Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton, who showcased designers from their hometowns.

The Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, one of six balls held at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, was the first stop of the evening for the President and First Lady. The Obamas danced their first song as Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé Knowles
Beyoncé Giselle Knowles , often known simply as Beyoncé, is an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and actress. Born and raised in Houston, Texas, she enrolled in various performing arts schools and was first exposed to singing and dancing competitions as a child...

 serenaded them with her rendition of the Etta James
Etta James
Etta James is an American blues, soul, rhythm and blues , rock and roll, gospel and jazz singer. In the 1950s and 1960s, she had her biggest success as a blues and R&B singer...

 classic, At Last
At Last
"At Last" is a 1941 song written by Mack Gordon and Harry Warren for the musical film Orchestra Wives, starring George Montgomery and Ann Rutherford. It was performed in the film and on record by Glenn Miller and his orchestra, with vocals by Ray Eberle and Pat Friday...

. According to the Presidential Inaugural Committee, the Neighborhood Inaugural Ball was the first ball ever with free or affordable tickets, a contrast to recent history in which "inaugural balls generally have been closed to everyday Americans, populated instead by an exclusive circle of dignitaries and donors." A portion of the tickets for the ball was reserved for Washington D.C. residents.

The nine other official inaugural balls attended by the Obamas that evening included:

  • The Commander-in-Chief's Ball, National Building Museum
    National Building Museum
    The National Builders Museum, in Washington, D.C., United States, is a museum of "architecture, design, engineering, construction, and urban planning"...

    , held only for the second time, included active and reserve duty members of the United States military, the families of American service members currently deployed overseas, the families of military personnel killed in action and recipients of the Purple Heart
    Purple Heart
    The Purple Heart is a United States military decoration awarded in the name of the President to those who have been wounded or killed while serving on or after April 5, 1917 with the U.S. military. The National Purple Heart Hall of Honor is located in New Windsor, New York...

    .
  • The Eastern Ball, Union Station
    Union Station (Washington, D.C.)
    Washington Union Station is a train station and leisure destination visited by 32 million people each year in the center of Washington, D.C. The train station is served by Amtrak, MARC and Virginia Railway Express commuter rail services as well as by Washington Metro subway trains and local buses...

    , held for guests from the New England states
    New England
    New England is a region in the northeastern corner of the United States consisting of the six states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut...

     of Connecticut
    Connecticut
    Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

    , Maine
    Maine
    Maine is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east and south, New Hampshire to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Quebec to the northwest and New Brunswick to the northeast. Maine is both the northernmost and easternmost...

    , Massachusetts
    Massachusetts
    The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

    , New Hampshire
    New Hampshire
    New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

    , Rhode Island
    Rhode Island
    The state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, more commonly referred to as Rhode Island , is a state in the New England region of the United States. It is the smallest U.S. state by area...

     and Vermont
    Vermont
    Vermont is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state ranks 43rd in land area, , and 45th in total area. Its population according to the 2010 census, 630,337, is the second smallest in the country, larger only than Wyoming. It is the only New England...

     and the Atlantic territories of Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico
    Puerto Rico , officially the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico , is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of both the United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands.Puerto Rico comprises an...

     and the U.S. Virgin Islands
    United States Virgin Islands
    The Virgin Islands of the United States are a group of islands in the Caribbean that are an insular area of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.The U.S...

    . James Taylor
    James Taylor
    James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2000....

     performed for guests attending the ball.
  • The Mid-Atlantic Ball, Washington Convention Center, held for guests from the District of Columbia and the Mid-Atlantic states
    Mid-Atlantic States
    The Mid-Atlantic states, also called middle Atlantic states or simply the mid Atlantic, form a region of the United States generally located between New England and the South...

     of Maryland
    Maryland
    Maryland is a U.S. state located in the Mid Atlantic region of the United States, bordering Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia to its south and west; Pennsylvania to its north; and Delaware to its east...

    , New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    , New Jersey
    New Jersey
    New Jersey is a state in the Northeastern and Middle Atlantic regions of the United States. , its population was 8,791,894. It is bordered on the north and east by the state of New York, on the southeast and south by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by Pennsylvania and on the southwest by Delaware...

    , Virginia
    Virginia
    The Commonwealth of Virginia , is a U.S. state on the Atlantic Coast of the Southern United States. Virginia is nicknamed the "Old Dominion" and sometimes the "Mother of Presidents" after the eight U.S. presidents born there...

     and West Virginia
    West Virginia
    West Virginia is a state in the Appalachian and Southeastern regions of the United States, bordered by Virginia to the southeast, Kentucky to the southwest, Ohio to the northwest, Pennsylvania to the northeast and Maryland to the east...

    . This ball featured the first 2009 appearance by The Dead
    The Dead (band)
    The Dead is an American rock band composed of some of the former members of the Grateful Dead.After the death of Jerry Garcia in 1995, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Mickey Hart, and Bill Kreutzmann formed a band called The Other Ones. They performed concert tours in 1998 , 2000 , and 2002, and released one...

    .
  • The Midwestern Ball, Washington Convention Center, held for guests from the Midwestern states
    Midwestern United States
    The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

     of Indiana
    Indiana
    Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

    , Iowa
    Iowa
    Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

    , Kansas
    Kansas
    Kansas is a US state located in the Midwestern United States. It is named after the Kansas River which flows through it, which in turn was named after the Kansa Native American tribe, which inhabited the area. The tribe's name is often said to mean "people of the wind" or "people of the south...

    , Michigan
    Michigan
    Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

    , Minnesota
    Minnesota
    Minnesota is a U.S. state located in the Midwestern United States. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state...

    , Missouri
    Missouri
    Missouri is a US state located in the Midwestern United States, bordered by Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska. With a 2010 population of 5,988,927, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the nation and the fifth most populous in the Midwest. It...

    , North Dakota
    North Dakota
    North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

    , Nebraska
    Nebraska
    Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

    , Ohio
    Ohio
    Ohio is a Midwestern state in the United States. The 34th largest state by area in the U.S.,it is the 7th‑most populous with over 11.5 million residents, containing several major American cities and seven metropolitan areas with populations of 500,000 or more.The state's capital is Columbus...

    , South Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

     and Wisconsin
    Wisconsin
    Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

    .
  • The President Obama Home States Ball, Washington Convention Center, for guests from Barack Obama's home states of Hawaii
    Hawaii
    Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

     and Illinois
    Illinois
    Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

    .
  • The Southern Ball, D.C. Armory, held for guests from the Southern states
    Southern United States
    The Southern United States—commonly referred to as the American South, Dixie, or simply the South—constitutes a large distinctive area in the southeastern and south-central United States...

     of Alabama
    Alabama
    Alabama is a state located in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama ranks 30th in total land area and ranks second in the size of its inland...

    , Arkansas
    Arkansas
    Arkansas is a state located in the southern region of the United States. Its name is an Algonquian name of the Quapaw Indians. Arkansas shares borders with six states , and its eastern border is largely defined by the Mississippi River...

    , Florida
    Florida
    Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

    , Georgia
    Georgia (U.S. state)
    Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

    , Kentucky
    Kentucky
    The Commonwealth of Kentucky is a state located in the East Central United States of America. As classified by the United States Census Bureau, Kentucky is a Southern state, more specifically in the East South Central region. Kentucky is one of four U.S. states constituted as a commonwealth...

    , Louisiana
    Louisiana
    Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

    , Mississippi
    Mississippi
    Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

    , North Carolina
    North Carolina
    North Carolina is a state located in the southeastern United States. The state borders South Carolina and Georgia to the south, Tennessee to the west and Virginia to the north. North Carolina contains 100 counties. Its capital is Raleigh, and its largest city is Charlotte...

    , South Carolina
    South Carolina
    South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

    , Tennessee
    Tennessee
    Tennessee is a U.S. state located in the Southeastern United States. It has a population of 6,346,105, making it the nation's 17th-largest state by population, and covers , making it the 36th-largest by total land area...

     and Texas
    Texas
    Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

    .
  • The Vice President Biden Home States Ball, Washington Convention Center, for guests from Joe Biden's home states of Delaware
    Delaware
    Delaware is a U.S. state located on the Atlantic Coast in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. It is bordered to the south and west by Maryland, and to the north by Pennsylvania...

     and Pennsylvania
    Pennsylvania
    The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is a U.S. state that is located in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The state borders Delaware and Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, New York and Ontario, Canada, to the north, and New Jersey to...

    .
  • The Western Ball, Washington Convention Center, for guests from the Western states
    Western United States
    .The Western United States, commonly referred to as the American West or simply "the West," traditionally refers to the region comprising the westernmost states of the United States. Because the U.S. expanded westward after its founding, the meaning of the West has evolved over time...

     of Alaska
    Alaska
    Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

    , Arizona
    Arizona
    Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

    , California
    California
    California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

    , Idaho
    Idaho
    Idaho is a state in the Rocky Mountain area of the United States. The state's largest city and capital is Boise. Residents are called "Idahoans". Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890, as the 43rd state....

    , Colorado
    Colorado
    Colorado is a U.S. state that encompasses much of the Rocky Mountains as well as the northeastern portion of the Colorado Plateau and the western edge of the Great Plains...

    , Montana
    Montana
    Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

    , Oklahoma
    Oklahoma
    Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

    , Oregon
    Oregon
    Oregon is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. It is located on the Pacific coast, with Washington to the north, California to the south, Nevada on the southeast and Idaho to the east. The Columbia and Snake rivers delineate much of Oregon's northern and eastern...

    , Nevada
    Nevada
    Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

    , New Mexico
    New Mexico
    New Mexico is a state located in the southwest and western regions of the United States. New Mexico is also usually considered one of the Mountain States. With a population density of 16 per square mile, New Mexico is the sixth-most sparsely inhabited U.S...

    , Utah
    Utah
    Utah is a state in the Western United States. It was the 45th state to join the Union, on January 4, 1896. Approximately 80% of Utah's 2,763,885 people live along the Wasatch Front, centering on Salt Lake City. This leaves vast expanses of the state nearly uninhabited, making the population the...

    , Washington and Wyoming
    Wyoming
    Wyoming is a state in the mountain region of the Western United States. The western two thirds of the state is covered mostly with the mountain ranges and rangelands in the foothills of the Eastern Rocky Mountains, while the eastern third of the state is high elevation prairie known as the High...

    , and the Pacific territories of American Samoa
    American Samoa
    American Samoa is an unincorporated territory of the United States located in the South Pacific Ocean, southeast of the sovereign state of Samoa...

     and Guam
    Guam
    Guam is an organized, unincorporated territory of the United States located in the western Pacific Ocean. It is one of five U.S. territories with an established civilian government. Guam is listed as one of 16 Non-Self-Governing Territories by the Special Committee on Decolonization of the United...

    .
  • The Youth Ball, Washington Hilton and Towers
    Hilton Washington
    The Hilton Washington is a hotel in Washington, D.C. It is located at 1919 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., roughly at the boundaries of the Kalorama, Dupont Circle, and Adams Morgan neighborhoods.Developed by Uris Brothers and built in 1965 in a double-arched design, the hotel long sported the largest...

    , an event held specifically for guests between the ages of 18 and 35 years old.


President Obama and the First Lady also attended one inaugural ball during the evening of January 21, 2009.
  • The Obama for America Staff Ball, D.C. Armory, held for staff members of President Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. The ball featured speeches by David Plouffe
    David Plouffe
    David Plouffe is an American political strategist best known as the chief campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign in the United States...

    , Joe Biden and Barack Obama, as well as a performance by Jay-Z
    Jay-Z
    Shawn Corey Carter , better known by his stage name Jay-Z, is an American rapper, record producer, entrepreneur, and occasional actor. He is one of the most financially successful hip hop artists and entrepreneurs in America, having a net worth of over $450 million as of 2010...

    .


After they made their formal visits to the circuit of January 20 inaugural balls, the Obamas hosted an after-midnight gathering at the White House for 70 of their earliest supporters, close friends and family. Guests who attended the after hours celebration at the White House included Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

, Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Jarrett
Valerie Bowman Jarrett is a senior advisor and assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama administration. She is a Chicago lawyer, businesswoman, and civic leader...

, David Axelrod
David Axelrod (political consultant)
David M. Axelrod is an American political consultant based in Chicago, Illinois. He is best known as the top political advisor to President Barack Obama, first in Obama's 2004 campaign for the U.S. Senate in Illinois and later as chief strategist for Obama's 2008 presidential campaign. Following...

, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley
Richard M. Daley
Richard Michael Daley is a United States politician, member of the national and local Democratic Party, and former Mayor of Chicago, Illinois. He was elected mayor in 1989 and reelected in 1991, 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. He was the longest serving Chicago mayor, surpassing the tenure of his...

, Representatives Artur Davis
Artur Davis
Artur Genestre Davis is a former member of the United States House of Representatives for , serving from 2003 to 2011 when he was succeeded by Terri Sewell, also a member of the Democratic Party....

 of the state of Alabama and Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie
Neil Abercrombie is the 7th and current Governor of Hawaii. He was the Democratic U.S. Representative of the First Congressional District of Hawaii which comprises urban Honolulu. He served in Congress from 1986 to 1987 and from 1991 to 2010 when he resigned to successfully run for governor...

 of the state of Hawaii, and Michelle Obama's brother Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson (basketball coach)
Craig Malcolm Robinson is an American college basketball coach and the current head men's basketball coach at Oregon State University. He was previously the head coach at Brown University. He was a star forward as a player at Princeton University in the early 1980s and a bond trader during the...

. Members of the Illinois congressional delegation also attended the after hours event, including Senator Dick Durbin and Representatives Melissa Bean
Melissa Bean
Melissa Luburich Bean is a former U.S. Representative for the who served from 2005 until 2011. She is a member of the Democratic Party.-Early life, education and career:...

, Jan Schakowsky
Jan Schakowsky
Janice D. "Jan" Schakowsky is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1999. She is a member of the Democratic Party.The district includes many of Chicago's northern suburbs, including Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Rosemont...

, Luis Gutierrez
Luis Gutiérrez
Luis Vicente Gutiérrez is an American politician and the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1993. Gutiérrez was the first Latino to be elected to Congress from the Midwest. From 1986 until his election to Congress he served as a member of the Chicago City Council representing the 26th ward...

 and Jerry Costello
Jerry Costello
Jerry Francis Costello is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1988. He is a member of the Democratic Party and the dean of Illinois's 21-member Congressional delegation. The 12th district includes the St. Louis area suburb cities and stretches to deep Southern Illinois.-Early life,...

.

National prayer service


On January 21, 2009, President Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, gathered at the Washington National Cathedral
Washington National Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral, officially named the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is a cathedral of the Episcopal Church located in Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Of neogothic design, it is the sixth-largest cathedral in the world, the second-largest in...

 for a national day of prayer. At the prayer service, the Obamas and Bidens were joined in the front pew by former President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton, who was sworn in as Secretary of State
United States Secretary of State
The United States Secretary of State is the head of the United States Department of State, concerned with foreign affairs. The Secretary is a member of the Cabinet and the highest-ranking cabinet secretary both in line of succession and order of precedence...

 later that day. The prayer service was attended by about 3,200 other invited guests, including members of the U.S. Congress, diplomats and other dignitaries.
The theme of the interfaith worship service reflected inclusiveness and religious diversity, with a mix of Protestant
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

 pastors, female Hindu
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 and Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 religious leaders, rabbis and Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and Episcopal
Episcopal Church (United States)
The Episcopal Church is a mainline Anglican Christian church found mainly in the United States , but also in Honduras, Taiwan, Colombia, Ecuador, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands and parts of Europe...

 bishops who delivered scripture readings and prayers throughout the service. Prayers for the service drew from passages from the 1789 inauguration
First inauguration of George Washington
The first inauguration of George Washington as the first President of the United States took place on April 30, 1789.The inauguration marked the commencement of the first four-year term of George Washington as President and John Adams as Vice President...

 prayer service of George Washington and the 1865 inaugural address of Abraham Lincoln, including phrases such as "with malice toward none, with charity for all". The featured sermon for the inaugural prayer service was delivered by Reverend Sharon E. Watkins, general minister and president of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
The Christian Church is a Mainline Protestant denomination in North America. It is often referred to as The Christian Church, The Disciples of Christ, or more simply as The Disciples...

 and the first woman to deliver the sermon for the inaugural prayer service. In her sermon, Watkins integrated passages from a variety of sources, such as passages summoned from sources rooted in the Hindu, Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

, Muslim and Cherokee
Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 faiths.

Unofficial events


In addition to the official events, groups and supporters held an array of gatherings and celebrations throughout Washington, D.C. and the surrounding region in the days before and the evening following the inauguration. One such event, a newly created "People's Inaugural Ball" was held for economically and physically disadvantaged people from across the United States who otherwise would be unable to afford to attend the inaugural festivities. Earl W. Stafford, a businessman from Fairfax County
Fairfax County, Virginia
Fairfax County is a county in Virginia, in the United States. Per the 2010 Census, the population of the county is 1,081,726, making it the most populous jurisdiction in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with 13.5% of Virginia's population...

, Virginia, spent an estimated $1.6 million dollars through his family's foundation to bring approximately 300 guests to Washington, D.C., hosting the ball on January 19, 2009 for a total of about 450 people. Clothing, shoes, tuxedos and hotel rooms for attendees were provided as part of the invitation.

Dignitaries, family and celebrity guests


Former Presidents Jimmy Carter
Jimmy Carter
James Earl "Jimmy" Carter, Jr. is an American politician who served as the 39th President of the United States and was the recipient of the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize, the only U.S. President to have received the Prize after leaving office...

, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton
William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton is an American politician who served as the 42nd President of the United States from 1993 to 2001. Inaugurated at age 46, he was the third-youngest president. He took office at the end of the Cold War, and was the first president of the baby boomer generation...

 and George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and former Vice Presidents Walter Mondale
Walter Mondale
Walter Frederick "Fritz" Mondale is an American Democratic Party politician, who served as the 42nd Vice President of the United States , under President Jimmy Carter, and as a United States Senator for Minnesota...

, Dan Quayle
Dan Quayle
James Danforth "Dan" Quayle served as the 44th Vice President of the United States, serving with President George H. W. Bush . He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Indiana....

, Al Gore
Al Gore
Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

 and Dick Cheney, along with their wives, attended the inauguration. Cheney was in a wheelchair
Wheelchair
A wheelchair is a chair with wheels, designed to be a replacement for walking. The device comes in variations where it is propelled by motors or by the seated occupant turning the rear wheels by hand. Often there are handles behind the seat for someone else to do the pushing...

 because of an injury that he suffered while moving boxes.

John Lewis, the only living speaker from the historic 1963 rally at the March on Washington, was present on the stage during the inauguration. More than 180 of the Tuskegee Airmen
Tuskegee Airmen
The Tuskegee Airmen is the popular name of a group of African American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they were the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Army Air Corps....

 attended as invited guests for the inauguration. The five-person crew of US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549
US Airways Flight 1549 was US Airways' scheduled domestic commercial passenger flight from LaGuardia Airport in New York City to Charlotte/Douglas International Airport, Charlotte, North Carolina...

 attended the swearing-in ceremony, including Chesley Sullenberger
Chesley Sullenberger
Chesley Burnett "Sully" Sullenberger III is an American airline transport pilot , safety expert, and accident investigator from Danville, California...

, the pilot who landed the aircraft in the Hudson River
Hudson River
The Hudson is a river that flows from north to south through eastern New York. The highest official source is at Lake Tear of the Clouds, on the slopes of Mount Marcy in the Adirondack Mountains. The river itself officially begins in Henderson Lake in Newcomb, New York...

 near Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 after losing both engines due to a bird strike
Bird strike
A bird strike—sometimes called birdstrike, avian ingestion , bird hit, or BASH —is a collision between an airborne animal and a man-made vehicle, especially aircraft...

 just after departing LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia Airport is an airport located in the northern part of Queens County on Long Island in the City of New York. The airport is located on the waterfront of Flushing Bay and Bowery Bay, and borders the neighborhoods of Astoria, Jackson Heights and East Elmhurst. The airport was originally...

.

Eighty-seven year old Sarah Obama led a group of Obama's Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

n relatives from his father's home village of Kogelo. Other relatives who traveled from Kenya as guests included Obama's aunt, Maggie Obama, his uncle, Said Obama, as well as his half-brother Malik Obama. Joe Biden's son, Beau, Attorney General for the state of Delaware
Delaware Attorney General
The Attorney General of Delaware is a constitutional officer of the U.S. state of Delaware, and is the chief law officer and the head of the State Department of Justice.-Description of the office:...

 and an officer and Judge Advocate
Judge Advocate General's Corps
Judge Advocate General's Corps, also known as JAG or JAG Corps, refers to the legal branch or specialty of the U.S. Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, and Navy. Officers serving in the JAG Corps are typically called Judge Advocates. The Marine Corps and Coast Guard do not maintain separate JAG Corps...

 in the Delaware Army National Guard
Delaware Army National Guard
The Delaware National Guard comprises both Army and Air National Guard components. The Constitution of the United States specifically charges the National Guard with dual federal and state missions. In fact, the National Guard is the only United States military force empowered to function in a...

, received a special furlough from serving in Iraq to participate in the ceremonies.

Celebrity guests included the actors Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Hoffman
Dustin Lee Hoffman is an American actor with a career in film, television, and theatre since 1960. He has been known for his versatile portrayals of antiheroes and vulnerable characters....

, Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel Leroy Jackson is an American film and television actor and film producer. After becoming involved with the Civil Rights Movement, he moved on to acting in theater at Morehouse College, and then films. He had several small roles such as in the film Goodfellas before meeting his mentor,...

, Tom Hanks
Tom Hanks
Thomas Jeffrey "Tom" Hanks is an American actor, producer, writer, and director. Hanks worked in television and family-friendly comedies, gaining wide notice in 1988's Big, before achieving success as a dramatic actor in several notable roles, including Andrew Beckett in Philadelphia, the title...

 and Denzel Washington
Denzel Washington
Denzel Hayes Washington Jr. is an American actor, screenwriter, director, and film producer. He first rose to prominence when he joined the cast of the medical drama, St. Elsewhere, playing Dr...

, talk show host Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey
Oprah Winfrey is an American media proprietor, talk show host, actress, producer and philanthropist. Winfrey is best known for her self-titled, multi-award-winning talk show, which has become the highest-rated program of its kind in history and was nationally syndicated from 1986 to 2011...

 and director Steven Spielberg
Steven Spielberg
Steven Allan Spielberg KBE is an American film director, screenwriter, producer, video game designer, and studio entrepreneur. In a career of more than four decades, Spielberg's films have covered many themes and genres. Spielberg's early science-fiction and adventure films were seen as an...

.

Crowds and general ticket holders



No official count was taken of the number of people attending the inaugural ceremony, although multiple sources concluded that the ceremony had the largest audience of any event ever held in Washington, D.C. Government agencies and federal officials, who coordinated security and traffic management, determined the attendance count to be 1.8 million people based on information collected by several cameras and individuals on the ground. The Washington Post
The Washington Post
The Washington Post is Washington, D.C.'s largest newspaper and its oldest still-existing paper, founded in 1877. Located in the capital of the United States, The Post has a particular emphasis on national politics. D.C., Maryland, and Virginia editions are printed for daily circulation...

reported the estimated crowd size for the inaugural ceremony, and the National Park Service
National Park Service
The National Park Service is the U.S. federal agency that manages all national parks, many national monuments, and other conservation and historical properties with various title designations...

 said it did not contest the estimate.

Stephen Doig, a professor at Arizona State University
Arizona State University
Arizona State University is a public research university located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area of the State of Arizona...

, estimated that 1.1 million people attended the inauguration ceremony using the same satellite image. Although the image was taken a little less than 45 minutes before Obama's swearing-in ceremony, Doig adjusted his estimate to include people who were still arriving in the area before the event. In spite of his crowd estimate, Doig stated that "if I had to bet, I would say the [Barack] Obama crowd is in fact bigger than those that showed up for [Johnson] or any of the other things" ... "I'm wholly prepared to think it was the largest crowd." Approximately 1.2 million people had attended the second inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson
Second inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson
The second inauguration of Lyndon B. Johnson as the 36th President of the United States was held on January 20, 1965. The inauguration marked the commencement of the second term of Lyndon B. Johnson as President and the only four-year term Hubert Humphrey as Vice President...

 in 1965.

Amid the massive crowds that arrived at the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration, about 4,000 ticket holders were unable to gain entry to reserved areas on the Capitol grounds after security personnel closed the gates at the start of the formal ceremony. Many ticket holders were stuck in underground tunnels where pedestrian traffic was directed to and from the National Mall
National Mall
The National Mall is an open-area national park in downtown Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. The National Mall is a unit of the National Park Service , and is administered by the National Mall and Memorial Parks unit...

. NBC News
NBC News
NBC News is the news division of American television network NBC. It first started broadcasting in February 21, 1940. NBC Nightly News has aired from Studio 3B, located on floors 3 of the NBC Studios is the headquarters of the GE Building forms the centerpiece of 30th Rockefeller Center it is...

 dubbed one such tunnel "the Purple Tunnel of Doom," after the purple tickets that would-be viewers held. Others remained stuck in long lines as they waited to gain entry to the reserved areas. Senator Dianne Feinstein, in her capacity as chair of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, launched an investigation to address complaints by the affected ticket holders. The committee later announced that ticket holders who were unable to enter the Capitol grounds to view the ceremony would receive a copy of the swearing-in invitation and program, photos of President Obama and Vice President Biden and a color print of the inaugural ceremony.

Security


As with the 54th and 55th Presidential Inaugurations, in 2001 and 2005, respectively, the 56th Presidential Inauguration in 2009 was designated as a National Special Security Event (NSSE), resulting in the United States Secret Service being the lead Federal agency for the development and implementation of the overall security plan; the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) being the lead Federal agency for counter terrorism, intelligence, and criminal investigation; and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) being the lead Federal agency for crisis management in the aftermath of any terrorist attack, natural disaster or other catastrophic incident. The NSSE designation was made by Michael Chertoff, Secretary of Homeland Security, on December 10, 2008. The inauguration took place in an era of enhanced security in the decade following the September 11 attacks. Because of the size of the crowds expected in Washington, D.C. for the inaugural activities, planners raised concerns about public safety and security. Army General
General (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Air Force, and United States Marine Corps, general is a four-star general officer rank, with the pay grade of O-10. General ranks above lieutenant general and below General of the Army or General of the Air Force; the Marine Corps does not have an...

 Richard Rowe, head of the joint military task force for the Washington, D.C. area, explained that security forces had to stretch their imagination to anticipate previously unthinkable security threats, especially in light of the Mumbai attacks
2008 Mumbai attacks
The 2008 Mumbai attacks were more than 10 coordinated shooting and bombing attacks across Mumbai, India's largest city, by Islamist attackers who came from Pakistan...

 in India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

 that occurred in November 2008. Attention was heightened by terrorist threats.
The police presence in the District of Columbia temporarily doubled, augmented by the addition of 8,000 police officers from around the United States. The police force was assisted by 1,000 FBI agents to provide security for the event, and the Secret Service
United States Secret Service
The United States Secret Service is a United States federal law enforcement agency that is part of the United States Department of Homeland Security. The sworn members are divided among the Special Agents and the Uniformed Division. Until March 1, 2003, the Service was part of the United States...

 Countersniper team was assigned to hidden locations throughout the area. The Transportation Security Administration
Transportation Security Administration
The Transportation Security Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that exercises authority over the safety and security of the traveling public in the United States....

 had over 300 officers from its National Deployment Force on hand to assist the Secret Service with security inspections of attendees entering the National Mall. Ten thousand National Guard troops were on site, with 5,000 troops providing security duty in a ceremonial capacity and 1,300 unarmed troops aiding Park Police
United States Park Police
The United States Park Police is one of the oldest uniformed federal law enforcement agencies in the United States. It functions as a full service law enforcement agency with responsibilities and jurisdiction in those National Park Service areas primarily located in the Washington, D.C., San...

 in crowd control at the National Mall. C Company of the 1-175 Infantry
Infantry
Infantrymen are soldiers who are specifically trained for the role of fighting on foot to engage the enemy face to face and have historically borne the brunt of the casualties of combat in wars. As the oldest branch of combat arms, they are the backbone of armies...

 provided security between the first and second public viewing areas of the National Mall at the 7th Street, N.W. intersection, while the remaining members performed other security functions. The Federal Aviation Administration
Federal Aviation Administration
The Federal Aviation Administration is the national aviation authority of the United States. An agency of the United States Department of Transportation, it has authority to regulate and oversee all aspects of civil aviation in the U.S...

 implemented additional airspace restrictions over Washington, D.C. between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. on January 20, 2009. Secretary of Defense
United States Secretary of Defense
The Secretary of Defense is the head and chief executive officer of the Department of Defense of the United States of America. This position corresponds to what is generally known as a Defense Minister in other countries...

 Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 was chosen as the designated survivor
Designated survivor
A designated survivor is a member of the United States Cabinet who is appointed to be at a physically distant, secure, and undisclosed location when the president and the country's other top leaders are gathered at a single location, such as during State of the Union addresses and presidential...

 to ensure continuity of government
Continuity of government
Continuity of government is the principle of establishing defined procedures that allow a government to continue its essential operations in case of nuclear war or other catastrophic event....

 in case of catastrophe, and he spent Inauguration Day at a U.S. military installation outside of the Washington, D.C. area.

No one from the crowds at the swearing-in ceremony or parade was arrested on Inauguration Day. According to a senior federal agent associated with managing security, the fact that no arrests were made by any agency during the inaugural events was unheard of for a record crowd of nearly two million gathering in Washington, D.C. In the 2009 book In the President's Secret Service
In the President's Secret Service
In the President's Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect is a book by Ronald Kessler, published on August 4, 2009, detailing the United States Secret Service involvement in protecting of the president of the United States...

, author and journalist Ronald Kessler
Ronald Kessler
Ronald Borek Kessler is an American journalist and author of 19 non-fiction books. He is chief Washington, D.C. correspondent of the conservative news and commentary website Newsmax.com.-Personal life:Kessler was born in New York City in 1943...

 said intelligence officials received information that individuals associated with Al-Shabaab
Al-Shabaab (Somalia)
Harakat al-Shabaab al-Mujahideen , more commonly known as al-Shabaab , is a terrorist group of militants fighting to overthrow the government of Somalia. As of 2011, the group controls large swathes of the southern parts of Somalia, where it is said to have imposed its own strict form of Sharia law...

, a Somalia
Somalia
Somalia , officially the Somali Republic and formerly known as the Somali Democratic Republic under Socialist rule, is a country located in the Horn of Africa. Since the outbreak of the Somali Civil War in 1991 there has been no central government control over most of the country's territory...

-based Islamist
Islamism
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 insurgency group, might try to disrupt the inauguration. More than a dozen counter-sniper teams were stationed along the inauguration parade route in response, and the criminal records of nearby employees and hotel guests were scrutinized, but no such attack took place. Kessler also reported a number of perceived inadequacies in the security during the inauguration, including an instance in which more than 100 major campaign donors and VIPs were able to board "secure" buses without being checked.

Television audience


Nielson television ratings
Nielsen Ratings
Nielsen ratings are the audience measurement systems developed by Nielsen Media Research, in an effort to determine the audience size and composition of television programming in the United States...

 indicated that 29.2% of televisions in the 56 largest media markets
United States metropolitan area
In the United States a metropolitan statistical area is a geographical region with a relatively high population density at its core and close economic ties throughout the area. Such regions are not legally incorporated as a city or town would be, nor are they legal administrative divisions like...

 in the United States were tuned to the inauguration, the largest audience since Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's first inauguration in 1981 and nearly double the viewership of the 2005 inauguration of George W. Bush. The Raleigh-Durham market had the largest TV audience with more than 51% of households tuned in to the day's events, a number attributed in part to a snowstorm that kept people inside and in part to the large African American population in that community. Of the top 10 media markets in terms of viewership, four were in North Carolina, two were in Virginia and one was in Maryland, with the Washington D.C. market ranking second highest in television viewership. In addition, schools and workplaces across the country allowed viewing of the inauguration because the event occurred on a weekday.

As measured between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. EST, U.S. television viewership for the Obama inaugural events achieved an average of 37.8 million across 17 broadcast and cable channels, not including online
ONLINE
ONLINE is a magazine for information systems first published in 1977. The publisher Online, Inc. was founded the year before. In May 2002, Information Today, Inc. acquired the assets of Online Inc....

 viewers who watched live streaming video of the events. Although the Obama inaugural events achieved an average U.S. television viewership of 37.8 million across both broadcast networks and cable channels, viewership for the events was lower than the U.S. television viewership for the 1981 Reagan inaugural festivities, which averaged 41.8 million across the ABC
American Broadcasting Company
The American Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network. Created in 1943 from the former NBC Blue radio network, ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Company and is part of Disney-ABC Television Group. Its first broadcast on television was in 1948...

, CBS
CBS
CBS Broadcasting Inc. is a major US commercial broadcasting television network, which started as a radio network. The name is derived from the initials of the network's former name, Columbia Broadcasting System. The network is sometimes referred to as the "Eye Network" in reference to the shape of...

 and NBC
NBC
The National Broadcasting Company is an American commercial broadcasting television network and former radio network headquartered in the GE Building in New York City's Rockefeller Center with additional major offices near Los Angeles and in Chicago...

 broadcast networks alone.

Measurements of television viewership in Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 showed that Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 drew the largest audience for the Obama inauguration at 11 million viewers, followed by France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 at 7 million and the United Kingdom at 5.1 million.
According to the British Broadcasting Corporation
BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 (BBC), 6.5 million viewers in the United Kingdom watched highlights of the inauguration during its early evening news program.

Internet traffic


The Obama inauguration resulted in a surge of Internet traffic to news and social networking websites and a record number of video streams. CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

 reported that it generated more than 21 million video streams by 3:30 p.m. EST that day—an all-time record, in addition to receiving 136 million page view
Page view
A page view or page impression is a request to load a single HTML file of an Internet site. On the World Wide Web a 'page' request would result from a web surfer clicking on a link on another 'page' pointing to the 'page' in question. This should be contrasted with a hit, which refers to a...

s that day. At one point during the surge of traffic
Web traffic
Web traffic is the amount of data sent and received by visitors to a web site. It is a large portion of Internet traffic. This is determined by the number of visitors and the number of pages they visit...

 to view the Obama inauguration, the BBC reported downtime during its own live video feed at its website. The heavy website traffic caused the BBC video feed to cut out for 30 minutes, with web visitors seeing the message "Please come back later" instead of the live video footage.

The technology company Akamai
Akamai Technologies
Akamai Technologies, Inc. is an Internet content delivery network headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US.The company was founded in 1998 by then-MIT graduate student Daniel M. Lewin, and MIT Applied Mathematics professor Tom Leighton...

 reported that 5,401,250 web users logged on news sites in less than one minute, the fifth highest peak among news websites since the company started tracking data in 2005. During at-peak usage, news websites served seven million simultaneous video streams, which was the highest number of simultaneous video streams in Akamai's history. The Obama inaugural ceremony not only achieved the highest Internet viewership for a U.S. presidential inauguration, the inaugural event was the first to feature a live audio description of a swearing-in ceremony and the first to include closed captioning
Closed captioning
Closed captioning is the process of displaying text on a television, video screen or other visual display to provide additional or interpretive information to individuals who wish to access it...

 in the live webcast
Webcast
A webcast is a media presentation distributed over the Internet using streaming media technology to distribute a single content source to many simultaneous listeners/viewers. A webcast may either be distributed live or on demand...

 of the event.

International reaction


The international community
International community
The international community is a term used in international relations to refer to all peoples, cultures and governments of the world or to a group of them. The term is used to imply the existence of common duties and obligations between them...

 paid unprecedented attention to the inauguration of Barack Obama. Millions of people, including citizens of numerous countries around the world and American expatriate
Expatriate
An expatriate is a person temporarily or permanently residing in a country and culture other than that of the person's upbringing...

s living in those countries, watched the Obama inauguration live on television and on the Internet. In some countries, the Obama inauguration garnered as much viewership as the opening ceremony
Opening ceremony
An opening ceremony is the official opening of a building or event. The opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games and the FIFA World Cup are huge events involving thousands of participants and watched by a massive worldwide audience. On a much smaller scale, some ceremonies mark the opening of a...

 of the 2008 Summer Olympics
2008 Summer Olympics
The 2008 Summer Olympics, officially known as the Games of the XXIX Olympiad, was a major international multi-sport event that took place in Beijing, China, from August 8 to August 24, 2008. A total of 11,028 athletes from 204 National Olympic Committees competed in 28 sports and 302 events...

.

Celebrations surrounding the inauguration, praise of the event's significance and congratulations to Obama on his inauguration were internationally diverse. In Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

, the home country of Obama's father, people celebrated the inauguration as a public holiday. Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

ns and Americans in Jakarta
Jakarta
Jakarta is the capital and largest city of Indonesia. Officially known as the Special Capital Territory of Jakarta, it is located on the northwest coast of Java, has an area of , and a population of 9,580,000. Jakarta is the country's economic, cultural and political centre...

 watched the inauguration at a free midnight ball featuring performances by students from State Elementary School Menteng 01, the school that Obama attended as a child. The city of Obama
Obama, Fukui
is a city located in Fukui Prefecture, Japan.It faces Wakasa Bay due north of Kyoto, and is about four to five hours by train from Tokyo. As of October 1, 2005, the city had an estimated population of 32,185 and a population density of 138.22 persons per square kilometer...

 in Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 celebrated the event with fireworks, bell-ringing and hula-dancing at the Hagaji Temple. Governor General
Governor General of Canada
The Governor General of Canada is the federal viceregal representative of the Canadian monarch, Queen Elizabeth II...

 Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean
Michaëlle Jean is a Canadian journalist and stateswoman who served as Governor General of Canada, the 27th since Canadian Confederation, from 2005 to 2010....

 and Prime Minister
Prime Minister of Canada
The Prime Minister of Canada is the primary minister of the Crown, chairman of the Cabinet, and thus head of government for Canada, charged with advising the Canadian monarch or viceroy on the exercise of the executive powers vested in them by the constitution...

 Stephen Harper
Stephen Harper
Stephen Joseph Harper is the 22nd and current Prime Minister of Canada and leader of the Conservative Party. Harper became prime minister when his party formed a minority government after the 2006 federal election...

 of Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

 extended congratulations on behalf of Canadians, while Mexican President
President of Mexico
The President of the United Mexican States is the head of state and government of Mexico. Under the Constitution, the president is also the Supreme Commander of the Mexican armed forces...

 Felipe Calderón
Felipe Calderón
Felipe de Jesús Calderón Hinojosa is the current President of Mexico. He assumed office on December 1, 2006, and was elected for a single six-year term through 2012...

 wished Obama "great success in the work as the new President of the United States". Israeli President Shimon Peres
Shimon Peres
GCMG is the ninth President of the State of Israel. Peres served twice as the eighth Prime Minister of Israel and once as Interim Prime Minister, and has been a member of 12 cabinets in a political career spanning over 66 years...

 described Obama's inauguration as a "great day" for the United States, and British Prime Minister
Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the Head of Her Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister and Cabinet are collectively accountable for their policies and actions to the Sovereign, to Parliament, to their political party and...

 Gordon Brown
Gordon Brown
James Gordon Brown is a British Labour Party politician who was the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Labour Party from 2007 until 2010. He previously served as Chancellor of the Exchequer in the Labour Government from 1997 to 2007...

 noted that "The whole world is watching the inauguration of President Obama, witnessing a new chapter in both American history and the world's history."

Leaders of some countries reserved enthusiasm for the Obama inauguration, with coverage of the event even muted in some places. Cuban President
President of Cuba
--209.174.31.28 18:43, 22 November 2011 The President of Cuba is the Head of state of Cuba. According to the Cuban Constitution of 1976, the President is the chief executive of the Council of State of Cuba...

 Raúl Castro
Raúl Castro
Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz is a Cuban politician and revolutionary who has been President of the Council of State of Cuba and the President of the Council of Ministers of Cuba since 2008; he previously exercised presidential powers in an acting capacity from 2006 to 2008...

, brother of former Cuban president Fidel Castro
Fidel Castro
Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz is a Cuban revolutionary and politician, having held the position of Prime Minister of Cuba from 1959 to 1976, and then President from 1976 to 2008. He also served as the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba from the party's foundation in 1961 until 2011...

, declared that "[Obama] looks like a good man, I hope he is lucky", while Ricardo Alarcón, president of the Cuban legislature, admitted in his comments about Obama that "the incoming [U.S.] president 'is a big question mark.'" Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki is an Iranian politician and diplomat. He was the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Whilst technically appointed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is considered to be closer to more pragmatic conservative factions and during the 2005 presidential election, he was the campaign...

 expressed hope for openness for a new direction, noting that "if Obama chooses the right path, compensates the past, lifts hostility and U.S. hegemony, and revises the previous political mistakes, we will have no hostility." State-owned Channel One Russia, Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

's flagship early evening news show, covered Obama's presidential inauguration as a minor news story, devoting much of the day's airtime instead to the gas war with Ukraine. The People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China
China , officially the People's Republic of China , is the most populous country in the world, with over 1.3 billion citizens. Located in East Asia, the country covers approximately 9.6 million square kilometres...

 covered the Obama inauguration live on its state‑controlled China Central Television
China Central Television
China Central Television or Chinese Central Television, commonly abbreviated as CCTV, is the major state television broadcaster in mainland China. CCTV has a network of 19 channels broadcasting different programmes and is accessible to more than one billion viewers...

, providing simultaneous translation into Mandarin Chinese
Standard Mandarin
Standard Chinese or Modern Standard Chinese, also known as Mandarin or Putonghua, is the official language of the People's Republic of China and Republic of China , and is one of the four official languages of Singapore....

 with a brief delay to allow censoring
Censorship in the People's Republic of China
Censorship in the People's Republic of China is implemented or mandated by the PRC's ruling party, the Communist Party of China . The special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau have their own legal systems and are largely self-governing, so these censorship policies do not apply...

 of Obama's comments. When President Obama mentioned "earlier generations faced down fascism
Fascism
Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology. Fascists seek to rejuvenate their nation based on commitment to the national community as an organic entity, in which individuals are bound together in national identity by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood...

 and communism
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

", Chinese state television officials cut away abruptly from the televised speech and switched to a discussion in the studio. State-controlled print, radio and television media in North Korea
North Korea
The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea , , is a country in East Asia, occupying the northern half of the Korean Peninsula. Its capital and largest city is Pyongyang. The Korean Demilitarized Zone serves as the buffer zone between North Korea and South Korea...

 provided no coverage or mention of the Obama inauguration in the hours after the event, opting instead to cover news about Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea
Equatorial Guinea, officially the Republic of Equatorial Guinea where the capital Malabo is situated.Annobón is the southernmost island of Equatorial Guinea and is situated just south of the equator. Bioko island is the northernmost point of Equatorial Guinea. Between the two islands and to the...

 welcoming the North Korean ambassador.

Ordinary citizens in Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 even viewed the new president with cautious optimism. One Iraqi citizen opined that "If [Obama] can do as well as he talks, then all our problems are over", adding a belief that "[Obama] is a good man, but many people in Iraq believe all American presidents are the same and that we are a playground for their interests." Another citizen noted that "Obama won't get the same treatment,' ... 'But he won't have too long to prove himself to us.'"

See also


  • Presidential transition of Barack Obama
    Presidential transition of Barack Obama
    The presidential transition of Barack Obama began when he won the United States presidential election on November 4, 2008, and became the President-Elect. He was formally elected by the Electoral College on December 15, 2008...

  • First 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency
    First 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency
    The first 100 days of Barack Obama's presidency began with his inauguration on January 20, 2009 as the 44th President of the United States. The first 100 days of a presidential term took on symbolic significance during Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration, and the period is considered a benchmark...

  • Timeline of the Presidency of Barack Obama
    Timeline of the Presidency of Barack Obama
    The following is a timeline of the Presidency of Barack Obama from his inauguration as president of the United States on January 20, 2009 to December 31, 2009...

  • Presidency of Barack Obama
    Presidency of Barack Obama
    The Presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009 when he became the 44th President of the United States. Obama was a United States Senator from Illinois at the time of his victory over Arizona Senator John McCain in the 2008 presidential election...


External links




Speeches