On January 20, 2021, the U.S. inaugurated its 46th president – Joe Biden.
Biden took the oath of office for the president of the United States and then spoke to Americans tuned in on televisions, computers, and cell phones. His tone was serious.
In inaugural speeches, the incoming leader often lays out a plan of sorts. Mr. Biden focused on America’s image worldwide and discussing COVID-19. He touched on racial equality, climate change, political extremism, and domestic terrorism. The new president declared, “History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity. We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors. We can treat each other with dignity and respect.”
Biden referred to the events at the Capitol on January 6. The Capitol riot, as well as concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, caused this inauguration to look significantly different from those of the past.
Biden’s victory in the election has been controversial. Supporters of his opponent, Donald Trump, arguing that he did not win fairly. These accusations lead to the protest at the Capitol. In response to that event, and to avoid any further unrest, this year’s inauguration was held without a public audience. Thousands of members of the public can usually buy tickets, but that was not the case this year. The streets around the event were fenced off and guarded with a heavy police and National Guard presence. Only a small group, including former presidents, lawmakers, and celebrities, were present to witness the event. Lady Gaga performed the National Anthem, while Jennifer Lopez sang a medley of This Land is Your Land and America the Beautiful.
Usually, a presidential inauguration comes with multiple parties and balls, but they were canceled this year. Hollywood instead held a TV special called Celebrating America, which hosted performances from actors and musical artists to celebrate the occasion.
As well as Biden ascending to the presidency, the event also saw Kamala Harris sworn in as the vice president. Harris became the first female vice president and also the first person of color to get the job.
So, what will Biden and Harris do now that they are in charge? On its first day, the new administration already passed over a dozen executive orders to reverse Trump-era policies. Since their political party, the Democrats, also have control of Congress at the moment, they are sure to start passing new laws soon.