Joe Biden inaugurated as 46th US President, Kamala Harris sworn-in as first female US Vice President

Joe Biden has been sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in the 59th inauguration ceremony at the West Front of the US Capitol. Kamala Harris was also sworn in as the first female, African and Asian-American Vice President of the United States. 

Created On: Jan 20, 2021 23:24 ISTModified On: Jan 20, 2021 23:24 IST
46th President of United States

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States in the 59th inauguration ceremony at the West Front of the US Capitol on January 20, 2021. He is the oldest US President to take oath, as he had turned 78 years old in November 2020. 

During his inaugural speech, the new US President said, "The will of the people has been heard, and the will of the people has been heeded. We’ve learned again that democracy is precious and democracy is fragile. At this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed." He continued by saying, "This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day. A day in history and hope, of renewal and resolve.”

Kamala Harris also created history by becoming the first female, African-American and Asian-American to be sworn in as Vice President of the United States. Her husband Doung Emhoff has become the first-ever 'second gentlemen' of the United States. 

While Lady Gaga performed the national anthem, Jennifer Lopez sang her version of "This Land Is Your Land" during the inauguration ceremony. 

Former Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George W Bush presented a united front at the inauguration ceremony. Outgoing Vice President Mike Pence also attended the ceremony in a surprise to many, especially when President Donald Trump decided to skip the ceremony altogether. 

The inauguration took place at the backdrop of an unprecedented health crisis and protests in the US.  Biden had earlier served as the Vice President of the United States during the Obama administration and Kamala Harris had served as a US Senator from California from 2017 to till January 19, 2021, when she resigned from her post. 

Five Firsts

• Joe Biden has become the oldest President of the United States.

• Kamala Harris has become the first female Vice President of the States. 

• Vice President Harris has also become the first Asian, African-American to hold the first.

•  Doung Emhoff, the husband of the Vice President has become  first Second Gentleman of the United States.

•  Doung Emhoff has also become the first Jewish spouse to the US vice president.

PM Modi congratulates US President Joe Biden

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Joe Biden on assuming office as President of the United States of America. He tweeted saying that he looks forward to working with him to strengthen India-US strategic partnership.

PM Modi added saying that India-US partnership is based on shared values and we have a substantial and multifaceted bilateral agenda, growing economic engagement and vibrant people to people linkages. 

About Joe Biden

• Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. was born in in 1942 in Scranton, Pennsylvania and moved to Delaware as a child.

• He became one of the youngest people ever to be elected to the United States Senate at the age of 29 years.

• Unfortunately, his family was struck with a terrible tragedy weeks later with the killing of his wife Neilia and daughter Naomi in a devastating car accident. His two sons Hunter and Beau were also critically injured in the accident.

• Joe Biden was sworn into the US Senate while he was at his sons' hospital bedside and he chose to commute from Wilmington to Washington every day. 

• Biden married his current wife Jill five years later in June 1977 and the couple have one daughter Ashley Blazer, who was born in 1981.

• The 2020 US Presidential Elections was Biden's third attempt to run for US Presidency. The first attempt was made in 1988 and second in 2008.

• He had then served as the Vice President of the United States under former President Barack Obama's administration for two terms from 2008 to 2016.

• During his term as Vice President, he developed a close bond with Barack Obama, the country's first Black President, who later played a major role in campaigning for his Presidency. 

About Kamala Harris

• Kamala Devi Harris was born to Indian mother and Jamaican father. Her mother Shyamala Gopalan was a biologist from Tamil Nadu, India and her father Donald J. Harris was an economics professor from British Jamaica.

• She is married to attorney Douglas Emhoff and is stepmother to his two children from the previous marriage. 

• Harris was born on October 20, 1964 in Oakland, California and has a younger sister named Maya. 

• She began her career as a deputy district attorney in Alameda County, California in 1990 and was elected as district attorney of San Francisco in 2003. 

• She was elected as Attorney General of California in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014. 

• In 2016, she became the first South Asian American and second African American woman to serve in the United States Senate.

• Though she had initially decided to run for the 2020 US Presidential Elections, she withdrew later in December 2019. 

• She was announced as Biden's Vice Presidential running mate on August 11, 2020.

Biden bids emotional goodbye to Delaware

Biden also bid an emotional goodbye to his home state of Delaware before departing for Washington on the eve of his inauguration ceremony. He thanked its residents for serving as the launchpad for his decades-long career in public service.

The President-elect said he had just one regret that son Beau Biden, who died in 2015, could not be there for his inauguration. 

During his victory speech in his hometown Wilmington in November 2020, Biden had pledged to unite the country as he called it 'a time to heal in America'. He had pledged to be a President who seeks not to divide, but to unify and who doesn't see red states and blue states, only sees the United States.

Lighting ceremony to honour lives lost to COVID-19

Prior to inauguration day, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris took part in a lighting ceremony on January 19, 2021 to honour those who lost their lives due to COVID-19 at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. The people across the country were invited to join the ceremony by ringing church bells and  lighting building.

Trump's farewell address

• US President Donald Trump highlighted his accomplishment as President during his farewell address on January 19, 2021 and offered best wishes to the incoming administration.

• In a 19-minute pre-recorded video, Trump said that as he concludes his term as the 45th president of the United States, he stands proud of all the achievements and thanked his supporters for electing him in 2016, describing it as "an honour beyond description."

• He highlighted some of his biggest achievements including his economic legacy, Abraham Accords peace deals in the Middle East and handling of China. He further condemned the Capitol Hill riots and said that America is a nation of incredible, decent, faithful and peace-loving citizens who all want our country to thrive and flourish.

• The address was released a day ahead of President-elect Joe Biden's inauguration. However, Trump did not mention Joe Biden by his name during the address. 

• Trump had earlier announced that he will not be joining Joe Biden at the inauguration ceremony. It is an age-old custom in the United States for an outgoing president and other former presidents to sit behind the new president, symbolising the peaceful transfer of power.

Trump's departure ceremony took place in military style on Marine One from Joint Base Andrews early in the morning on January 20th.  US Vice President Mike Pence did not attend the ceremony.

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