Updated: March 1, 2021
Joseph R. Biden Jr. became the 46th President of the United States on Wednesday, and Kamala D. Harris was sworn in as the first female, first Black and South Asian Vice President.
Biden, the 15th Vice President in American history to be inaugurated as President, was sworn in at 11:48 a.m. EST.
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He replaces President Donald Trump, the only American President so far to be impeached twice.
Trump skipped his successor’s inauguration, the first in many decades, while Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance, further distancing himself from Trump.
Trump baselessly claimed the election was stolen, allegations rejected by all the courts and election officers, both Republicans and Democrats. His constant election fraud claims and his call on his supporters to march on the U.S. Capitol led to the insurrection and coup attempt on January 6 the day Congress was certifying Biden’s win.
President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris were sworn in on the West front of the U.S. Capitol building where Biden first arrived in 1973 as the youngest U.S. Senator.
After taking their oaths of office, President Biden delivered an inaugural address laying out his vision to defeat the pandemic, build back better, and unify and heal the nation.
The inauguration was attended by big names in both Republican and Democratic parties, including former Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, outgoing Vice President Mike Pence, outgoing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and many others.
Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, known professionally as Lady Gaga, an American singer, dancer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman, performed the National Anthem.
The United States has now successfully and peacefully transferred power every four years since 1789.
Biden is taking office at a time the United States is battling four crises – a deadly pandemic, an economic crisis, expanding racial injustices and the existential threat of climate change.