Inaugural ceremony, celebrations open new era in Washington, D.C.
People from every part of America are jamming Washington. Find coverage about visitors from your city or state.
Anyone can share the inaugural spirit through local events, broadcast coverage and online activities. See if you can spot ways to get involved.
Like Election Day last Nov. 4, this Inauguration Day is especially historic. Discuss what distinguishes printed newspapers from other media at such an occasion.
This Tuesday is like the first day of a school year for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Their desks are clear, grading hasn't started yet, hopes are high and anything can happen. The new term starts in a big way for the incoming president and vice-president -- with a televised outdoor ceremony, speeches, a festive parade and posh parties. They're part of Inauguration Day -- an all-American mix of democracy, history, politics and pageantry.
Events begin outside the U.S. Capitol, where Chief Justice John Roberts will swear in the country's new leaders. At noon, Obama stands alongside his wife Michelle and daughters Malia and Sasha, places his hand on a Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his 1861 first inauguration, and takes this oath: "I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States."
The ceremony also will feature "Hail to the Chief" played by a military band, a 21-gun salute from Army howitzers and an inaugural address setting the administration's tone. An African American professor from Yale University will recite a poem she wrote for the event. Earlier, the invocation will be given by Pastor Rick Warren of Orange County, Calif., an opponent of gay marriage whose selection angers some Obama allies. After the new president and vice-president have lunch with Congress members, they'll ride in a down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House, a tradition dating back to Thomas Jefferson's second inaugural in 1805. High school musicians are among those participating in the 60-band parade.
Senator says: ""The inauguration of the president is one of the most important rituals of our democracy" -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Historian says: "There is a palpable connection between Mr. Lincoln the great emancipator and having this Bible used by our first African American president." -- Clark Evans, Library of Congress curator
Let's dance: Obama, Biden and their wives will dance at least briefly at 10 formal balls on the evening of Jan. 20, attended by donors who helped finance the day's events. They also may show up at other dance parties around the capital.
Front Page Talking Points is written by
Felix Grabowski and Alan Stamm for NIEonline.com, Copyright 2013
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