Music for President Obama’s second inauguration includes the United States Marine Band, which has performed at every inauguration since the 1801 swearing in of Thomas Jefferson, as well as choirs from a public school in Staten Island where Hurricane Sandy landed at the end of October and Lee University in Tennessee.
The President’s Oath of Office
The President will attend a private swearing-in ceremony on Sunday before taking the public oath of office on the steps of Congress Monday. The private ceremony is necessary because the Constitution says that the president’s term must start on Jan. 20, but because that day falls on a Sunday, there will be two ceremonies.
Vice President Joe Biden will take his oath of office from Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor, the court’s first Hispanic member, and President Obama’s first appointee to the High Court.
Like the first time he took the oath in 2009, President Obama will be sworn into office by Chief Justice John G. Roberts. (Four years ago both Justice Roberts and Mr. Obama stumbled over the words to the oath, requiring them to redo it later.)
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
The president has decided to take the oath of office on a well-worn traveling Bible used by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It will be stacked on top of the Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration in 1861; the same Bible Mr. Obama used in 2009.
Military bands will play "Hail to the Chief," followed by a 21-gun salute.
Crowds gather at the steps of the Capitol building in 1913 to see the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th president of the United States.
At this point, President Obama will deliver his inaugural address, outlining the course for his next administration and the path of the nation.
As a second-time candidate, President Obama ran on the slogan “Forward,” indicating his desire to enact ideas that will build up the country and push through the difficult economic recession.
The ceremony closes with a poem from poet Richard Blanco, a prayer from Rev. Luis Leon, an Episcopal priest at St. John’s Church near the White House where the Obama family frequently attends, and a performance of the National Anthem by pop singer Beyoncé. "American Idol" winner Kelly Clarkson will also perform.
Rev. Leon replaced Rev. Louie Giglio who was recently found to have given an anti-gay sermon in the 1990s.
The president and vice president are then guests of honor at a lunch held by the United States Congress -- one of the only times the president, vice president, and both houses of Congress sit down for a meal together.
Ceremony to spotlight diversity
Mr. Obama, as presidents before him, has chosen many different leaders, artists and musicians to share the spotlight with him. Myrlie Evers-Williams, an author, civil rights advocate, and widow to slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, will deliver the invocation on the 50th anniversary of her husband’s murder.
Singer Beyonce will close the ceremony by singing “The Star-Spangled Banner.” She and her husband, rapper Jay-Z, have long been strong supporters of the president and hosted an Obama campaign fundraiser that raised an estimated $4 million last year. She sang for the first couple’s first dance at a 2009 Inaugural Ball, and has participated in Michelle Obama’s anti-childhood obesity “Let’s Move!” initiative.
Poet Richard Blanco is the son of Cuban exiles and will be the first Latino, the first openly gay man, and the youngest inaugural poet. He said his diverse background informs his poetry, and helps him to identify with President Obama.
“Since the beginning of the campaign, I totally related to his life story and the way he speaks of his family, and of course his multicultural background," Blanco said in an interview with the New York Times. "There has always been a spiritual connection in that sense. I feel in some ways that when I'm writing about my family, I'm writing about him."
Barack and Michelle Obama appear at the Commander-in-Chief's Inaugural Ball in 2009. The Ball, which was first hosted by President George W. Bush in 2005, honors America's military personnel, their spouses and wounded veterans.
The Fun Facts:
While Barack Obama will be sworn in for his second term as the 44th president, this is the 57th presidential inauguration.
In 1789, George Washington’s original inauguration was held in New York City on April 30.
George Washington’s second address was the shortest inaugural address in history, 135 words and William Henry Harrison had the longest, 8,495. (Harrison died just 30 days into office; many think it is because he contracted pneumonia during his lengthy speech.)
In 1865, Abraham Lincoln was the first president to include African-Americans in his inaugural parade.
In 1917, Woodrow Wilson was the first president to include women in his inaugural parade.
In 1961, the Army used flame throwers to remove the snow from the parade route. Robert Frost wrote a new poem entitled, "Dedication" for John F. Kennedy, but he was 87 years old and couldn't see the words because of the sun's glare that bright, cold January day. Instead he gave up and fell back on an old poem he knew perfectly by memory, "The Gift Outright."
Lady Bird Johnson was the first first lady to stand with her husband as he took the oath in 1965.
In 1997, Bill Clinton’s, inauguration was the first inauguration to be broadcast live over the Internet (Harry Truman's was the first on TV in 1949).
When January 20 is on a Sunday, the president-elect usually takes the oath of office privately and then repeats the ceremony in public on Monday.