News / USA

Huge Crowd Awaits Inauguration Ceremony

Spectators wave American flags on the National Mall in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, before the start of President Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Spectators wave American flags on the National Mall in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, before the start of President Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
After being formally sworn in for his second term at the White House in a brief ceremony Sunday, as required by the U.S. Constitution, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will appear at the U.S. Capitol Monday for a public celebration as they repeat their oaths of office again before hundreds of thousands of people on Washington's National Mall. 

It won't be as large as the crowd of 1.3 million people who witnessed the nation's first African-American president take the oath in 2009, but the more than 600,000 people expected will pack the huge mall stretching from the Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial.
Obama and Biden begin the day at St. John's Episcopal Church in Washington, where chief executives have attended services throughout U.S. history.

They then go to the Capitol.  Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to the president.  The nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, swears in Biden.

President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.
x
President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.
President Obama takes the oath of office at the official swearing-in ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House Jan. 20, 2013.
Obama will put his hand on two Bibles - President Abraham Lincoln's from his 1861 inauguration, and another carried by the late civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  The inauguration ceremony this year happens to occur on the national holiday established to honor Dr. King.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington and the 150th anniversary of President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation that initiated the process of freeing slaves in America.

Giving the invocation will be Myrlie Evers-Williams, the widow of slain civil rights leader Medgar Evers, who was murdered 50 years ago in the southern U.S. state of Mississippi.

The Constitution requires that a U.S. president be sworn into office on January 20, so President Obama actually took the oath of office in the White House on Sunday.  His wife, Michelle, held a family Bible for Obama as he repeated the presidential oath, read by Justice Roberts.

Highlights

Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
x
Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Recording artists Jay-Z and Beyonce arrive on the West Front of the Capitol in Washington, Jan. 21, 2013, for the Presidential Barack Obama's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration.
Monday's public inauguration will feature musical performances by James Taylor, Kelly Clarkson and Beyonce, and a poem by Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco.  Obama and Biden will attend a traditional luncheon inside the Capitol building, then participate in the inaugural parade to the White House.  Later, they attend two inaugural balls.

After beginning his first term grappling with the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, Obama starts his second amid a mix of optimism and pessimism about the direction of the country.

Polls show there is more optimism about what he can accomplish in his second term.  A majority of Americans have a favorable view of the president.

But fewer than half believe Obama and opposition Republicans can end partisan bickering to prioritize reducing unemployment and fixing fiscal problems.

John Hudak is an expert in governance at the Brookings Institution.  He says Obama may be less concerned about his legacy, and more with getting things done.

"I think in a lot of ways what the president will be known most for has already happened: his health care law, his removal of troops from Iraq and a host of other areas.  What he is looking to do now is address problems," Hudak said.

Related video clip

Related video of Obama's second inaugurationi
X
January 21, 2013 3:54 PM
As many as 800,000 people are expected to crowd the National Mall to witness President Barack Obama's second inauguration. The crowds began gathering early in the morning -- many of them coming in by Metro.

Inaugural address

Aides say Obama has been editing and refining his inaugural address.  The White House is expected to release excerpts shortly before he speaks.

While he may make reference to political gridlock in Washington, Obama is not expected to adopt a confrontational tone in the speech.

In remarks to supporters late on Sunday, President Obama spoke about the significance of the inauguration to him.
 
"What the inauguration reminds us of is the role we have as fellow citizens in promoting a common good," he noted, "even as we carry out our individual responsibilities, the sense that there is something larger than ourselves, that gives shape and meaning to our lives.”

Obama's inaugural address occurs about three weeks before his State of the Union Address on February 12 to a joint session of the U.S. Congress, a speech traditionally used to lay out specific policy objectives.

Obama's second term agenda includes continuing economic recovery, reforming U.S. immigration law, gun control legislation, and overseeing the drawdown of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan.

You May Like

Changing Under Pressure, IS ‘Potent’ as Ever

US intel officials describe Ramadi's fall as concerning, but say it isn't emblematic of larger effort to degrade IS capabilities More

Nigeria Fuel Shortage Shows Fragility of Africa’s Oil Giant

Although it is the largest oil producer in Africa, country has nearly ran out of fuel it needs to power its generators, cars and airplanes over the past week More

Arrested Football Officials Come Mainly From the Americas

US Justice Department alleges defendants participated in 24-year scheme to enrich themselves through corruption of international soccer More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Cari
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
George Putic
May 27, 2015 9:31 PM
Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video US-led Coalition Gives Some Weapons to Iraqi Troops

In a video released Tuesday from the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Iraqi forces and U.S.-led coalition troops survey a cache of weapons supplied to help Iraq liberate Mosul from Islamic State group. According to a statement provided with the video, the ministry and the U.S.-led coaltion troops have started ''supplying the 16th army division with medium and light weapons in preparation to liberate Mosul and nearby areas from Da'esh (Arabic acronym for Islamic State group).''
Video

Video Amnesty International: 'Overwhelming Evidence' of War Crimes in Ukraine

Human rights group Amnesty International says there is overwhelming evidence of ongoing war crimes in Ukraine, despite a tentative cease-fire with pro-Russian rebels. Researchers interviewed more than 30 prisoners from both sides of the conflict and all but one said they were tortured. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Washington Parade Honors Those Killed Serving in US Military

Every year, on the last Monday in the month of May, millions of Americans honor the memories of those killed while serving in the armed forces. Memorial Day is a tradition that dates back to the 19th Century. While many people celebrate the federal holiday with a barbecue and a day off from work, for those who’ve served in the military, it’s a special day to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Arash Arabasadi reports for VOA from Washington.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.

VOA Blogs