Accessibility links

Breaking News

Obama to Take Oath of Office Sunday

Barack Obama takes the Oath of Office as the 44th President of the United States as he is sworn in by U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts (R) during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.
President Barack Obama takes the oath of office for his second four-year term in a private White House ceremony.

On Monday, Obama will be sworn in again, in public.

The U.S. Constitution mandates that presidential terms expire at noon on January 20, so the president and Vice President Joe Biden will be officially inaugurated in separate ceremonies on Sunday. Only family members and a few others will be present at the White House when Obama is sworn in for his second term by Chief Justice John Roberts.

Since Sunday is the traditional American day of rest, the president and vice president will be sworn in again on Monday in public ceremonies before hundreds of thousands of people gathered on Washington’s National Mall.

In a historical oddity, Obama will join Franklin Roosevelt as the only U.S. presidents to be sworn in four times. Roosevelt was elected to four terms as president. In addition to this year’s two oaths, Obama was sworn in twice in 2009, because Chief Justice Roberts misspoke while administering the oath the first time, jumbling the order of the words in the official oath. Despite that, the
oath was legal. The chief justice, however, administered the oath again, in private the following day, just to be sure.

Several days of inaugural festivities began Saturday in Washington, with the president and Mrs. Obama taking part in a National Day of Service by speaking to volunteers renovating a school.

Sunday night, the Obamas and the Bidens will speak at a formal inaugural reception.

Monday begins with both families attending a church service near the White House. They then proceed to the U.S. Capitol, where the president and vice president will be sworn in for the second time.

After the inaugural lunch with lawmakers at the Capitol, The Obamas and Bidens will participate in the inaugural parade. They will move down Pennsylvania Avenue, from the Capitol to the White House, where they will watch the remainder of the parade from a reviewing stand.

That evening, the First Couple will attend at least two inaugural balls.

The festivities conclude Tuesday with a special prayer service at the National Cathedral, and one more ball that evening.

The next day, demolition begins on the parade reviewing stand, and planning begins for the next inauguration in 2017.