Joe Biden was inaugurated as the 46th President of the United States Wednesday following one of the most contentious election cycles in modern times. Biden took the Presidential Oath of Office on the west side of the U.S. Capitol building with former Vice President Mike Pence in attendance. Now former President Donald Trump did not attend the ceremony and left the White House for the final time earlier in the day.
At 78-years-old, Biden is the oldest individual to be elected to the presidency. Biden, who served as vice president for former President Barack Obama, announced his run for president in April 2019, at the time framing the race as a "battle for the soul of this nation," a message he maintained throughout the campaign season. As a record number of Americans cast their votes on Nov. 3, Biden won the popular vote, securing more than 81 million votes to Trump's 74 million. In the weeks that followed, Trump and his administration leveled several challenges against the election results, making unfounded voter fraud claims.
Biden's inauguration was held against the backdrop of the violent and deadly Capitol riot just two weeks prior, during which a mob of Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building as lawmakers met for a special joint session to certify Electoral College votes. Despite the lockdown the riot prompted, lawmakers later returned on the night of Jan. 6, with the former vice president confirming Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' win at 3:41 a.m. Jan. 7. As a result of the violence, the Capitol has been operating as a military zone, with thousands of troops currently in Washington for the inauguration.
The inauguration ceremony will be followed by a 90-minute multi-network TV special titled Celebrating America beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET. Hosted by Tom Hanks, the special will feature performances from Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, Ant Clemons, er well as appearances from several others. The special is expected to feature speeches from both Biden and Harris.
President Biden.— InItToVinít (@spandianvsk) January 20, 2021
"Goodbye Trump, welcome JOE BIDEN! 46TH US PRESIDENT," one person wrote, adding an American flag emoji.prevnext
President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. pic.twitter.com/oWzSRuyaQB— CDA Black Caucus (@BLKCollegeDems) January 20, 2021
"Watched [Barack Obama]inauguration & [Joe Biden] inauguration with my family," another tweeted following Biden's swearing in. "These moments are priceless."prevnext
I’ve been waiting for this for 4 years. President Joe Biden!!!— ImJustSaiyan (@wrath852) January 20, 2021
Reacting to Biden officially becoming president, one viewer wrote, "President Joe Biden! I ain't gonna lie y'all, I'm crying like a baby. Just so happy. So relieved. So sad so many didn’t live to see this moment."prevnext
No more elect, we can now officially say President Biden & Vice President Harris. pic.twitter.com/qjVj8CJkQH— Sophie Vershbow (@svershbow) January 20, 2021
"Finally we can say congratulations to the new US President [Joe Biden] and Vice President [Kamala Harris]," added another. Just moments prior to Biden taking the Presidential Oath of Office, Harris was sworn in, making history as the first female, Black, and South Asian vice president.prevnext
Biden is the President. pic.twitter.com/IMJyrfOgPN— AMERICA is Back! (@2saymore) January 20, 2021
"Omg. I can now breathe," reacted one. "Congratulations to [Joe Biden] and [Kamala Harris] as well as to America the beautiful. Today you did good."prevnext
It’s happening! Joe Biden! Kamala Harris! pic.twitter.com/lS8bUTjB3t— Jen 🎄❤️ Harper (@JenGamy) January 20, 2021
"This Joe Biden guy from Parks and Recreation sure looks like the 46th President of the United States of America," one person humored.prevnext
"This is much more than an [Inauguration Day]," tweeted one viewer. "This is a national therapy session. America, from sea to shining sea, is having a spiritual experience in unison."prev