Standing in the perimeters of the secured Capitol complex with Vice President Mike Pence in attendance, Kamala Harris on Wednesday was sworn in as the next vice president of the United States. Harris, who made history not only as the first woman to be the Vice President of the United States, but also the first Black person and the first South Asian American person to hold the position, took her oath of office from Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court's first Latina justice, just before Joe Biden taking the Presidential Oath of Office.
The child of Jamaican and Indian immigrants and an Oakland, California native, Harris graduated from UC-Hastings College of the Law and served as San Francisco district attorney before serving as California's attorney general. In 2016, she was elected to the U.S. Senate, making her the only Black woman in the chamber. After Harris dropped out of the presidential race, Biden selected her as his running mate, making her just the third woman to serve as a vice-presidential candidate for a major political party, following Geraldine Ferraro as the Democratic vice-presidential pick in 1984 and Sarah Palin as the Republican vice-presidential pick in 2008. She formally accepted the Democratic party's nomination for vice president in August, delivering a 17-minute address in which she reflected on the impact her nomination would have.
"I keep thinking about that 25-year-old Indian woman — all of five feet tall — who gave birth to me at Kaiser Hospital in Oakland, California. On that day, she probably could have never imagined that I would be standing before you now speaking these words: I accept your nomination for Vice President of the United States of America," she said at the time. "I do so, committed to the values she taught me. To the Word that teaches me to walk by faith and not by sight. And to a vision passed on through generations of Americans — one that Joe Biden shares. A vision of our nation as a Beloved Community — where all are welcome, no matter what we look like, where we come from, or who we love."
Wednesday's inauguration ceremony will be followed by Celebrating America, a primetime special event hosted by Tom Hanks. The 90-minute special is set to feature remarks from both Harris and Biden and performances from Demi Lovato, Justin Timberlake, Jon Bon Jovi, and Ant Clemons.
LOST IT AT Kamala's swearing in.— Cathy Fracasse (@cmf_egrma) January 20, 2021
Seeing the first ever vice president get into office and make history honestly made me cry. This is awesome, she did it and so can other women hopefully and eventually the first woman president. Kamala isn't perfect that's for sure but now there are more doors open for sure— 👾 Flower boi 👾 (@yeeehawqueen) January 20, 2021
People on Twitter couldn't hold back their emotions as Harris was sworn in. "Congratulations on becoming the VP of this country," one user tweeted. "The country deserves a VP like you. Strong and forceful to get things done within the law and constitutional law. Once again CONGRATULATIONS!!!!"prevnext
We rang our bells outside! President Joseph R. Biden! Vice President Kamala D. Harris! #Inauguration2021— Jenny Medlen (@ActualJenny) January 20, 2021
Others celebrated however they knew how. "Hopeful about this fresh start," one person wrote on Twitter. "Let us wish our new President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris success in leading our nation in this difficult time. And as people of this nation let us learn to uplift each other."prevnext
'Start to Heal'
Watching Joe Biden and Kamala Harris being sworn in had me emotional.🥺🤎🙏🏼— Bianca Elena🌹 (@biancamuva) January 20, 2021
Other people were emotional thinking about a possible period of healing for their country, which has been ravaged with division. "I'm sitting in my car crying as the American where I have raised my son will start to heal," one person wrote. "Congratulations President [Joe Biden] and Vice President [Kamala Harris]."prevnext
'A Moment in History'
Tears running down my brown cheeks seeing Kamala Harris being sworn in. Why? Because little girls everywhere, no matter their skin colour, see that is it possible to be in positions of power. It's a new chapter for so many. #InaugurationDay— Nafisa (@NafisaBowen) January 20, 2021
'Truth and Justice'
Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have been sworn in.
My VP is black, y'all. #InaugurationDay— Just Alyx (@JustAlyxCentral) January 20, 2021
Some people were surprised at their emotional reaction. "I did not expect to get this emotional watching Joe and Kamala take the oath," one person tweeted. "May truth and justice once again guide the American way."prevnext
'Truly a Hero'
It's been an emotional several years that culminated Wednesday with the history-making moment. "I cried when Vice President [Kamala Harris] got sworn into office," one person tweeted. "Truly a hero to women everywhere."prev