For more than two centuries, men have occupied our country's top offices. No more. Kamala Harris was on Wednesday sworn in as the first female vice president. The 56-year-old is also the first Black woman and person of South Asian descent to hold the role, reports the AP. She was sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first woman of color to serve on the high court, using two Bibles: one that belonged to Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, the late civil rights icon whom Harris often cites as inspiration, and the other to Regina Shelton, a longtime family friend who helped raise Harris during her childhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. Harris will address the nation late Wednesday in front of the Lincoln Memorial.
Another longtime Harris friend, Lateefah Simon, tells the AP that Harris—the child of immigrants, a stepmother of two, and the wife of a Jewish man—"carries an intersectional story of so many Americans who are never seen and heard." Her swearing-in comes almost two years to the day after Harris launched her own presidential bid on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2019. Her campaign fizzled before primary voting began, but Harris' rise continued when Joe Biden chose her as his running mate last August. Harris had been a close friend of Beau Biden, the elder son of Joe Biden and a former Delaware attorney general who died in 2015 of cancer. (Read more Kamala Harris stories.)