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Joe Biden Becomes the 46th President

It's official
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 20, 2021 10:52 AM CST

(Newser) – Joe Biden swore the oath of office Wednesday to become the 46th president of the United States, during an inauguration ceremony with few parallels in history. He was administered the oath by Chief Justice John Roberts as three former presidents—Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—looked on. The New York Times reports he took the oath with his hand on a family Bible that dates to 1893. It has been present at his prior swearing-ins as senator and vice president, and son Beau Biden used it when he became Delaware attorney general. Biden comes to office with a well of empathy and resolve born by personal tragedy, as well as a depth of experience forged from more than four decades in Washington. At age 78, he is the oldest president inaugurated, reports the AP.

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The theme of Biden’s approximately 30-minute speech will be "America United," and aides said it would be a call to set aside differences during a moment of national trial. Biden will then oversee a "Pass in Review," a military tradition that honors the peaceful transfer of power to a new commander in chief. Then, Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their spouses will be joined by that bipartisan trio of former presidents to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Later, Biden will join the end of a slimmed-down inaugural parade as he moves into the White House. In the evening, in lieu of the traditional glitzy balls that welcome a new president to Washington, Biden will take part in a televised concert that also marks the return of A-list celebrities to the White House orbit after they largely eschewed Trump. Among those in the lineup: Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake, and Lin-Manuel Miranda.

(Read more President Biden stories.)

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