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Old 01-20-2021, 11:33 AM
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Default Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States

Joe Biden sworn in as 46th president of the United States

Kamala Harris is sworn in as VP, breaking historic gender and racial barriers

CBC News Posted: Jan 20, 2021 11:13 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 minutes ago

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president in inaugural ceremonies on the west front of the Capitol that are underway in Washington, D.C.
Biden used his inaugural address ? one delivered in front of an unusually small in-person group and that lasted between 20 and 30 minutes ? to call for American unity and offer an optimistic message that Americans can get past the dark moment by working together. The ceremonies have been scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic, with heightened security measures arising from the Capitol riot exactly two weeks ago.
"Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested anew, and America has risen to the challenge," Biden said early in his address. "Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause: the cause of democracy."
Biden pivoted to the challenges ahead, acknowledging the surging virus that has claimed more than 400,000 lives in the United States. Biden looked out over a capital city dotted with empty storefronts that attest to the pandemic's deep economic toll and where summer protests laid bare the nation's renewed reckoning on racial injustice.
Biden called on Americans to overcome divisions, declaring that "without unity, there is no peace."
"We must end this uncivil war that pits red versus blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal," he said.

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States as his wife, Jill Biden, holds a family bible on the west front of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Biden also hailed the historic achievement of his Vice-President Kamala Harris. Harris took the oath administered by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, becoming the first Black, South Asian and female vice-president.
Harris, who spent some of her teen years in Montreal, was said to be using a bible in the swearing-in ceremony that belonged to Thurgood Marshall, the first Black Supreme Court justice.

Biden and his wife, Jill, began the day by attending a service at Washington's Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle. Along with Harris and her husband, Douglas Emhoff, those in attendance included: both Senate leaders, Republican Mitch McConnell and Democrat Chuck Schumer, as well as Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy.
Many presidents have chosen St. John's Episcopal Church, sometimes called the "church of the presidents," for the inaugural day service. Biden is only the second Catholic president in U.S. history after John F. Kennedy, and St. Matthew's is the seat of the Catholic archbishop of Washington.

History has been made in the United States with the swearing-in of Kamala Harris as vice-president. She is the first woman, the first Black American and the first South Asian American to ever hold the job.

A Capitol police officer hailed as a hero for his actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol is accompanying Harris and Biden at the west front. Officer Eugene Goodman confronted the insurrectionists and led them away from Senate chambers.
Goodman is a Black man who faced an overwhelmingly white mob that day. He is the only officer seen for a full minute on widely circulated footage captured by a news reporter.
Family bible brought out again

Prominent U.S. politicians past and present proceeded to the west front shortly before 11 a.m., with 44th president Barack Obama and wife Michelle getting a notable round of applause. Two other past presidents arrived with their wives ? Bill and Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush and his wife, Laura ? while the oldest living president, 96-year-old Jimmy Carter, has sent his well wishes.
Vice-President Mike Pence was the highest-ranking official from Donald Trump's administration to attend the inauguration, but not Trump, the first outgoing president to skip the ceremony since Andrew Johnson more than a century and a half ago.
Patti Solis Boyle, former chief of campaign staff for Joe Biden in 2008, gives Adrienne Arsenault some insight into what's on the president-elect's mind and how she expects Biden to approach the presidency. 4:05
Biden becomes just the seventh person to have served as senator, vice-president and president and the first to achieve that feat since Richard Nixon. While on paper that wealth of previous experience may give the impression of inevitability to his becoming president, there were two failed bids and multiple points along the way where one could reasonably doubt he'd ever be addressing the nation Wednesday as the incoming commander-in-chief.
Biden used a bible for his swearing-in that has been in his family since at least 1893. Several inches thick, it is the same bible he used twice when swearing in as vice-president and seven times as a senator from Delaware.

Biden took his first oath of office as a Washington politician just over 48 years ago, in a hospital room in Delaware as his two sons recuperated from a car crash that killed Biden's first wife, Neilia, and their baby daughter, Naomi.

During his years in Congress, he earned the slings and arrows that come along with serving in Congress ? a strong reputation for bipartisan work and criticism for his handling of Anita Hill's testimony at Clarence Thomas's confirmation hearings from both parties. There were also a pair of brain aneurysms in the late 1980s, one which was life-threatening.
In 2008, he was picked by Obama to serve as his running mate. Biden, not thrilled with playing second fiddle, later wrote of being persuaded to take the VP job in no small part by his 91-year-old mother, Catherine, who impressed upon him the history of serving under the first Black president. Catherine Biden died in 2010, eight years after her husband, Joe Sr.

?I will not be the last?: Kamala Harris?s first speech as VP-elect resonates

In her first speech as vice-president elect, Kamala Harris?s message that she "will not be the last" woman to hold the office resonated with women in the U.S. and beyond. 3:01
Biden had every intention of running for president in 2016, but was waylaid by another tragedy. His oldest son, Beau, expected to become a prominent national politician himself, died of brain cancer after an agonizing battle.

Biden began the 2020 Democratic primary season as the polling favourite, but name recognition likely held sway. He struggled in early debates, and a glut of candidates may have ultimately proved to be beneficial.
As in the past, Biden proved a survivor, winning the nomination and the general election on Nov. 3.
In addition to his wife, Biden's son Hunter, daughter, Ashley, and several grandchildren were on hand to watch him become the next U.S. president.

Guests attended the inauguration distanced and wearing masks. (Kevin Lamarque/Reuters)
Although the festivities have been radically scaled down due to the pandemic as well as security threats, a steady stream of A-list names signed on, headlined by Lady Gaga singing the national anthem, with Jennifer Lopez singing This Land Is Your Land and America the Beautiful, and Garth Brooks performing Amazing Grace.
After the events near the Capitol, the Bidens will be accompanied by the three former presidents and their wives at Arlington National Cemetery for a wreath-laying ceremony.
Scaled-down festivities

The traditional parade down Pennsylvania Avenue will not take place, but an inaugural parade featuring 1,391 virtual participants, 95 horses and nine dogs is scheduled. Organizers said it will be similar in nature to how convention events were conducted last August.

Biden and his wife, Jill Biden, along with Kamala Harris and her husband, Doug Emhoff, stand during a COVID-19 memorial on Tuesday at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool. (Alex Brandon/The Associated Press)
Trump will loom large in the early days of the Biden presidency, as the Senate plans for a remarkable second impeachment trial while holding confirmation hearings for officials in the new administration. As well, because Trump could not admit defeat and commit to a typical transition, the Biden team was not briefed on several fronts by the outgoing president to the extent that is typical.
After 5 p.m, Biden is scheduled to sign a series of executive orders, many of which roll back Trump initiatives, and at nighttime attend the "Celebrating America" inaugural ceremony along with his wife. The multi-network evening broadcast hosted by Tom Hanks takes the place of the usual multiple inaugural balls.
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