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The 2009 presidential inauguration of Barack Obama will take place on January 20, 2009, under the provisions of the Twentieth Amendment to the United States Constitution. The inauguration will mark the commencement of the four-year term of Barack Obama and Joe Biden as President and Vice President, respectively. The inauguration is expected to draw a record-setting crowd of over two million people. The theme of the inauguration is "A New Birth of Freedom," commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

Official inauguration events commenced on January 17 with a train ride beginning in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and stopping in Wilmington, Delaware, and Baltimore, Maryland, before continuing on to Washington, D.C. Events are scheduled in Washington from January 18 to January 21, 2009.


  • Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 8:00 a.m. EST (13:00 UTC)
  • The inaugural festivities are scheduled to start at 10:00 a.m. EST (15:00 UTC) on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol. Scheduled festivities include:
  • Musical selections of The United States Marine Band, followed by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.
  • Sen. Dianne Feinstein provides call to order and welcoming remarks.
  • Invocation by the Rev. Rick Warren.
  • Musical selection of Aretha Franklin.
  • Biden will be sworn into office by Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.
  • Musical selection of John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet).
  • Obama will take the Oath of Office around noon EST (17:00 UTC), administered by Chief Justice John Roberts using the Inaugural Bible of President Lincoln.
  • Obama gives the inaugural address.
  • Poem by Elizabeth Alexander.
  • Benediction by Rev. Joseph E. Lowery.
  • The National Anthem by The United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters."
  • President Obama escorts former President George W. Bush to a departure ceremony before attending a luncheon in Statuary Hall at the U.S. Capitol.
  • The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the U.S. Capitol to the White House.

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1st Inauguration
With Barack Obama's swearing in as the 44th President of the United States just hours away, I thought I would take some time to share my thoughts on this truly historic event.    I am not a democrat, and I am also not a republican. I voted for Obama. My decision was not based on partisan politics, but on a genuine gut feeling about Obama as a person. He exudes this kind of certainty and determination. He is witty and is a wonderful public speaker. I believe him when he tells …
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