Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday. Kamala Harris made history as the first woman, Black woman and Asian woman to be sworn in as vice president. President Trump did not attend the inauguration, becoming the first president since 1869 to skip the swearing-in of his successor.
Chief Justice John Roberts led Biden in the oath of office. Biden took the oath with his hand on top of his 127-year-old, 5-inch-thick family Bible, which was held by first lady Jill Biden.
In his inaugural address, Biden called for unity. “Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path,” the new president said. “We must end this uncivil war.”
Shortly after being sworn in as the 46th president of the United States, Joe Biden delivered an inaugural speech with the theme “America United,” calling on Americans to overcome divisions.
“Politics doesn’t have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path,” Biden said. “To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear me out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart. If you still disagree, so be it. That’s democracy. That’s America.”
In the middle of his speech, Biden recognized the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic and held a moment of silence in recognition of the 400,000 Americans who have died from complications related to COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Amanda Gorman became the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history at the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. The 22-year-old recited an original poem about national unity entitled, “The Hill We Climb.”
In 2017, Gorman was named America’s first National Youth Poet Laureate. Three years earlier she was named the first Youth Poet Laureate of Los Angeles.
As Gorman read her poem on Wednesday, she continued an inauguration tradition that has included renowned poets such as Maya Angelou and Robert Frost.