Biden and Harris’ Inauguration Day makes history

Madelyn Kidd, Editor-in-Chief

On Jan. 20, President Joseph Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office at approximately 11 a.m. The day was full of excitement, fear and safety precautions. After the Capitol Hill riot, safety measures ensuring the safety of everyone at the Capitol for the inauguration were significantly increased along with the safety procedures for COVID-19 and the typical protection of high-ranking politicians. Despite fear of plans to attack the Capitol again during the inauguration, the day was successfully violence free. 

After Vice President Harris was officially sworn in, she officially became the first female Vice President, first African-American Vice President, first Asian American Vice President and the highest ranking female elected official in United States history. Making her new position significant for women and people of color in America.

The absence of the former president being at the inauguration is another historical moment for the history books. Former President Trump’s absence is only the fourth time a president refused to attend the new president’s inauguration and hasn’t happened since 1869. This doesn’t include when the former president has been assassinated, only when the former president was alive and refused to attend. The previous times this has happened was with President John Adams in 1801, President John Quincy Adams in 1829, President Andrew Johnson in 1869 and now President Trump in 2021. In all four instances, the former president ran for re-election and lost. Not attending the next president’s inauguration was then, and now, politically seen as “bad form.” 

Despite former President Trump not attending, former presidents and first ladies Barack and Michelle Obama, George W. and Laura Bush, and Bill and Hillary Clinton attended. The only living former president who didn’t attend besides Trump, was our oldest living former President Jimmy Carter. At 96-years-old, this is Carter’s first missed Inauguration Day since his own 44 years ago. While Carter’s reason for not attending the inauguration is unknown, he and his wife Rosalynn sent their well-wishes to President Biden and Vice President Harris.

Immediately after Inauguration Day, Biden and his administration got to work creating and processing orders to combat COVID-19 and undo or review many of Trump’s and his administration’s orders, which is typical of opposing parties entering office to do. After what seemed like months of never-ending political election battles, Inauguration Day brought to a simple and peaceful ending.

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