Joe Biden, Kamala Harris Inauguration Watch LIVE: Here's the Complete Schedule of the Ceremony
File photo of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris (Reuters)
Joe Biden will be sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and Kamala Harris will take oath as the first woman Vice President on Wednesday, amidst heightened security concerns after a mob of pro-Trump extremists violently breached the Capitol two weeks ago. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office to 78-year-old Biden just after the clock strikes 12 local time (10.30pm IST) at the West Front of the Capitol - the traditional location for presidential inaugural ceremonies.
The historic inauguration will be held under the unprecedented security umbrella of more than 25,000 National Guards, who have transformed the capital into a garrison city, mainly because of the threat of more violent protests by the supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump, who is skipping the event. Biden will take the oath on his 127-year-old family Bible, which will be held by his wife, Jill Biden.
Biden, who will be the oldest president in American history, will deliver his first presidential address to the country shortly after taking the oath. The historic speech, with the theme of unity and healing, has been prepared by his Indian-American speech writer Vinay Reddy. Harris, 56, will be sworn in as 49th Vice President of the United States by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina member of the Supreme Court. She will make history as the first female, first Black and first Indian American vice president of the United States. Harris will be sworn in on two Bibles - one that belonged to a close family friend named Regina Shelton and another that belonged to Thurgood Marshall - the country's first African American Supreme Court justice.
The ceremony is likely to be attended by former presidents Barack Obama, George W Bush and Bill Clinton. Former first ladies Michelle Obama, Laura Bush and Hillary Clinton are also set to attend the event. President Trump, a Republican, has said he will not attend the inauguration. He, however, extended "best wishes" to new administration in a farewell video address on Tuesday.
In the evening, the President will sign executive orders and other presidential actions in the Oval Office and swear in Day One appointees in a virtual ceremony, which will include a pool spray. The President and the Vice President will then deliver remarks during the "Celebrating America" inaugural program.
Here's the complete programme of the inauguration day (India Time):
7:15 pm (IST): Biden, Harris and her husband and 'Second Gentleman' Douglas Emhoff attend church service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.
9:00 pm (IST): Biden, Harris and Emhoff arrive at the Capitol.
9:45 pm (IST): Biden, Harris and Emhoff participate in the swearing-in ceremony.
10:30 pm (IST): Biden and Harris are sworn in as the 46th President of the United States and 49th Vice President of the United States, and the former delivers an inaugural address.
12:10 am (IST), Thursday: Biden and Harris review the readiness of military troops in a pass in review.
12:55 am (IST): Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Harris and Emhoff participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.
1:45 am (IST): Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Harris and Emhoff receive a Presidential Escort to the White House.
3:45 am (IST): Biden signs executive orders and other presidential actions.
4:15 am (IST): Biden swears in Day One Presidential Appointees in a virtual ceremony.
7:18 am (IST): Biden, First Lady Jill Biden, Harris and Emhoff attend the "Celebrating America. inaugural program; Biden and Harris deliver remarks.
8:25 am (IST): Joe and Jill Biden appear on the Blue Room Balcony
5:30 am (IST): Press Briefing by Press Secretary Jen Psalci.