Obama Inauguration Day

The second inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States took place in a private swearing-in ceremony on Sunday, January 20, 2013; a public ceremony marking the occasion took place on Monday, January 21, 2013. The inauguration marks the beginning of the second term of Barack Obama as President and Joe Biden as Vice President.

Barack and Michelle Obama were surrounded by security personnel as they walked the route toward the review stand where they will watch the inaugural parade. The Obamas made the same gesture four years ago.

Earlier, Obama kicked off his second term with a moving call for a more all-embracing America that rejects partisan rancor and supports immigration reform, gay rights and the fight against climate change.

Obama's ceremonial swearing-in at the U.S. Capitol was filled with traditional pomp and pageantry, but it was a scaled-back inauguration compared to the historic beginning of his presidency in 2009 when he swept into office on a mantle of hope and change as America's first black president.

Looking out on a sea of flags, Obama addressed a crowd speculated to be up to 700,000 people - less than half the record 1.8 million who assembled four years ago.

Obama's inaugural speech lasted nearly 20 minutes. He talked about "hard choices" to reduce the federal deficit and called for a revamping of the tax code and a remaking of government.

It has to be mentioned that it was the first time ever an inaugural address mentioned the gay rights of Americans, as Obama stated that America's "journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law - for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well." (On January 8, 2013, Richard Blanco was named the inaugural poet for Barack Obama's second inauguration. He is the first immigrant, first Latino, and first gay person to be inaugural poet.)

Obama took the oath with his hand on two Bibles: One from President Abraham Lincoln, who put an end on slavery, and the other from King. Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights figure Medgar Evers, was given the honor of delivering the invocation at the ceremony.

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