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Fireworks explode over the White House during Inaugural Celebration

Presidential Inaugural Guide

The formal Swearing-In Ceremony begins at 11:30am on January 21st.

Inauguration Day is a national celebration of the peaceful transition of the president-elect becoming president. At about noon, the president-elect takes the oath of office, traditionally administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, using the form mandated in Article II, Section 1 of the United States Constitution:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

Our staff has made and effort to make all public materials accessible in an organized manner.

· General Information
· Inaugural Balls and Galas
· Inaugural Gifts & Souvenirs
· Inauguration History
· Inaugural Luncheon
· Inaugural Parade
· Inauguration Theme
· Photo Galleries
· Preamble and Location
· Security Information
· Temperature Forecast
· Travel Tips
Barack Obama 57th Presidential Inauguration Gifts

Own a piece of American history as Barack H. Obama takes the Oath of Office, January 21, 2013, on the steps of The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. to become The 44th President of the United States of America. Celebrate this historic Inauguration with one of our fine collectibles that will serve as proud memories for years to come.

We are offering a wide selection of keepsake items to commemorate this worldwide historical event. The items we offer can be given as gifts to family, friends, and church groups that will be admired and cherished for generations to come. Record crowds are expected to attend the swearing in ceremony as well as the Inaugural Parade. Estimates of the attendance at 'The World's Largest Party' is expected to top four million people, far exceeding anything "The District" has EVER experienced. Read More

Get All Your 57th Presidential Inauguration Gifts and Souvenirs Here

Presidential Inauguration Event Calendar

Looking for somewhere to go during this inauguration? Find out Inaugural galas and other great events in the Washington DC area by visiting our Presidential Inaugural Events Calendar.

Saturday, January 19

Sunday, January 20

Monday, January 21

Tuesday, January 22

Wednesday, January 23

General Inaugural Information

Attending the inauguration of an American President is one of the most empowering experiences an American can ever have. Get public visitors information about where to begin your visit to Washington and the 56th Presidential Inauguration. Arrive early for required security screening and anticipate large crowds.Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 9 a.m. and the musical prelude begins at 10 a.m. Be prepared to pass through several security screenings before reaching the section indicated on your ticket. There will be no check room for prohibited items. Here are some interesting facts/trivia about the history of the United States' Presidential inuauguration: 1) George Washington’s inauguration was held in New York City on April 30, 1789. 2) Inauguration Day was changed to January 20, from March 4, in 1933 by the passage of the Twentieth Amendment to the US Constitution. 3) Bill Clinton’s, January 20, 1997, inauguration was the first inauguration to be broadcast live over Internet. 4) George Washington gave the shortest inaugural address in history: (135 words). 5) In 1865, Abraham Lincoln was the first president to include African-Americans in his inaugural parade. 6) In 1917, Woodrow Wilson was the first president to include women in his inaugural parade 7) When January 20 is on a Sunday, the president-elect usually takes the oath of office privately and then repeats the ceremony in public on Monday. General Inauguration Comments

Security Information For The Presidential Inauguration

The Department of Homeland Security announced that the Presidential Inauguration to be held on January 21, 2013, has been designated a National Special Security Event. This designation is also extended to the Swearing-in Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, the Inaugural Parade, the official reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Inaugural Balls. When an event is designated a National Special Security Event (NSSE), the Secret Service assumes its mandated role as the lead federal agency for the design and implementation of the operational security plan and coordinator for all Federal resources deployed to maintain the level of security needed for the designated events. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) serves as the lead agency responsible for intelligence and law enforcement operations as well as statutory Federal criminal investigations. The goal of such an operation is to prevent terrorist attacks and criminal acts. Resources used as part of past NSSE operational security plans that could be deployed for upcoming NSSE designated events include physical infrastructure security fencing and barricades, special access accreditation badges, K-9 Teams, and other security technologies.

Presidential Inauguration - Preamble and Location

Presidential Trasition Photo - Obama with BushThe inauguration usually takes place at noon on the steps of the West front of the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., an appointee of outgoing President Bush, will oversee the changing of the guard by administering the oath, which traditionally is done on a Bible. Also present will be members of the U.S. armed forces, since the president is also commander-in-chief. All but one of the inaugural addresses were given at the building housing the United States Congress. Washington gave his first address at Federal Hall in New York City and his second address in Congress Hall in Philadelphia. Adams also gave his in Congress Hall in Philadelphia. Jefferson gave both of his addresses at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. and all addresses since then have been given there, except for Franklin D. Roosevelt's fourth address, which he gave at the White House.

Travel Tips: Getting In & Out of DC

Millions of people are expected to help celebrate the 57th US Presidential Inauguration on January 21st, 2013. This guide will help you find the fastest ways to travel throughout Washington, DC. From updated Metrorail schedules to changed bus routes. Because of road closures and restricted access around the U.S. Capitol, ticket holders should use Metro. Metrorail will operate rush hour service for 17 consecutive hours (4 a.m. to 9 p.m.), will stay open for two extra hours (until 2 a.m.), offer free parking at its facilities and will be one important transportation alternative for people who are planning to attend the Inauguration of President Barack Obama on Monday, January 21, 2013. Your best options include Metrorail and Metrobus and the DC Circulator bus. You can avoid waiting in line in Metro stations by Pre-Purchasing All-Day Metro Passes. Due to the fact most all (and certainly this one in particular) inaugurations are multi-day celebrations the best advice (if you can afford it) would be come early and stay late - a micrcosm of this mantra would be inauguration day itself: leave for the ceremony well before dawn and plan on staying well after dusk lest you find yourself in maddening lines for a way back to your residence. Read More

Inaugural Balls and Galas

Many inaugural balls and galas will take place at venues throughout the Washington, DC area this Inauguartion season. The official balls are planned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, while unofficial parties are also planned by the State Societies of Washington, DC and a variety of local and national organizations. This inaugural celebration guide will be updated as events are announced. Interestingly, taxpayers foot the bill for security and the actual swearing-in ceremony,but private fundraising pays for most of the events including the dozen or so "officially sanctioned" inaugural balls: these balls are funded by donations and ball ticket sales: On the down side, you can pay over $100,000 for The Formal Inaugural Ball, but if your pockets are not mighty deep, you can always hit up one of the hundreds of informal parties in hotels, private homes, museums, auditoriums and (particularly during this inauguration) just about anywhere a handful of people are able to gather indoors. Also for this historic event, there will be many, many Hollywood "A-Listers." Read More

Inauguration Balls and Galas Comments

Secret Service Marine One Holiday Special

The 57th Presidential Inauguration Theme

Barack Obama's Inauguration theme, Faith in America's Future, commemorates the United States' perseverance and marks the 150th anniversary of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome. When the Civil War threatened to bring construction of the Dome to a halt, workers pressed onward, even without pay, until Congress approved additional funding to complete the Dome that would become a symbol of unity and democracy to the entire world. The official Inaugural Program, Luncheon, and other activities will reflect the theme.

On March 4, 1861, when Abraham Lincoln took the oath of office, the half-built dome epitomized a nation being torn in two. Slowly and steadily, work continued on the massive dome during the tumultuous years of the Civil War. Skilled and unskilled workers, including African Americans who began the project enslaved and continued as free labor following the DC Emancipation Act of 1862, performed arduous tasks such as operating machinery at dangerous heights to hoist the heavy cast iron pieces into place.

The year 1863 was one of the most fateful in our nation's history. It began with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, and ended with a celebration of the new Capitol Dome crowned by the Statue of Freedom in December. It also was the year of the first homestead claim, the start of the first transcontinental railroad, the opening of the first land grant college, and President Lincoln's historic and visionary Gettysburg Address. President Lincoln himself saw the importance of pushing ahead with the Dome despite staggering obstacles. "If people see the Capitol going on," he proclaimed, "it is a sign we intend the Union shall go on."

President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address

President Barack Obama's first Inaugural address to the people of the United States on January 20, 2009, was met with unprecedented anticipation and excitement. From the steps of the U.S. Capitol, President Obama addressed the nation for the first time as Commander-and-Chief and offered these words.
My fellow citizens: I stand here today humbled by the task before us, grateful for the trust you've bestowed, mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors.

I thank President Bush for his service to our nation -- (applause) -- as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition.

Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace. Yet, every so often, the oath is taken amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. At these moments, America has carried on not simply because of the skill or vision of those in high office, but because we, the people, have remained faithful to the ideals of our forebears and true to our founding documents. So it has been; so it must be with this generation of Americans.

That we are in the midst of crisis is now well understood. Our nation is at war against a far-reaching network of violence and hatred. Our economy is badly weakened, a consequence of greed and irresponsibility on the part of some, but also our collective failure to make hard choices and prepare the nation for a new age. Homes have been lost, jobs shed, businesses shuttered. Our health care is too costly, our schools fail too many -- and each day brings further evidence that the ways we use energy strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet... Read the Entire Inaugural Address

Barack Obama Inauguration Ornament

Presidential Inauguration Photo Galleries

Images help us remember special days and events. Come along on our journey as we capture memorable times and places in our Photo Galleries.

The 56th Presidential Inauguration

Barack Obama 56th Presidential InaugurationJanuary 20, 2009 was a magical, as well as historical day. Although the temperature dropped to the single digits with the wind whipping, that refused to stop two-million people strong from attending the 56th Presidential inauguration. "Yes We Can" was President Barack Obama's rallying cry througout his campaign to be the 44th President and Commander-in-Chief. The crowd that packed the National Mall (from the Capitol Building all the way back to the Washington Monument - over two miles) was an incredible combination of ecstatic jubilation and peaceful celebration. Security was extremely tight and lack of communication between law enforcement agencies made for long lines of supporters trying to ingress and egress The National Mall. However, the people would not be stopped - they wanted to see the first African American Commander-in-Chief get sworn in and would wait in lines as long as they had to to do so.

We Are One : The Obama Inaugural Celebration

We Are One : The Obama Inaugural Celebration Broadcast live on an open signal from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., by HBO. "We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial" performance was a two-hour historical event organized with themes that shaped President Obama's campaign and will be the hallmarks of his administration. Being surrounded by an estimated half million people was well worth braving the cold, long security lines, and the hassles. The list of musical performers featured: Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, Bettye LaVette, Jon Bon Jovi, Mstr. Sgt. Caleb Green (U.S. Army), John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Pete Seeger, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor, U2, Will.i.am and Stevie Wonder.

The 55th Presidential Inauguration

George Bush Swearing in Ceremony The World watched President George W. Bush second inaugural address President Bush committing the United States to defeating tyranny and expanding freedom. Sworn in by ailing Chief Justice William Rehnquist, the president delivered a 22-minute address that outlined his view of America's role in the world. President Bush's 2005 Presidential Inaugural theme was "Celebrating Freedom, Honoring Service;" his inagural address read in part: “America has need of idealism and courage, because we have essential work at home – the unfinished work of American freedom. In a world moving toward liberty, we are determined to show the meaning and promise of liberty.” President Bush continued: "Vice President Cheney, Mr. Chief Justice, President Carter, President Bush, President Clinton, reverend clergy, distinguished guests, fellow citizens: "On this day, prescribed by law and marked by ceremony, we celebrate the durable wisdom of our Constitution, and recall the deep commitments that unite our country. I am grateful for the honor of this hour, mindful of the consequential times in which we live, and determined to fulfill the oath that I have sworn and you have witnessed. "At this second gathering, our duties are defined not by the words I use, but by the history we have seen together. For a half century, America defended our own freedom by standing watch on distant borders. After the shipwreck of communism came years of relative quiet, years of repose, years of sabbatical - and then there came a day of fire."

The 54th Presidential Inauguration

George Bush Swearing In Ceremony A crowd estimated at 300,000 of Americans came from accross our country to brave the cold and drizzle to witness the 43rd peaceful transfer of presidential authority. George W. Bush as he was sworn in as the 43rd president of the United States at the U.S. Capitol, Jan. 20, 2001. Although the weather was foreboding, it was not an issue for the hundreds of thousands of people in attendance. President George H.W. Bush's inaugural address started thusly: "President Clinton, distinguished guests and my fellow citizens, the peaceful transfer of authority is rare in history, yet common in our country. With a simple oath, we affirm old traditions and make new beginnings. As I begin, I thank President Clinton for his service to our nation. And I thank Vice President Gore for a contest conducted with spirit and ended with grace. I am honored and humbled to stand here, where so many of America's leaders have come before me, and so many will follow. We have a place, all of us, in a long story--a story we continue, but whose end we will not see. It is the story of a new world that became a friend and liberator of the old, a story of a slave-holding society that became a servant of freedom, the story of a power that went into the world to protect but not possess, to defend but not to conquer."

History of The United States Presidential Inauguration

The inauguration for the first U.S. president, George Washington, was held on April 30, 1789 in New York City and served as the first "inaugural" of a United States' President. Inauguration Day was originally set for March 4, giving electors from each state nearly four months after Election Day to cast their ballots for president. Also, the extra alloted time from the election until the inauguration was for anyone wanting to attend the ceremony (including local government officials) pre-dating the era of mass transit. In 1937, the day of The Ceremony was changed by the Twentieth Amendment from March 4 to noon on January 20, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt's second term in 1937. In 1801, Thomas Jefferson became the first to be sworn in as president in Washington, D.C., which did not officially become the federal capital until that year. The next Inauguration Day, January 21, 2013, will fall on the 3rd Monday of January.

Since 1901, all inaugural ceremonies at the United States Capitol have been organized by the U.S. Government's Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, which is an Executive Branch of the federal government (at the federal level, the executive branch includes (but is not limited to) the president, the vice president, staffs of appointed advisers (including the cabinet), and a variety of departments and other agencies.

The U.S. military have participated in Inauguration Day ceremonies since George Washington, because the president is commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The oath of office is traditionally administered on the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. The vice president-elect has taken the oath of office at the same ceremony as the president-elect in all inaugurations since the 1930's. This tradition began in 1937. Before then, the vice presidential oath was administered in the Senate. The Vice-President-elect takes the oath first: "I do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same: that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter." Inauguration History Comments

Inauguration Bathroom Facilities

No bathrooms or emergency facilities will be provided for ticketed attendees during the Inaugural Ceremony on the Capitol West Front.

5,000 porta-potties will be available on the National Mall during Inauguration day.

Metro is closing bathrooms at its 86 stations for security reasons, but the transit agency will rent about 150 portable toilets to place at its stations.

Thirteen museums on the Mall will be open, giving the crowd an alternative to the portable toilets.

Inaugural Ceremony Tickets

Every person wishing admittance to the Inaugural Ceremony, including children, must have a ticket. Individuals without valid tickets will not be admitted. Tickets are color-coded to facilitate entrance to the ceremony. Entrance will be granted only at the gate indicated on your ticket.

Disabled Inaugural Access

There will be no vehicular access or parking in the areas around the Capitol on January 21, 2013. This includes vehicles with special disability license plates or tags. While there will be locations outside the perimeter of the Capitol that will be designated as drop-off points for persons with disabilities, traffic conditions and restrictions may make reaching these drop-off locations extremely difficult. There will be designated viewing areas for people with disabilities in each of the ticketed seating areas on the Capitol grounds, however these areas are limited in size and available on a first-come first-served basis. Persons in wheelchairs or utilizing walkers should be aware that they will need to move across bumpy surfaces, grassy areas, and possible icy areas (depending on the weather).

Inaugural Air Travel

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) predicts that the air traffic during the Inauguration being held in Washington, DC will increase January 16 and last through January 22. The peak time will be January 21st. DCpages advises passengers staying in Washington, DC from January 16 through January 22 expect delays due to large crowds and security concerns. If at all possible try to extend your stay to January 23.

Inaugural Taxis and Limousine Services

Expect some difficulties travelling in and around the District due to major traffic gridlock. There will be a surplus of taxis working throught the Washington. All the Hotels, Airports, and Union Station will have cabs lined up. For is a complete list of taxicab companies Click Here. DCpages recommends that you make reservations with a limousine service company.

Inaugural Ceremony Transportation

Because of road closures and restricted access around the U.S. Capitol, ticket holders should use Metro. Metrorail will operate rush hour service for 15 consecutive hours (4 a.m. to 7 p.m.), will stay open for two extra hours (until 2 a.m.), offer free parking at its facilities and will be one important transportation alternative for people who are planning to attend the Inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama on January 21, 2013. Metrorail Information

Inaugural Ceremony Schedule

While the actual swearing-in will take place shortly before noon, the formal program begins at 11:30 AM and the musical prelude and seating will begin much earlier. Arrive early for required security screening and anticipate large crowds. Security checkpoints will open for ticketed guests to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 8 a.m. and the Congressional Inaugural Committee advises arriving no later than 9:00 AM to ensure that you are through the checkpoints by the time the program begins. Be prepared to pass through several security screenings before reaching the section indicated on your ticket. Screening will end when the program begins at 11:30 AM and late arrivals will not be able to enter the grounds.

2013 Inaugural Luncheon

After President-elect Obama takes the oath of office and delivers his Inaugural address and following the departure ceremony for the outgoing President, Barack Obama will be escorted to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol for the traditional Inaugural Luncheon. Read More

2013 Inaugural Parade

January 21, 2013, 2:30 p.m. Tickets are not required. The public will not be allowed to lineup along the parade route before 6:30 a.m. until the parade route can no longer accommodate additional people. The parade will begin at the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building and proceed along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.

Location: Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC. Viewing stands and bleachers will extend from 3rd to 17th Streets.

Parade Route Entry Points:

  • 2nd Street, NW and C Street, NW
  • John Marshall Park at C Street, NW
  • Indiana Avenue, NW between 6th Street, NW and 7th Street, NW
  • 7th Street, NW and D Street, NW
  • 10th Street, NW and E Street, NW
  • 12th Street, NW and E Street, NW
  • 13th Street, NW and E Street, NW
  • 14th Street, NW and E Street, NW
  • 12th Street, NW and Constitution Avenue, NW
  • 10th Street, NW and Constitution Avenue, NW
  • 7th Street, NW and Constitution Avenue, NW
  • Constitution Avenue, NW between 6th Street, NW and 7th Street, NW
  • Inaugural Security

    The Presidential Inauguration to be held on January 21, 2013, has been designated a National Special Security Event. This designation is also extended to the Swearing-in Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, the Inaugural Parade, the official reviewing stand on Pennsylvania Avenue, and the Official Inaugural Balls.

    All ticket holders are required to pass through security screening, including handbag inspection. There will be no check room for prohibited items.

    Security Inside the Event

    Movement will be difficult inside the security perimeter. Please be prepared to stay within the perimeter and within your ticketed section for the duration of the festivities.

    Prohibited Items

    Prohibited items include, but are not limited to:

  • Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)
  • Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
  • Knives, blades, or sharp objects (of any length)
  • Mace and/or pepper spray
  • Sticks or poles
  • Pockets or hand tools, such as "Leatherman"
  • Packages
  • Backpacks
  • Large bags
  • Duffel bags
  • Suitcases
  • Thermoses
  • Coolers
  • Strollers
  • Umbrellas
  • Laser pointers
  • Signs
  • Posters
  • Animals (other than service animals)
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the discretion of the security screeners.
  • Inaugural Temperature Forecast

  • The Average High Temperature is 39 F with a historical range of 17 F to 60 F
  • The Average Low Temperature is 27 F with a historical range of 8 F to 42 F
  • There is a 0% chance of a Hot Day (temperature over 90°F).
  • (0 days out of 16 in historical record)
  • Most consecutive days found in historic record: 0
  • There is a 6% chance of a Warm Day (temperature over 60°F).
  • (1 day out of 16 in historical record)
  • Most consecutive days found in historic record: 0
  • There is a 69% chance of a Freezing Day (temperature below 32°F).
  • (11 days out of 16 in historical record)
  • Most consecutive days found in historic record: 1
  • Daily Precipitation

    Weather statistics are based on recorded dates from 1993 to present. Probabilities (chance of) statistics indicate the chance of an event or condition per day (ie. a 30 percent chance of a cloudy day indicates that each day has a 30 percent chance of being cloudy).

  • The Average Daily Precipitation is 0.15 with a historical range of 0.00 to 0.96
  • The Average Snow Depth is 1.0 with a historical range of 0.0 to 4.0
  • There is a 38% chance of a Precipitation Day.
  • (6 days out of 16 in historical record)
  • Most consecutive days found in historic record: 0
  • Inaugural Accomodations

    According to the Obama Inauguration 58 percent of the people attending the inauguration are planning to stay overnight. These 58 percent are looking for a room between $150.00 and $200.00 per night. 20 percent of respondants say they can afford between $150.00 and $200.00 a night. 8 percent of the respondants say the can afford between $250.00 and $300.00 per night. 2 percent say they can afford to pay up to $500.00 per night. 12 percent of attendees live in the area or plan to just attend the ceremony and return to their home.

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