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.
With these words, American presidents are sworn into office every four years. Every president must take the oath at the beginning of his or her term of office. If a president is re-elected, he or she must take the oath at the beginning of each term. The beginning of a term is called its inauguration.
Inaugurations happen on January 20. If January 20 falls on a Sunday, celebrations are held January 21. President Barack Obama will celebrate his second inauguration on January 21.
The inauguration takes place at the Capitol, in Washington, D.C., in front of thousands of people. Chief Justice John Roberts of the U.S. Supreme Court will swear in President Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden.
The president always gives a speech, called the inaugural address. The theme of President Obama’s 2013 inaugural address is “Faith in America’s Future.”
After the president gives his speech, thousands of people will watch the inaugural parade. Bands from all over the country march in the parade. The parade will also have floats, dance groups, and members of the military.
At night, the president and his family will go to many parties, called inaugural balls. In 2009, President Obama went to ten inaugural balls in one night!
- President Barack Obama’s first inauguration (January 20, 2009) drew the largest crowd of any presidential inauguration. In fact, it was the largest crowd ever to attend an event in Washington, D.C.! Between 1.1 and 1.8 million people showed up for the festivities!
- The first inauguration of President Ronald Reagan (January 20, 1981) drew the largest television audience. Almost 42 million people watched on TV.
- President Obama’s 2009 inauguration earned a record number of people watching the event online. About 7 million people watched the swearing-in ceremony through streaming video.
a formal or official speech.
to murder someone of political importance.
holy book of the Christian religion.
including members of both major political parties (in the U.S., Republicans and Democrats).
official building used by the U.S. Congress in Washington, D.C.
kindness or generosity.
people and culture focused on the teachings of Jesus and his followers.
legislative branch of the government, responsible for making laws. The U.S. Congress has two bodies, the House of Representatives and the Senate.
selection of people to public office by vote.
ceremony that officially marks the beginning of a leader's term in office.
evil, hostile, or wanting to cause harm.
formal act or statement giving up a title or position.
(reserve officer training corps) students who are given training to become military officers.
very sad event.
person who has served their country in a military capacity.
official residence of the president of the United States, in Washington, D.C.