Inauguration Day live highlights: Biden, Harris sworn into office

Inauguration Day

WASHINGTON (NewsNation Now) — Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States Wednesday.

Here is the full schedule of Inauguration Day 2021 events.

Below are the latest updates from Inauguration Day 2021 (all times EST)

9:28 p.m. – VP Harris addresses the nation

Hours after she was sworn in as the first female vice president, Kamala Harris addressed the nation from outside the Lincoln Memorial.

“Even in dark times we not only dream, we do. We not only see what has been, we see what can be,” said Harris. “We shoot for the moon and then we plant our flag on it. We are bold, fearless and ambitious. We are undaunted in our belief that we shall overcome, that we will rise up.”

Harris referenced President Abraham Lincoln, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the women’s suffrage movement in the United States before remarking on the challenges ahead for the country.

“A great experiment takes great determination,” said the vice president. “The will to do the work, and then the wisdom to keep refining, keep tinkering, keep perfecting — the same determination is being realized in America today.”

8:53 p.m. – President Biden delivers address to the nation

President Joe Biden addressed the nation at the inaugural “Celebrating America” event. Biden promoted unity and promised to give the American people his all.

“Democracy is precious and because of you, democracy prevailed,” Biden said. “America’s story depends on all of us; on we the people…Thank you for this honor. I will give my all to you.”

8:30 p.m. – Celebrating America Primetime Special begins

Actor Tom Hanks is hosting a 90-minute special featuring remarks from Biden and Harris, as well as performances that the inaugural committee described as representing “the rich diversity and extensive talent America” has to offer. “Celebrating America” will include appearances from Ant Clemons, Jon Bon Jovi, Foo Fighters, John Legend, Eva Longoria, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Timberlake and Kerry Washington.

Watch live here.

7:08 p.m. – Senate confirms Avril Haines as Director of National Intelligence

The Senate voted 84-10 to confirm Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence. Haines, who previously served as deputy national security adviser under Obama and was the first woman to serve as CIA deputy director, will be the first female Director of National Intelligence.

7:07 p.m. – White House Press Secretary holds first media briefing

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki held the first briefing of the Biden administration. Psaki reiterated President Joe Biden’s call for a federal mask mandate, spoke on Biden’s signing of 15 executive orders, and the extention of student loan debt forgiveness, among other actions in the president’s first day.

5:14 p.m. – President Biden signs several Executive Orders

President Joe Biden signs the first executive orders of his presidency, targeting Trump’s policies on immigration, climate change, racial equity and COVID-19.

4:49 p.m. – Vice President Harris swears in Ossoff, Warnock and Padilla, Democratic Party assumes Senate majority

Democrats take Senate majority as three new senators are sworn in: Jon Ossoff, Raphael Warnock and Alex Padilla, giving the party control of White House, Congress.

The senators were sworn in by Vice President Kamala Harris in a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, one of her first actions as vice president.

4:10 p.m. – Harris enters White House for first time as vice president

Vice President Kamala Harris entered the White House for the first time as the first woman, Black and Indian vice president of the United States. She was joined by her husband Doug Emhoff.

3:52 p.m. – Biden enters White House for first time as president

President Joe Biden entered the White House for the first time as the 46th President of the United States. Biden was joined by First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and his family.

3:30 p.m, – Biden, Harris participate in ‘Parade Across America’

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and their families participated in the inauguration parade, “Parade Across America.” The parade featured bands from all five military branches, and the drumlines from the University of Delaware and Howard University, their alma maters.

3:18 p.m. – Vice President Mike Pence returns to Indiana with homecoming celebration

Former Vice President Mike Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence returned to Indiana Wednesday afternoon. After deplaning, Pence addressed a crowd of supporters.

“Serving as your Vice President was the greatest honor of our life. Now, that season of service has come to an end,” Pence said beside his wife, Karen. “It is so great to be back home again in Indiana. Today is all about saying ‘thank you.’”

2:44 p.m. – Biden, Harris lay wreath at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arlington National Cemetery. The president was joined by former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama.

Engraved on the tomb, “Here rests in honored glory an American soldier, known but to God.”

1:57 p.m. – Biden leaves Capitol after military ‘Pass in Review’

President Biden and Vice President Harris participated in a military “Pass in Review.” A “Pass in Review” is when service members traditionally first salute the newly sworn-in president. Biden and Harris then left the Capitol.

Biden and Harris were expected to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama are also expected to attend.

12:36 p.m. – Biden’s 1st tweet from presidential account: ‘No time to waste’

President Joe Biden tweeted for the first time from the @POTUS account shortly after it was transferred over from former President Donald Trump.

Biden was expected to sign executive orders in the President’s Room within the U.S. Capitol following the ceremony. Orders were expected on a broad range of issues, from the coronavirus pandemic to climate change and immigration, to fulfill campaign promises.

The executive actions — a combination of executive orders, memoranda, directives, and letters — are an attempt “not just to reverse the gravest damages of the Trump administration, to start moving our country forward,” according to the statement released by Biden’s transition team.

12:30 p.m. – Official swearing-in ceremony for Biden ends

The official swearing-in ceremony for President Joe Biden have concluded, but more events are planned throughout the day.

Biden and first lady Jill Biden departed the platform at the U.S. Capitol following a ceremony that included  celebrated poet Amanda Gorman read a piece noting that, “while democracy can be permanently delayed, it can never be permanently denied.”

Biden was expected to sign paperwork in the President’s Room within the U.S. Capitol following the ceremony.

12:01 p.m. – Twitter transfer of power

The official Twitter accounts for the president, vice president and the White House have been transferred to the Biden administration. The @POTUS twitter handle now belongs to President Biden.

A new account @SecondGentleman is also live.

Biden’s first official tweet on the POTUS account came shortly after.

11:52 a.m. – President Joe Biden delivers inaugural address

President Joe Biden called on Americans to overcome their divisions, declaring in his first address in office that “without unity, there is no peace.”

Biden said in his inaugural address, a mere two weeks after the violent breach at the Capitol, that the country has “learned again that democracy is precious.”

He said his swearing-in marks a day of “history and hope.”

As he did frequently during the campaign, Biden pledged that he will be a “president for all Americans” and will “fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”

He added, “We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue.”

Biden added, “The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer.”

11:50 a.m. – Joe Biden takes oath of office

Joe Biden is officially the 46th president of the U.S. after taking the oath of office. The presidential oath was administered by U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts.

Biden was sworn in using a Bible that has been in his family since 1893 and was used during his swearing-in as vice president in 2009 and 2013. The 5-inch thick Bible, which could be seen on a table next to Biden’s chair on the dais, has a Celtic cross on its cover and was also used each time he was sworn in as a U.S. senator.

Biden’s late son, Beau, also used the Bible for his own swearing-in ceremony as attorney general of Delaware and helped carry the Bible to his father’s 2013 ceremony.

11:41 a.m. – Kamala Harris sworn in

Kamala Harris was sworn in as the first female vice president, breaking historic gender and racial barriers in American politics. Harris is now the first female, first Black and first Asian American vice president.

11:25 – Klobuchar, Blunt speak at inauguration

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) and Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) both spoke at the inauguration.

Klobuchar addressed Vice President-elect Kamala Harris saying “little girls and boys across the world will know anything and everything is possible.”

Blunt called the day both “commonplace and miraculous.”

“Americans have celebrated this moment during war, during depression and now during pandemic,” he said. “Once again we renew our commitment to our determined democracy, forging a more perfect union.”

Father Leo O’Donovan delivered the invocation.

11:18 a.m. – Inauguration ceremony begins

President-elect Joe Biden and incoming first lady Dr. Jill Biden take the stage at the U.S. Capitol. The inauguration ceremony is now officially underway.

11:10 a.m. – Capitol police officer Eugene Goodman escorts Harris

A Capitol police officer hailed as a hero for his actions during the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol accompanied Vice President-elect Kamala Harris at the inauguration of Harris and President-elect Joe Biden.

Officer Eugene Goodman confronted the insurrectionists and led them away from Senate chambers moments after Vice President Mike Pence was escorted from the Senate chamber as the rioters stormed the Capitol.

Goodman was the only officer seen for a full minute on widely circulated footage. Goodman stands in front of the rioters and walks backward as the group follows him to a second-floor hallway, where other officers finally assist him.

A police spokeswoman says Goodman’s plainclothes assignment to accompany Harris “is a ceremonial role.”

10:55 a.m. – Trump arrives in Florida

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump have arrived in Florida following a departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland.

10:45 a.m. – Former presidents, Pence arrive

WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 20: Vice President Mike Pence and Karen Pence arrives at the inauguration of U.S. President-elect Joe Biden (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Former presidents and first ladies arrived at the Capitol for the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.

Those in attendance include: former President George W. Bush, former first lady Laura Bush, former President Bill Clinton, former first lady Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.

The other living former president, 96-year-old Jimmy Carter and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, previously announced he would not attend.

President Donald Trump is not attending the inauguration but the Vice President Mike Pence was in attendance.

10:25 a.m. – Biden, Harris arrive at Capitol

President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris arrived at the Capitol with their spouses ahead of the inauguration.

9:50 a.m. – Trump leaves note for Biden

President Donald Trump followed the presidential tradition of leaving a note for his successor, incoming Democrat Joe Biden.

The White House confirmed the note but Deputy press secretary Judd Deere declined to reveal the contents or to characterize the sentiment in the note, citing privacy for communication between presidents.

9:45 a.m. – Obama congratulates Biden

Former president Barack Obama congratulated President-elect Joe Biden on his inauguration on Twitter, saying “this is your time.” Biden served as Obama’s vice president for two terms.

Obama is expected to join Biden to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery after the inauguration. Former presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush are also expected to attend.

8:15 a.m. – The Bidens go to church

President-elect Joe Biden will be only the second Catholic president, and in the spirit of Christianity and unity, he invited top congressional leaders from both political parties to Mass before the inauguration. It’s a tradition.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi attended the service with Biden and his wife Dr. Jill Biden at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle in Washington, D.C. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff were also in attendance.

7:45 a.m. – Trump departs DC

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump left the White House with a departure ceremony at Joint Base Andrews in suburban Maryland before traveling to Florida. Trump will begin his post-presidency at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach.

“I will always fight for you,” Trump said Wednesday morning. “I will be watching. I will be listening, and I will tell you that the future of this country has never been better. I wish the new administration great luck and great success. I think they’ll have great success. They have the foundation to do something really spectacular.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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