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When is Inauguration Day, what is the Presidential Oath of Office and what events take place?

The presidential inaugural day will be held on January 20, 2025. These are the events that take place during the ceremony.

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The presidential inaugural day in the US occurs every four years on January 20 (about 79 days after the election), for each new presidential term. However, it is moved to January 21 if January 20 falls on Sunday. This ceremony usually takes place in the US Capitol building in Washington.

The first US Inauguration was that of George Washington which was held on April 30, 1789, on the balcony of the Federal Hall in New York. However, in 1937, the ceremony was set to take place at noon EST in January, the first day of the term. This practice has stayed to date. The most recent presidential Inauguration was the Inauguration of Joe Biden which was held on January 20, 2021.

The next presidential inauguration will be held on January 20, 2025. A mandatory part of the inaugural ceremony is the recitation of the presidential oath of office. The expectation is that either Joe Biden, the Democrat candidate, or Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, will be sworn in. 

What is the Presidential Oath of Office?

During the inaugural ceremony, the Vice President, President, and other government officers recite the Presidential Oath of Office according to the US Constitution (Article II, Section One, Clause 8). This oath is typically administered by the Chief Justice of the United States.

The vice president is sworn in first during the oath-taking ceremony, followed by senators, representatives, and other government officers using the current form of oath-taking adopted in 1884;

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will beart true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation o  r purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”

At noon, the new presidential and vice-presidential term begins and the president is called upon to recite the constitutionally mandated oath of office:

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

Events that take place on the Inauguration Day

The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies (JCCIC) organizes the inauguration event. The event usually includes the swearing-in ceremony, the inaugural address by the president, and the pass-in review. 

Aside from the oath-taking, there is no other constitutional mandate on this day. However, the newly sworn-in president typically throws in concerts, parades, and balls to create several days’ worth of festivities during their inauguration.

In 2021, however, there was a twist in the tradition by President Joe Biden. This was due to the COVID-19 pandemic during that period. The marching bands were replaced by a virtual parade and the crowd demanding events were replaced by American flags fluttering on the National Mall. All these were forms of precaution to reduce the spread of the virus.

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