Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

The second inauguration of President Barack Obama | Jan. 21, 2013

The theme

The official theme for the 57th presidential inauguration is "Faith in America's Future." It commemorates the United States' perseverance and marks the 150th anniversary of the placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol dome.

The oath ceremonies

The Constitution requires the president's term to start on Jan. 20, but because that falls on a Sunday this year, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will have two ceremonies: one today and a public ceremony on Monday, followed by a parade and inaugural balls.

Private ceremony: Obama's private swearing in will be a brief, sparsely attended ceremony in the Blue Room of the White House. Chief Justice John Roberts will administer the oath of office today just before noon, the time the Constitution says his second term begins. Obama's family will attend, along with a few reporters and television cameras. Obama is not expected to make a speech.

Biden's swearing in: Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in during a separate ceremony this morning at the Naval Observatory.

The Bibles: Obama will put his hand over the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s well-worn Bible at his public swearing in on Monday, the holiday celebrating the birthday of the slain civil rights leader. King's Bible will be stacked with the Bible used by President Abraham Lincoln at his first inauguration and in Obama's first inauguration.

For the private ceremony, Obama will use the family Bible of his wife's family. According to the inaugural committee, that Bible was a gift from the first lady's father, Fraser Robinson III, to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson, on Mother's Day in 1958.

Invocation: Myrlie Evers-Williams, widow of slain civil rights-era activist Medgar Evers. It will be the first time a woman, and a layperson rather than clergy, has done so.

Benediction: The Rev. Luis León, pastor of St. John's Episcopal Church, just across Lafayette Park from the White House.

Performers: The late Whitney Houston's performance of The Star-Spangled Banner at the 1991 Super Bowl is widely considered the gold standard. Could Beyonce top it on Inauguration Day? James Taylor will sing America the Beautiful and American Idol star Kelly Clarkson, My Country 'Tis of Thee.

Poet: Richard Blanco, 44, the author of three critically acclaimed collections, will be the youngest poet, the first Hispanic poet and the first gay poet to speak at an inauguration.

Crowd estimate: In 2009, about 1.8 million people poured onto the Mall to witness the first African-American president sworn into office. This time, District of Columbia officials estimate that 600,000 to 800,000 people will attend. George W. Bush's second inauguration attracted between 300,000 and 400,000 people. Bill Clinton's likely drew around 450,000.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Obama's inauguration Monday coincides with the national holiday celebrating the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. The inauguration has occurred one other time on the King holiday: President Bill Clinton's second inauguration, Jan. 20, 1997.

Where to watch

Today: Private swearing in: CNN, 10 a.m.; C-SPAN, 10:30 a.m.; Fox News Channel, 11 a.m.; MSNBC, 11:50 a.m.; ABC, 11:55 a.m.; CBS, 11:55 a.m. NBC, 11:55 a.m. Monday: Tampa Theatre will show the public inauguration on the silver screen. Doors open at 10 a.m. There is no charge; the theater is at 711 Franklin St., Tampa. TV times: C-SPAN coverage begins at 7 a.m.; CNN coverage begins at 9 a.m.; ABC, 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.; CBS, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; NBC, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; MSNBC, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Fox News Channel, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.; 9-10 p.m.

Inaugural luncheon

After the swearing-in ceremony and inaugural address, the president, vice president and guests will attend the inaugural luncheon inside the Capitol's Statuary Hall. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies is the host.

First course: steamed lobster with New England clam chowder sauce.

Second course: hickory-grilled bison with red potato horseradish cake and wild huckleberry reduction.

Third course: Hudson Valley apple pie with sour cream ice cream, aged cheese and honey.

The recipes: Care to try your hand at red potato horseradish cake or sour cream ice cream? Recipes are at

About the ''champagne:" The menu's dessert listing calls for "Korbel Natural, Special Inaugural Cuvee Champagne, California." That drew a sharp rebuke from the Champagne Bureau, a Washington lobby for the French Champagne industry. True Champagne, the bureau insists, can only come from the region of Champagne, France, and bubbly from anywhere else should only claim to be "sparkling wine," no matter how good it tastes.


The inaugural parade, with members from all branches of the military, marches down Pennsylvania Avenue NW from the Capitol to the White House, starting at 2 p.m. It will feature eight floats, made by a company that has been building presidential floats since the 1949 inauguration of Harry S. Truman.

Inaugural balls

This year Obama announced the number of inaugural balls would be reduced to just two official parties in an effort to reduce government spending.

Commander in Chief's Ball: Open to select members of the U.S. military, it is being doubled in size over four years ago to about 4,000 at the Washington Convention Center.

The Inaugural Ball: Also at the Washington Convention Center, expected to draw 35,000. A limited number of tickets were released to the public but are no longer available. Many state, corporate and private balls are held in hotels and museums around D.C. Most are sold out.

The Florida Ball: Members of Florida's congressional delegation planned to attend the "Sunshine and Stars" inaugural ball Saturday night in Washington. The event had some powerful corporate sponsors, including CSX, Florida Blue, Florida Sugar Cane League and TECO Energy, according to an invite posted by the Sunlight Foundation. It benefits Florida House and the Florida State Society.

Washington Post, Associated Press, McClatchy Newspapers, New York Times

The second inauguration of President Barack Obama | Jan. 21, 2013 01/19/13 [Last modified: Saturday, January 19, 2013 9:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Review: Mumford and Sons shower Amalie Arena with love in euphoric Tampa debut


    There are releases, and then there are releases. And minutes into their concert Wednesday at Amalie Arena, Mumford and Sons gave Tampa the latter.

    Mumford and Sons performed at Tampa's Amalie Arena on Sept. 20, 2017.
  2. FEMA to open disaster recovery center in Riverview


    The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it will open a disaster recovery center Thursday in Riverview for Hillsborough County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma.

  3. Life sentence for man convicted in killing of brother of Bucs' Kwon Alexander


    An Alabama man who shot and killed the 17-year-old brother of Bucs linebacker Kwon Alexander in 2015 was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday, the Anniston (Ala.) Star reported.

  4. Remember him? Numbers prove Ben Zobrist is one of greatest Rays of all time

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The first foray back to the Trop by the best manager the Rays have had obscured the second return visit by arguably the second-best player in franchise history.


    Chicago Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist (18) grounds into a double play to end the top of the third inning of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017.
  5. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest


    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]