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Inauguration Day: The defining images as Joe Biden becomes US president

Louise Hall
·1-min read
<p>Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States </p> (REUTERS)

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th President of the United States

(REUTERS)

At noon on 20 January 2021, the tumultuous and divisive Trump term ended and Joe Biden, the former VP and longtime senator with working-class Scranton roots, became the 46th president of the United States.

The swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday was a stark reminder of the uphill challenges that the new president faces in office.

Washington DC is surrounded by a ring of steel and troops reminiscent of a war zone following an insurrectionist siege at the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob earlier this month. And the capital, normally packed with jubilant scenes on such a historic occasion, is strangely empty due to pandemic precautions.

Here, The Independent, takes a look at the defining images on the day that the Biden era began.

Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol while his wife Jill Biden holds a bible. The president welcomed a ‘day of history and hope’ after taking the oath of office saying: ‘This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day.’REUTERS
Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th president of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol while his wife Jill Biden holds a bible. The president welcomed a ‘day of history and hope’ after taking the oath of office saying: ‘This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day.’REUTERS
Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the nation’s history, as well as the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent to hold the title. Spouse Doug Emhoff holds the bible and also makes history in becoming the first-ever second gentlemanREUTERS
Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president, becoming the first woman to hold the office in the nation’s history, as well as the first Black woman and first woman of South Asian descent to hold the title. Spouse Doug Emhoff holds the bible and also makes history in becoming the first-ever second gentlemanREUTERS
The ‘Field of Flags’ on the National Mall is seen in front of the Capitol building, representing those not able to attend the celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemicREUTERS
The ‘Field of Flags’ on the National Mall is seen in front of the Capitol building, representing those not able to attend the celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemicREUTERS
President Biden and wife Jill Biden descend the steps minutes before he officials became the 46th president EPA
President Biden and wife Jill Biden descend the steps minutes before he officials became the 46th president EPA
Barack Obama, America’s first Black president, fist-bumps Kamala Harris, the first Black vice presidentEPA
Barack Obama, America’s first Black president, fist-bumps Kamala Harris, the first Black vice presidentEPA
Former Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen Pence, the new Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Doug Emhoff walk down the stairs after the inauguration. Mr Pence attended the ceremony but not Donald Trump who left Washington before the ceremony beganREUTERS
Former Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen Pence, the new Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Doug Emhoff walk down the stairs after the inauguration. Mr Pence attended the ceremony but not Donald Trump who left Washington before the ceremony beganREUTERS
Donald Trump and Melania Trump at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before heading to their Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. Mr Trump is the first president in 152 years to refuse to attend the inauguration of their successorAFP via Getty Images
Donald Trump and Melania Trump at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before heading to their Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. Mr Trump is the first president in 152 years to refuse to attend the inauguration of their successorAFP via Getty Images
Some 25,000 National Guard troops have been brought in from across the country to ensure security on Inauguration Day amid security concerns following a pro-Trump mob’s attack on the Capitol on 6 JanuaryEPA
Some 25,000 National Guard troops have been brought in from across the country to ensure security on Inauguration Day amid security concerns following a pro-Trump mob’s attack on the Capitol on 6 JanuaryEPA
Attendance at Joe Biden’s inauguration was slashed to limited numbers in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Americans Getty Images
Attendance at Joe Biden’s inauguration was slashed to limited numbers in light of the coronavirus pandemic, which has claimed the lives of more than 400,000 Americans Getty Images
Fans of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders went wild for his unique mittens, which were reportedly made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vermont, as Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony unfoldedPOOL/AFP via Getty Images
Fans of Vermont senator Bernie Sanders went wild for his unique mittens, which were reportedly made by Jen Ellis, a teacher from Essex Junction, Vermont, as Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony unfoldedPOOL/AFP via Getty Images
Poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration, referencing Biblical scripture and at times echoing the oratory of John F Kennedy and the Rev Martin Luther King JrREUTERS
Poet Amanda Gorman reads a poem during the 59th Presidential Inauguration, referencing Biblical scripture and at times echoing the oratory of John F Kennedy and the Rev Martin Luther King JrREUTERS
Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem during the inauguration ceremony dressed in a custom Schiaparelli Haute Couture look that featured a gilded dove of peace broochREUTERS
Lady Gaga sings the National Anthem during the inauguration ceremony dressed in a custom Schiaparelli Haute Couture look that featured a gilded dove of peace broochREUTERS
The Washington Monument was closed to members of the public for Joe Biden’s inauguration, with the crowds replaced by a ‘Field of Flags’ exhibitionAP
The Washington Monument was closed to members of the public for Joe Biden’s inauguration, with the crowds replaced by a ‘Field of Flags’ exhibitionAP
Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff depart the East Front of the Capitol at the conclusion of the inauguration ceremonies for the Pass in Review with members of the militaryAP
Joe Biden, Jill Biden, Kamala Harris, and Doug Emhoff depart the East Front of the Capitol at the conclusion of the inauguration ceremonies for the Pass in Review with members of the militaryAP
Bill Clinton photobombed George W Bush as US leaders took selfies at Joe Biden inauguration. Mr Bush was posing with Democrat Jim Clyburn while Mr Clinton hovered in the backgroundGetty Images
Bill Clinton photobombed George W Bush as US leaders took selfies at Joe Biden inauguration. Mr Bush was posing with Democrat Jim Clyburn while Mr Clinton hovered in the backgroundGetty Images
Joe Biden and Jill Biden wave as they arrive at the North Portico of the White House, which has had its 132 rooms deep cleaned since Donald Trump’s departure in light of the coronavirus pandemicREUTERS
Joe Biden and Jill Biden wave as they arrive at the North Portico of the White House, which has had its 132 rooms deep cleaned since Donald Trump’s departure in light of the coronavirus pandemicREUTERS