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The Inauguration Of Joe Biden And Its Place In History

Members of the National Guard gather at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol, ahead of the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Washington, DC.
Members of the National Guard gather at a security checkpoint near the US Capitol, ahead of the 59th inaugural ceremony for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris in Washington, DC.

January 20th represents an inauguration day unlike any other.

There are about 25,000 National Guard troops lining the streets of Washington, D.C. The city has been locked down in the days leading up to the Biden inauguration.

There is a lot of lingering tension and fear of additional violence because of the insurrection at the Capitol incited by President Trump. But it’s not the first time a president has been sworn into office against a backdrop of unease or disorder.

President James Buchanan, famous for ignoring the threat of civil war in the mid-nineteenth century, was staying in a hotel before he became president when he and all the other guests fell ill with a mysterious affliction that killed 36.

The White House reception that followed the inauguration of President Andrew Jackson in 1829 also did not go as planned. The crowd attending was much larger than normal for a post-inauguration party. What was meant to celebrate Jackson’s presidency soon turned into a frenzy, with guests breaking dishes and looting rooms.

How do things look in the nation’s capital for the Biden inauguration? And how does this inauguration fit into the history of the ceremony?

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5. To see more, visit WAMU 88.5.


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