February 2013

Barack Obama Begins His Second Term as President

President Obama and the First LadyPresident Obama and the First Lady

President Obama and the First Lady
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama waved to the crowd during the Inaugural Parade.

The inauguration of Barack Obama was held on January 21, 2013, to celebrate the beginning of his second term as President of the United States. The public ceremony started at the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. A huge crowd of people watched as Vice President Joe Biden was first sworn in by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. A few moments later, President Obama was sworn in by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. President Obama took his oath by placing his hand over Bibles once owned by President Abraham Lincoln and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. First Lady Michelle Obama held the Bibles while their daughters, Malia and Sasha, looked on.

After being sworn in, President Obama made a speech about issues, such as equality for all people and protecting the environment, that he wants to focus on in his second term. He also stressed how important it is that the nation work together. He said, “Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people.” The Inauguration ceremony also included patriotic songs and the reading of a special inauguration poem.

More than 800,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C., for Inauguration Day. They came from all around the country to celebrate. People dressed in winter coats, gloves, and hats stood on the grassy area of Capitol Hill and on the National Mall all the way to Washington Monument. Many watched the ceremony on big screens, took cell phone photos, and waved American flags.

After the ceremony, the President and other government leaders had a special luncheon in the Capitol.  Following the luncheon was the Inaugural Parade. Thousands of people watched the parade follow the traditional route from the Capitol to the White House. At times, President Obama and the First Lady got out of their car to walk down the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue and wave to the crowd. The parade featured floats from the birth states of Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, and his wife, Dr. Jill Biden. Later that evening, the Obamas and the Bidens attended two Inaugural Balls.

Inauguration Day had special importance for many because it took place on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. On Saturday over the holiday weekend, the President and the First Lady volunteered at Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Day of Service. Every year, many people do volunteer work for a service project to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Image credit: ©Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Related Link

  • The 57th Presidential Inauguration
    Find out more about the inauguration by looking at photo galleries and reading President Barack Obama’s inaugural speech. You can also learn facts about this and past inaugurations.
Question 1
Who was sworn in before Barack Obama?

Question 2
What holiday was the same day as the Inauguration Day festivities?

Rate this story:
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars