Inauguration 2009 activities and on TV

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sunday, Jan. 18

* “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration at the Lincoln Memorial,” 6 to 8 p.m. on HBO (available to all cable and satellite subscribers as an open feed).

Musical performers scheduled for the event include Beyonce, Mary J. Blige, Bono, Garth Brooks, Sheryl Crow, Renee Fleming, Josh Groban, Herbie Hancock, Heather Headley, John Legend, Jennifer Nettles, John Mellencamp, Usher Raymond IV, Shakira, Bruce Springsteen, James Taylor,, and Stevie Wonder.

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Among those reading historical passages will be Jamie Foxx, Martin Luther King III, Queen Latifah and Denzel Washington. The Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson will give the invocation. Rob Mathes will be the music director and arranger for the backing band, which will support all of the artists. Additional performers will be announced as they are confirmed.

Tuesday, Jan. 20

10:30 a.m. — The inauguration begins with the Call to Order and welcoming remarks by Sen. Dianne Feinstein and the Invocation by the Rev. Dr. Rick Warren. The opening will also feature singer Aretha Franklin, music composed by John Williams and performed by Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero and Anthony McGill and the swearing-in of vice president elect Joe Biden.

11 a.m. — As specified by the U.S. Constitution, Barack Obama will take the oath of office with this simple, 35-word, statement:

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

11:05 a.m. — President Barack Obama will give his inaugural address, and the ceremony will conclude with the benediction given by the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery and the National Anthem performed by the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters.

1:30 p.m. (approximate) — Inaugural parade down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House.


Inauguration fun facts

George Washington’s inauguration was held in New York City on April 30, 1789.

Inauguration Day was changed to Jan. 20, from March 4, in 1933 by the passage of the 20th Amendment to the US Constitution.

Bill Clinton’s Jan. 20, 1997, inauguration was the first inauguration to be broadcast live over Internet.

George Washington gave the shortest inaugural address in history, with 135 words.

In 1865, Abraham Lincoln was the first president to include African-Americans in his inaugural parade.

In 1917, Woodrow Wilson was the first president to include women in his inaugural parade.

When Jan. 20 is on a Sunday, the president-elect takes the oath privately and repeats the ceremony in public the next day.

The theme for Barack Obama’s inauguration is “A New Birth of Freedom,” in honor of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth.