On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump officially took the oath of office and became the 45th President of the United States. This was the 58th presidential inauguration, and the day was highly anticipated by many, with both celebrations and protests erupting across the country.
Events leading up to the inauguration included several traditional ceremonies, such as the Chairman’s Global Dinner, where Trump met with foreign diplomats, and the wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in the Arlington National Cemetery. Trump also hosted a “Make America Great Again! Welcome Celebration” on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial for his supporters the night of January 19. Features included performances by Lee Greenwood and 3 Doors Down, a speech by actor Jon Voight, and a concluding fireworks show.
On the morning of January 20, Trump and his family attended a church service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, led by Southern Baptist minister and Trump supporter Robert Jeffress. The Obamas and Bidens greeted the Trumps and Pences at the White House, and then everyone went to the Capitol Building for the inauguration ceremony.
Reports of how many people were in the crowd for the swearing-in ceremony vary, but may have been anywhere between two and six hundred thousand, and an estimated 30.6 million tuned in on their television. Former presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush as well as Hillary Clinton and Dick Cheney were also in attendance.
Pence was sworn in as the 48th Vice President of the United States, using his own personal Bible and the Bible of Ronald Reagan. After a performance of “America the Beautiful” by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Trump was sworn in as well, using a Bible gifted to him by his mother and the historic Lincoln Bible.
Trump then gave his inaugural address, one that emphasized nationalism and populism. At sixteen minutes, it was the shortest speech since Jimmy Carter’s 1977 inaugural address.
“Together, we will make America strong again,” Trump said in closing. “We will make America wealthy again. We will make America proud again. We will make America safe again. And yes, together, we will make America great again.”
Afterward, the traditional inaugural luncheon was held where, during his speech, Trump asked the room to give Hillary Clinton a standing ovation. Trump, Pence, and their respective spouses then marched in a parade down Pennsylvania Avenue, ending in front of the White House. This parade of 8,000 also included the Columbus North High School marching band, veterans, first responders, and representatives of every branch of the military.
Three inaugural balls were held that evening. The Trumps had their first dance to “My Way” by Frank Sinatra at the Liberty Ball and Freedom Ball in the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. At the Salute To Our Armed Services Ball in the National Building Museum, Trump addressed a crowd of military service members and spoke via satellite with active duty soldiers in Afghanistan.
Over the course of an already busy couple of days, multiple protests occurred across the country and in several other nations, inspired by Trump’s win and his subsequent inauguration. After his historic victory over Hillary Clinton, many demonstrations occurred outside of his buildings in New York, with frequent chants of “Not my president.”
At the inauguration, anti-Trump protesters attempted to shut down security checkpoints to prevent attendees from reaching the event. While a majority of protesters were peaceful, there was some vandalism and rioting, resulting in six security officers getting injured and 217 people arrested and facing felony charges.
Perhaps the most covered protest march following the inauguration was the Women’s March on Washington and the over 650 “sister marches” that took place on all seven continents. Over 4 million people attended the peaceful, bipartisan marches, and it holds the distinction of being one of the largest demonstrations in American history.
From protests to celebrations, Trump’s presidency has already been exciting and dynamic. We can only wait to see what the future holds.