On this day in 2009, Democrat Barack Hussein Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. Obama made history as the first African-American President. January 20th has been the official ‘Inauguration Day’ of the President since the 20th Amendment in 1933, when it had been 4th March. On this day in 2009, the four year term of Barack Obama as President and Joe Biden as Vice President began. It was one of the most observed events in global history, with millions watching in person, online, or on television.
The theme of the inauguration was ‘A New Birth of Freedom’ (from the Gettysburg Address) to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of 16th President Abraham Lincoln. Obama was sworn into office by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts, who administered the oath of office required by the Constitution in Article Two, Section One, Clause Eight: “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.” However, the oath administered to Obama strayed slightly from these exact words and thus he retook the oath the next evening.
Obama’s inaugural address was a call to restore responsibility in Washington and amongst ordinary people. Since this day, Obama has served 4 years in the White House, dividing opinion across the country. We have yet to see the results of the 2012 presidential election, but it could be that on this day next year a new, Republican President could be being sworn in.