Skip to main content

From sunup to sundown (or past that), Inauguration Day was full of events — even with a virtual crowd. Here is a look back at the day in the nation’s capital.

Midnight Eastern Time

On Donald Trump’s last day as president, he issued 73 pardons and commuted 70 sentences, which included a Lakota woman.

READ: Lakota woman among Trump’s clemency action

Indian Country Today’s Washington bureau also described the unrecognizable city full of barricades, troops, and empty streets.

READ: #YDL: ‘Welcome to my world’

8 a.m.

Trump departed the White House for Florida and said, “We will be back in some form.”

Trump says, “I wish the new administration great luck and great success” at his send-off.

8:45 a.m.

President-elect Joe Biden and the first lady, vice president-elect and second gentleman attend a church service at the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle.

10:30 a.m.

President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris arrive at the east front of the U.S. Capitol.

11 a.m.

Some notable guests arrive at the swearing-in ceremony.

Mike Pence arrives at the inauguration.

The National Anthem is sung by Lady Gaga.

11:45 a.m.

Indian Country Today’s Washington team makes its way to Lafayette Park, behind the White House in 45-degree weather.

12 p.m.

Kamala D. Harris is sworn in as vice president by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, breaking barriers as the first woman of color to be vice president of the United States.

Joe R. Biden Jr. officially becomes the 46th president of the United States.

Biden gives his inaugural speech.

Poet and activist Amanda Gorman stuns the country and world with her gifts.

As part of the tradition since George Washington’s inauguration, the Pass in Review takes place.

While Biden and Harris lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, everyone at the White House prepares for the presidential escort.

The presidential escort began.

With Biden and his family walking on foot on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The president and first lady stop for photo opportunities outside the White House.

Behind Biden is Harris with her family.

4:30 p.m.

Our Washington bureau is done for the day from Lafayette Park.

In the last hour of the inauguration, the Native American Women Warriors, Nathan Apodaca, Northern Arapaho, and Shoshone Dancers, from the Wind River Reservation, and Native Hawaiians offered blessings virtually in the “Parade Across America.”

‘Parade Across America’ has Indigenous touch
Women Warriors, Nathan Apodaca to join inaugural parade

5:15 p.m.

The new president ordered a temporary moratorium on new oil and gas leasing in the Arctic wilderness and began revoking Trump's approval for the Keystone XL pipeline

READ: Biden puts US back in fight to slow global warming

Biden also said he plans to review the Trump administration's downsizing of two sprawling national monuments in the Southwest.

READ: Joe Biden says he'll review Bears Ears

7 p.m.

With a historic Inauguration Day, Indian Country was joining the celebration.

READ: Inauguration Day: ‘They’re very excited today’

8 p.m.

Hours after the swearing-in of Biden, the U.S. Interior Department announced key members of the agency, which include Native people.

READ: 2 of Interior’s top attorneys will be Native

Three new Democratic senators were also sworn into office by Vice President Harris, giving Democrats the majority in the Senate.

READ: Senate confirms 1st Biden Cabinet pick

ICT Phone Logo

Our stories are worth telling. Our stories are worth sharing. Our stories are worth your support. Contribute $5 or $10 contribution today to help Indian Country Today carry out its critical mission.