The day before the inauguration was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a federal holiday honoring the famed civil rights leader. Celebration of this day was especially poignant for Obama, the first African-American President.
On the day, Obama and Vice-president Joe Biden attended a private church service at St. John's Episcopal Church, a tradition for those about to become President and Vice-president. Obama and his wife, Michelle, had early-morning coffee with outgoing President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, at the White House. Then, it was off to the inauguration.
Rev. Rick Warren gave the invocation, poet Elizabeth Alexander read a poem, Aretha Franklin sang, noted cellist Yo-Yo Ma played, Rev. Dr. Joseph Lowery gave the benediction, and the U.S. Navy Band played the National Anthem.
Among the featured guests for the inauguration were the following:
Security was extremely tight, with more than 25,000 people making up the security detail. Attendance was at an all-time high, with more than two million packing the nation's capital to see the historic events.
Supreme Justice John Paul Stevens administered the Vice-presidential oath of office to Joe Biden. Then, it was Obama's turn.
Chief Justice John Roberts administered the Oath of Office. Obama said the words while his hand was on the Bible that Lincoln had used, in 1861. Then, Obama gave his inaugural address.