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Inauguration Day 2021 highlights: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris take office

The new president and vice president were sworn in on Inauguration Day 2021 without Donald Trump in attendance. Watch the inaugural performances, full speeches and highlights.
Image: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris on a background of blurry blue stripes with red, distorted stars.
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president on Wednesday, kicking off a day of fanfare that stood in stark contrast to a Washington devoid of crowds and on edge amid heightened security after the insurrection at the Capitol.

A star-studded, largely virtual celebration began following Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris' swearing-in at the West Front of the Capitol at a little before noon. Biden placed his hand on a more-than-100-year-old family Bible held by his wife, Jill Biden, to take the oath of office.

Only about 1,000 socially distanced guests, including former Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, attended the ceremony. Donald Trump was not present, making him the first president to skip a successor's inauguration since Andrew Johnson.

Lady Gaga sung the national anthem, which was followed by a virtual parade involving all the states and territories. A 90-minute TV special, "Celebrating America," hosted by Tom Hanks, airs Wednesday evening.

This live coverage has ended. For full politics coverage, head to

Read the highlights:

— In his inaugural address, Biden says "democracy has prevailed" and calls for an end to America's "uncivil war." Harris' historic moment.

— Trump pardons Steve Bannon and dozens of others in final hours in office; read the full list.

— Some QAnon followers lose hope after inauguration.

— Trump administration trying to sabotage Biden immigration plans with last-minute deals, say officials.

— Bernie Sanders, Lady Gaga and 'How it's going': Here are the best inauguration memes.

— Viewers' guide to Biden's Inauguration Day: Everything you need to know.

801d ago / 7:27 PM UTC

'It was about unity': Florida students watch inauguration

801d ago / 7:25 PM UTC

Man charged with assault for allegedly pinning officer in Capitol doors

801d ago / 7:16 PM UTC

'We all just got played': Some QAnon followers lose hope

801d ago / 7:05 PM UTC

Proud Boys member arrested for Capitol siege

801d ago / 6:59 PM UTC

As Biden is sworn in, reminders of Capitol riots linger

801d ago / 6:56 PM UTC
801d ago / 6:55 PM UTC

Congressional leaders present Biden, Harris with gifts

801d ago / 6:47 PM UTC
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Elation and speculation, after Trump's last minute protected status for Venezuelans

801d ago / 6:36 PM UTC
801d ago / 6:30 PM UTC

Bernie Sanders memes go viral on Twitter

801d ago / 6:29 PM UTC

The Trump years cost this Republican friends. Now he hopes for healing.

801d ago / 6:28 PM UTC

'Very happy old man': Greta Thunberg trolls Trump on his way out

801d ago / 6:26 PM UTC

Amanda Gorman trades post-inauguration tweets with Lin-Manuel Miranda

801d ago / 6:21 PM UTC

Biden family huddles as Harris looks on

801d ago / 6:17 PM UTC

Mitt Romney praises 'very strong' inaugural speech

801d ago / 6:12 PM UTC
801d ago / 6:09 PM UTC

Harris' alma mater Howard University congratulates her

801d ago / 6:08 PM UTC

Photo: Celebrations at Black Lives Matter Plaza

802d ago / 6:03 PM UTC

A Detroit mom's 'I could be next' party aims to inspire young Black girls

802d ago / 6:02 PM UTC

On Fox News, Chris Wallace and Karl Rove offer praise for Biden's speech

802d ago / 5:55 PM UTC

Americans celebrate inauguration at home with patriotic-themed food and games

802d ago / 5:54 PM UTC

Julián Castro finally gets the chance to say, 'Adiós, Trump'

802d ago / 5:51 PM UTC

Bipartisan lawmakers congratulate Biden and Harris

802d ago / 5:50 PM UTC

Trump, arriving in Palm Beach, waves to supporters

802d ago / 5:47 PM UTC

Biden, in first tweet as president, says he's going to Oval Office 'to get right to work'

802d ago / 5:44 PM UTC

Clinton offers congratulations and prayers: Inauguration 'affirmed our democracy'

802d ago / 5:44 PM UTC

Garth Brooks sings 'Amazing Grace'

802d ago / 5:40 PM UTC
802d ago / 5:39 PM UTC

'It opens the door': Jackson State University students celebrate inauguration

802d ago / 5:38 PM UTC

Los Angeles Public Library touts inaugural poet

802d ago / 5:34 PM UTC

Trump administration's 1776 Report page is down

802d ago / 5:31 PM UTC

At Texas restaurant, hopes for recovery and unity

802d ago / 5:29 PM UTC

Biden stresses his goal to unite America and end this 'uncivil war'

802d ago / 5:23 PM UTC
802d ago / 5:23 PM UTC

Meet Amanda Gorman, 22, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history

802d ago / 5:19 PM UTC

White House tweets unity message minutes after Biden assumes presidency

802d ago / 5:08 PM UTC

Booker: 'I can feel our ancestors rejoicing today'

802d ago / 5:01 PM UTC

It's Twitter official

802d ago / 5:00 PM UTC

JLo delivers a bilingual performance of "This Land Is Your Land"

802d ago / 4:54 PM UTC

In key Michigan county, Democrats toast Biden's arrival

802d ago / 4:51 PM UTC

View from the Mall: National Guard members salute as Lady Gaga sings national anthem

802d ago / 4:51 PM UTC

Covid-19 death toll tops 403,596 as Joe Biden takes office

802d ago / 4:50 PM UTC

Biden sworn in as the 46th president of the United States

802d ago / 4:45 PM UTC

Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president, first women ever to hold the office

802d ago / 4:45 PM UTC

Lady Gaga performs the national anthem

802d ago / 4:35 PM UTC

Minutes before inauguration, Trump adds one last pardon

802d ago / 4:34 PM UTC

Americans mark an unconventional inauguration

802d ago / 4:32 PM UTC

Photo: Barack Obama and Kamala Harris bump fists

802d ago / 4:24 PM UTC

People across U.S. made over 2,000 pieces of Indian art to welcome Harris

802d ago / 4:24 PM UTC

With ceremony underway, quiet on the National Mall

802d ago / 4:21 PM UTC

Snow begins to fall on inaugural attendees

802d ago / 4:17 PM UTC

Keke Palmer joins Jill Biden in first inaugural livestream for kids

802d ago / 4:14 PM UTC

Biden to use family Bible that dates back to 1893

802d ago / 4:12 PM UTC
802d ago / 4:12 PM UTC

Bernie Sanders attends inauguration in environmentally friendly gloves

802d ago / 4:10 PM UTC
802d ago / 4:05 PM UTC

6 Supreme Court justices are in attendance

802d ago / 4:04 PM UTC

Hero officer Eugene Goodman escorts Harris to inauguration

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802d ago / 4:03 PM UTC

Pence left a note for Harris

802d ago / 3:59 PM UTC

Supreme Court receives bomb threat, building and grounds checked

802d ago / 3:58 PM UTC

GOP objectors attend Biden inauguration

802d ago / 3:57 PM UTC

'After four long years, Europe has a friend in the White House': EU Commission president


802d ago / 3:57 PM UTC

Kamala Harris wears Black designers on Inauguration Day

802d ago / 3:56 PM UTC
802d ago / 3:48 PM UTC

Rep. Deb Haaland, first Native American to lead the Dept. of the Interior, is ready to work

802d ago / 3:46 PM UTC

Kamala Harris' sorority celebrates her becoming VP

802d ago / 3:43 PM UTC

Rep. Dan Kildee gives this inauguration a thumbs up

802d ago / 3:37 PM UTC

How ancestral village of Kamala Harris is celebrating inauguration

802d ago / 3:36 PM UTC

Photo: Lady Gaga arrives at the Capitol

802d ago / 3:35 PM UTC

Photo: This will be Biden's view from the Capitol

802d ago / 3:30 PM UTC

Biden, Kamala Harris arrive at Capitol for inaugural ceremony

802d ago / 3:25 PM UTC

S&P hits another record high ahead of Biden inauguration

802d ago / 3:23 PM UTC

Rubio says he's skipping Biden's inauguration to work on key Biden nominee's confirmation

802d ago / 3:21 PM UTC

Rubbing — and bumping — elbows at the inauguration

802d ago / 3:20 PM UTC

Biden, family and close friends attend pre-inaugural Mass

802d ago / 3:12 PM UTC

Former presidents arrive

802d ago / 2:57 PM UTC
802d ago / 2:57 PM UTC

Obamas congratulate former VP Biden on becoming president

802d ago / 2:54 PM UTC

'Something we can hang our hats on': Mississippi farmer hopes Biden brings opportunities

802d ago / 2:50 PM UTC

Golden State Warriors tweet video congratulating Oakland native Harris

802d ago / 2:35 PM UTC

Hillary Clinton celebrates Kamala Harris becoming first woman VP

802d ago / 2:33 PM UTC

Trump departs Washington in final hours as president, travels to Florida

802d ago / 2:30 PM UTC

Full list of Trump's last-minute pardons and commuted sentences

802d ago / 2:27 PM UTC

Surgeon General Adams says Biden team has asked him to resign

802d ago / 2:21 PM UTC
802d ago / 2:12 PM UTC

Biden, Harris inauguration underway amid Covid pandemic and D.C. lockdown

802d ago / 2:06 PM UTC

FIRST READ: How Joe Biden met the 2020 moment

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802d ago / 1:56 PM UTC

Trump in final remarks as president: 'We will be back in some form'

802d ago / 1:30 PM UTC

'It's going to be hard': Do Latino voters think Joe Biden can unite the country?

802d ago / 1:28 PM UTC
802d ago / 1:17 PM UTC

Trump, first lady leave White House for final time on Marine One

802d ago / 1:13 PM UTC
802d ago / 1:04 PM UTC

Pete Buttigieg says healing nation after last four years won't happen overnight

802d ago / 12:40 PM UTC

Trump administration trying to sabotage Biden immigration plans with last-minute deals, say officials

802d ago / 12:32 PM UTC

White House a bustle of activity on move-out day for Trumps

802d ago / 12:22 PM UTC
802d ago / 12:20 PM UTC

Biden to take immediate steps to undo key Trump initiatives, unveil immigration plan

802d ago / 12:19 PM UTC
802d ago / 12:17 PM UTC

'No choice but to be hopeful': Biden voters, in their own words, ahead of Inauguration Day

802d ago / 12:16 PM UTC
802d ago / 12:14 PM UTC

ANALYSIS: Trump leaves office with little to show of his major promises, and a legacy of violent divisiveness

802d ago / 11:55 AM UTC

Pelosi suggests Trump could be an accessory to murder for inciting Capitol attack

802d ago / 11:50 AM UTC

Trump signs last-minute executive order reversing five-year lobbying ban he instituted

802d ago / 11:29 AM UTC

Trump pardons Steve Bannon along with dozens of others in final hours in office

802d ago / 11:11 AM UTC

Increasingly militant 'Parler refugees' and anxious QAnon adherents prep for doomsday

802d ago / 5:17 AM UTC
802d ago / 10:35 PM UTC

McConnell says impeachment Thursday 'at the earliest'


802d ago / 10:24 PM UTC

Pence to return to Indiana on Wednesday