In the US, we’ve been seeing historical moments happen all month, and this week was no different – so for that reason, this week’s blog post will be giving you everything you need to know about the beginning of Joe Biden’s presidency. Even though the US is far away from us here in the UK, you’ll soon realise that politics links the whole world together.
Let’s start with Wednesday, 20th January – the inauguration. This year, it truly was a both historical (as Prime Minister of the UK, Boris Johnson called it) and magical day. Snow was falling and the Capitol was almost deserted, with only few notable attendees due to the pandemic and the recent attack on the Capitol. Around 200,000 American flags filled the National Mall, in place of what would have been crowds of Biden’s supporters.
An inauguration marks the beginning of the four-year presidential term and is a big ceremony that takes place at the Capitol to see the swearing of oaths by the new President and Vice President. President Biden took his oath on a Bible with a Celtic cross that has been in his family since 1893, and Vice President Harris took hers on a Bible owned by Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American to fill a seat in the Supreme Court.
There were many highlights to take away from Wednesday’s event: a beautiful poem read by Amanda Gorman (the first National Youth Poet Laureate in the US), an incredible and heartfelt speech from President Biden, performances from Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez and the attendance of three former US presidents. Although for me, the main highlight (aside from the meme of Bernie Sanders taking over social media) was the outfits! Monochrome outfits from the Biden family and Michelle Obama stole the show in my opinion – comment your highlight of the inauguration for us to see in the comment section below!
After the inauguration, Biden spent no time lazing around and was quick to undo Trump’s legacy by signing 17 executive orders. Some of these focused on: ending the travel ban from seven mainly-Muslim countries, rejoining the Paris climate accord, mandating masks in federal buildings and lands and more. An executive order is a written and published directive from the President that doesn’t have to go through Congress.
It’s been a historical week in the US, but hopefully next week I’ll be back to you with some politics and news from the UK – until then, have a lovely weekend!
Written by Alisha Mafaas
Secretary of the Youth Cabinet and Representative for Crawley