- President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in just before noon Wednesday.
- Security was tight after the January 6 riot by supporters of outgoing President Donald Trump.
- Follow Insider's coverage of key moments and highlights of the historic day.
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Former President Donald Trump officially departed Washington, DC, on Wednesday morning and his successor, President Joe Biden, was sworn in shortly before noon.
Biden's inauguration marks a historic end to Trump's rocky presidency and a tumultuous transition period in which the outgoing president refused to acknowledge his election loss and incited a violent insurrection at the US Capitol that resulted in five deaths.
Watch the inauguration ceremony below:
Scroll down for live coverage of the event:
Biden officially entered the White House as president on Wednesday afternoon. He was joined shortly afterward by Harris.
US presidents have traditionally invited their successors to the White House to meet before Inauguration Day. This is in addition to making sure that president-elects receive daily briefings and national security intelligence.
Trump, however, refused to acknowledge his election loss and not only delayed these critical briefings, but also didn't welcome Biden to the White House beforehand. The pair didn't meet or speak before Trump left for Florida ahead of the inauguration ceremony.
Harris, Emhoff, and their extended family walk down Pennsylvania Avenue
Shortly after, Harris walked into the White House for the first time in her new role as vice president.Bidens walk to the White House
Biden, with his family, walked down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. Biden's inaugural committee hosted a virtual inaugural parade in lieu of the usual in-person festivities.Biden, Harris, former presidents and former first ladies attend ceremony at Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Congressional leaders present gifts to Biden and Harris
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gifted Biden and Harris flags shortly after the inauguration.
Biden also signed three documents as part of inaugural tradition: an Inauguration Day proclamation, nominations for Cabinet positions, and nominations for sub-Cabinet positions.
—ABC News (@ABC) January 20, 2021
Biden posts his first tweet as president
The official presidential Twitter accounts are now in the hands of the Biden administration.
"There is no time to waste when it comes to tackling the crises we face," Biden tweeted Wednesday from his new Twitter account, @POTUS. "That's why today, I am heading to the Oval Office to get right to work delivering bold action and immediate relief for American families."Biden supporters celebrate in Washington, DC Protesters gather at the Capitol during Biden's inauguration
A small group of people holding anti-abortion and "Jesus saves" signs gathered north of the Capitol building. A man with the group yelled offensive and false attacks about Biden and Harris.Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman reads a moving piece at the ceremony
"For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us," said Amanda Gorman, a 22-year-old poet laureate whose historic speech has gone viral.
—Amanda Gorman (@TheAmandaGorman) January 20, 2021
Garth Brooks sings "Amazing Grace" Biden: 'We must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured'
"Let's start afresh, all of us. Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another, show respect to one another," Biden said in his inaugural speech after being sworn into office. "Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire, destroying everything in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war. And we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured."
"Disagreement must not lead to disunion," he added. "I will be a president for all Americans. And I promise you, I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did."
Biden went on to call for a end to "this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal," adding, "We can do this if we can open our soul instead of hardening our hearts."
The president also said he would work to "repair" the US's global alliances.
"We will lead not only by the example of our power but by the power of our example," he said.The Biden family embraces after the president's swearing-in Chief Justice John Roberts administered the oath of office to Biden, who was sworn in on his family's Bible
It was a large Bible.Singer Jennifer Lopez performs "This Land Is Your Land" and "America, The Beautiful" Vice President Kamala Harris was sworn in to office by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on a Bible that belonged to legendary Justice Thurgood Marshall
Harris "stands on the shoulders of so many on this platform who have forged the way to this day," Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said while paying tribute to the historic nature of the former California senator's position. "When she takes the oath of office, little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible."Lady Gaga, a longtime Biden ally, sang the national anthem
Biden and Lady Gaga worked together when he was vice president to campaign against sexual assault on college campuses.
Biden also introduced the singer at the 2016 Academy Awards.
—Lady Gaga (@ladygaga) January 20, 2021
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady Karen Pence attended Biden's inauguration
The Pences were among several prominent Republicans who went to Biden's inauguration. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy also attended.
McConnell and McCarthy skipped Trump's departure ceremony and instead attended mass with Biden before the inauguration, while Pence missed Trump's departure due to logistical issues.Trump lands in Florida
In his final hour as president, Trump issued a pardon to Albert Pirro Jr., the ex-husband of Fox News host Jeanine Pirro.Former presidents and first ladies attended the inauguration.
Former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former President George W. Bush and former first lady Laura Bush were all seen at Biden's inauguration ceremony.Supreme Court justices arrive
Trump-appointees Supreme Court Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett were among the inauguration's attendees.Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, one of Trump's most loyal attack dogs on Congress, attended the inauguration
"This is as close to pageantry as we get in America," Jordan told The Washington Post's Erik Wemple. "This day – this and the State of the Union address – I just think it's important that, that you attend those events."Lawmaker says she and several other House Democrats wore body armor under their jackets at Biden's inauguration
—Sarah Ferris (@sarahnferris) January 20, 2021
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, one of Trump's most stalwart defenders, was seen arriving at the Capitol for Biden's inauguration
Cruz and Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley led the congressional crusade for Trump's effort to overturn the results of the 2020 election.Biden's motorcade was seen arriving on Capitol Hill shortly before 10:30 a.m. ET
—Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) January 20, 2021
Former House Speaker Paul Ryan was spotted arriving at Biden's inauguration ceremony
Ryan had a rough tenure as House Speaker in the early days of the Trump presidency before he left public service.
—Igor Bobic (@igorbobic) January 20, 2021
Several thousand armed military personnel and law enforcement officials stood guard along an inner perimeter - an 8-foot tall fence topped with razor wire - surrounding the Capitol
Biden's inauguration comes as the nation's capital is heavily fortified amid continued threats from Trump supporters to disrupt the transfer of power. Around 25,000 troops have been deployed to Washington, DC, ahead of the inauguration, which is more than the number of US service members in Iraq and Afghanistan combined.
The FBI warned law enforcement authorities that some violent extremists, including followers of the far-right QAnon conspiracy theory, may try to pose as guardsmen to get through security at the inauguration, USA Today reported, citing two people familiar with the briefing.
On Tuesday, a dozen National Guard members were removed from protecting the inauguration after authorities discovered questionable behavior. Two out of the 12 had possible ties to extremist groups, The New York Times reported.After Trump departed on Air Force One, Biden, first lady Jill Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff attended a Catholic mass service at St. Matthew the Apostle Cathedral
A number of congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, joined the Bidens, Harris, and Emhoff for the service.The former president and first lady waved a final goodbye from Air Force One before heading to Florida
The Trump family took off for Florida as Frank Sinatra's "My Way" played over the loudspeakers to the crowd assembled at Joint Base Andrews.
—Emily (Larsen) Brooks (@emilyelarsen) January 20, 2021
"We were not a regular administration," Trump said during a short speech touting his accomplishments
"Have a good life, we will see you soon," Trump said as The Village People's "YMCA," one of his favorite songs at his campaign rallies, played over the loudspeakers.
In his speech, Trump thanked Vice President Mike Pence (who was not present at his farewell event), and wished the incoming administration luck without mentioning President-elect Joe Biden by name.
After saying goodbye to attendees, the Trump family boarded Air Force One and headed to Florida.A crowd, including members of Trump's family and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, was waiting for him at Joint Base Andrews Marine One did one final lap around Washington, DC.
The Trump family flew from the White House to Joint Base Andrews aboard Marine One.Shortly before 8:15 a.m. ET, Trump and former first lady Melania walked across the South Lawn to Marine One with only a small crowd of reporters present to see them off
—Jeff Mason (@jeffmason1) January 20, 2021
Shortly before 8 a.m. ET, Marine One landed on the South Lawn to take Trump to Joint Base Andrews.
Trump's departure from the White House was slightly delayed as was his farewell ceremony at Joint Base Andrews.Previously...
Wednesday's proceedings will begin with remarks from Father Leo J. O'Donovan, the former president of Georgetown University and a longtime friend of the Biden family. The ceremony will feature performances from prominent celebrities, including Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, and will wrap up with a benediction from Rev. Dr. Silvester Beaman.
In a stark contrast with previous presidential inaugurations, Trump and former first lady Melania Trump skipped Wednesday's inauguration.
Ahead of Wednesday's ceremonies, Biden made an emotional speech bidding farewell to his home state of Delaware and paying tribute to his late son, Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015.
"Excuse the emotion, but when I die, Delaware will be written on my heart," Biden said, in reference to the Irish poet James Joyce's famous quote in which he said Dublin was written on his heart.
Biden then mentioned Beau, saying, "Ladies and gentlemen, I only have one regret, that he isn't here, because we should be introducing him as president."
Trump, meanwhile, taped a 20-minute farewell speech that was posted to the White House's YouTube channel because the president has been banned on every major social media platform.
Though he acknowledged that Biden will take office on Wednesday, he did not mention his successor by name and did not concede that he lost the November general election.
"This week, we inaugurate a new administration and pray for its success in keeping America safe and prosperous. We extend our best wishes, and we also want them to have luck — a very important word," Trump said.