The presidential inauguration is an historic affair that dates back to our first President, George Washington. Barack Obama will be the 44th President and the first African American President to be sworn in. “A New Birth of Freedom is the theme for Barack Obama’s inauguration and commemorates the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The words come from the Gettysburg address, and express Lincoln’s hope that the sacrifice of those who died to preserve the nation shall lead to “a new birth of freedom” for our nation. Washington, DC is marking the Lincoln Bicentennial with a 4-month promotion featuring more than 80 events celebrating the life and legacy of President Lincoln.
Inaugural balls and parties take place at venues throughout the city, beginning approximately January 15 and ending the evening of January 20. The official balls are planned by the Presidential Inaugural Committee, which is established shortly after the election. Other balls are planned by the state societies. There will be many other balls and ceremonies held during the week.