Dear Madame L,
I thought the inauguration was supposed to be on Monday (today), January 21, but yesterday they had inauguration ceremonies for Pres. Obama and Vice President Biden in the White House and the Naval Observatory. What was that all about?
When Do the New Terms Really Start?
Both terms started yesterday, Jan. 20, when the president and vice president were sworn in, in private ceremonies.
It had to be done that way because of the Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, which requires that the newly elected president and vice president be sworn in on the 20th of January, even if that day falls on a Sunday.
But the big parties and parades and speeches and hoopla will be today, Jan. 21. (And this has been done several times in the past, for the same reason.) Madame L thinks it's a great coincidence that the "public" inauguration celebrations are being held on the same day we celebrate the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., many of us by making it a day of service.
Congratulations, Mr. President, and best wishes for four years of being able to accomplish your worthy goals!