Whether simple and unassuming, stately like George Washington's first inauguration, or the carefully choreographed fanfare of modern ceremonies, this occasion endures as a symbol of American democracy and represents the peaceful transfer of the power. A presidential inauguration is not found in the Constitution, but the ceremony held for more than 200 years marks the official beginning of a new or continuing presidency.
From a formal speech to joyful parades and balls, the festivities present the tone of a new administration and celebrate the culmination of the presidential campaign and election. The hard work of conducting this orchestrated ceremony is handled by a bipartisan Congressional committee. This tradition represents the temporary harmony of all three branches of government; usually the president is sworn in on the west steps of the U.S. Capitol by the Chief Justice of the United States and hosted by the Congress. Whether seen live, described in newspapers, heard on the radio or broadcast live online or on televisions across the nation, people across the country rejoice in this iconic American ceremony.
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