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Jan. 20, 2021, 4:38 p.m. EST

8 memorable moments from Joe Biden’s inauguration

President Biden was sworn in alongside star performances from Lady Gaga, J-Lo and poet Amanda Gorman

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By Nicole Lyn Pesce


MarketWatch photo illustration/Getty Images

Hail to the new chief.

Joe Biden has taken the oath of office as the 46th president of the United States, and the unprecedented inaugural ceremony saw reduced crowds and heightened security due to the dual threats of the pandemic and possible violence following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol.

Watch: Joe Biden sworn in as 46th U.S. president: live updates and video

If you were unable to tune into the live broadcast, here are some of the most stirring speeches and performances that marked the inauguration of President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.

Past presidents and first ladies arrive — with some notable exceptions.

Former commander-in-chiefs arrived to honor the peaceful transition of power on Wednesday, including Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, as well as former first lady, presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and previous FLOTUSes Michelle Obama and Laura Bush.

Outgoing President Donald Trump became the first POTUS in over a century to snub his successor’s inauguration, however. He and first lady Melania Trump departed the White House earlier Wednesday morning, with Trump saying “We will be back in some form,” before boarding Air Force One for the last time at Joint Base Andrews. He added, “Have a good life,” on his way out.

Related: Trump Hints at Comeback as His Presidency Ends

Former President Jimmy Carter, 96, also missed the inauguration — the first time he hasn’t been at an inaugural event in 44 years. A spokesperson released a statement saying that Carter and his wife Rosalynn, 93, “will not travel to Washington for the inauguration but have sent their best wishes to President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris and look forward to a successful administration.”

Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden also made waves with their inaugural outfits. .

Related: Inauguration fashion: Purple, American designers, pricey sneakers — and Bernie Sanders’ mittens

The former FLOTUS donned a plum Sergio Hudson suit, while the new FLOTUS wore a custom ocean blue Markarian matching coat and dress.

Sonia Sotomayor swears in America’s first female vice president.

The first Hispanic and Latina member of the Supreme Court administered the oath of office to the country’s first Black, Asian and female Vice President on Wednesday.

In fact, Sotomayor, who grew up in the Bronx, New York, swore in Biden for his second term as vice president in 2013.

Harris used two Bibles : one belonging to family friend Regina Shelton, and one previously owned by the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, who was the first Black member of the Supreme Court.

Lady Gaga gives the mother of all national anthem performances.

In between the swearing-in of Harris and Biden, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta — aka Lady Gaga — decided to go for the gold while belting the “Star-Spangled Banner.” As in, she grasped a gold microphone and sported an oversized gold dove brooch pinned to her Schiaparelli couture dress.

The ensemble drew comparisons to both “Game of Thrones” dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen and “The Hunger Games” escort Effie Trinket.

But her performance scored rave reviews.

Joe Biden takes the oath of office on his family’s 127-year-old Bible.

Biden, the country’s second Catholic president after John F. Kennedy, was sworn in by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts while placing his hand on a Bible that has been in his family since 1893.

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