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Joe Biden inauguration: how 20 January 2021 unfolded for US president - Donald Trump White House exit

The US President is celebrating one year in power - we look back on how his inauguration day unfolded

Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th US President on this day last year after defeating Donald Trump in the 2020 election.

The inauguration of the current US President took place on 20 January 2021, with the day itself the symbol of change in US politics.

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Out went former President Trump and the Republican administration; in came President Biden, a Democratic administration and a few other record breaking moments for the United States.

This is how the day panned out and the legacy that President Biden has created in his first 12 months in office.

What happened on inauguration day 2021?

Prior to the inauguration of Joe Biden, the day had been marred by the events of 6 January.

Angry Trump supporters breached the Capitol Building in Washington D.C in an attempt to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

In what was described as a shocking day in US history, insurrectionists smashed windows to the senate building and erected gallows outside as representatives were locked down inside the building.

They believed that Joe Biden had in fact not won the 2020 election, and that then-President Donald Trump has the victory stolen from him.

As a result of this event, there were fears over the safety of President Biden’s inauguration day.

However, the event when ahead as normal, although with precautionary Covid-19 measures such as social distancing, under the themes of “America United” and “Our Determined Democracy: Forging a More Perfect Union”.

President Biden put emphasis on this during his inaugural address, stating: “I pledge this to you: I will be a president to all Americans … and I promise you I will fight as hard for those who did not support me as for those who did.”

He also remarked on the inauguration of his Vice President Kamala Harris, who made history as the the first woman to take the role.

He said: “Here we stand 108 years ago, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote.

“Today we mark the swearing in of the first woman in American history elected vice-president - Kamala Harris.

“Don’t tell me things can’t change.”

Performers on the day included pop singer Lady Gaga, country musician Garth Brooks and poet Amanda Gorman.

Following the ceremony, prominent UK leaders sent their well-wishes to the newly elected President, including Boris Johnson, Nicola Sturgeon and Sir Keir Starmer.

How did Donald Trump leave the White House?

One person who did not attend the inauguration ceremony, marking a change in tradition, was outgoing President Trump.

While the outgoing president is always expected to attend the inauguration of the incoming leader as a mark of respect, Former President Trump became the first president in over a century to not attend his successor’s inauguration.

He instead left the White House with his family hours before the ceremony.

Trump said: “We’ve had an amazing four years and we’ve accomplished a lot.

“We love the American people and it has been something very special.”

Flying on the Marine One helicopter from the White House lawn, former President Trump and his wife Melania flew to Florida’s Mar-a-Lago.

Instead of attending Biden’s ceremony, Trump spoke publicly in Florida, saying in a speech that he wished the incoming administration “great luck and great success” - although did not name Joe Biden or Kamala Harris by name - before promising to his supporters that “we will be back in some form”.

Before he left office, former President Trump pardoned 73 people, including his former adviser Steve Bannon.

What has Joe Biden done in office so far?

One of the first major changed Biden made was resigning the Paris Climate Agreement, which President Trump had removed the US from while in office.

He restored membership on the first day of his presidency, as well as halting funding for Trump’s expansion of the Mexican border wall.

Biden also over saw major Covid-19 legislation, pledging that the aim was to vaccinate 100,000,000 American in his first 100 days in office.

His first major law was the introduction of a $1.9billion stimulus bill to temporarily help Americans facing financial difficulty as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

One of the points of contention for President Biden so far has been his handling of the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in the summer of 2021, marking the end of the War in Afghanistan.

US intelligence estimated that the withdrawal of troops from the country would lead to the fall of Kabul to the Taliban within months or weeks.

Instead, the Taliban quickly recaptured the city on 15 August 2021 as the withdrawn was taking place and US troop numbers were decreasing in the city.

President Biden has been criticised for his handling of the situation, after he admitted “this did unfold more quickly than we had anticipated”.

He attended COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow in November 2021, where he committed the US to cutting emissions in an agreement with China.

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