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The 1997 Inauguration

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[PHOTO: The President,
Vice President, First Lady and Mrs Gore on stage at the Inaugural 
Gala]

The President, Vice President, First Lady and Mrs Gore on stage at the Inaugural Gala


The swearing-in of President Bill Clinton on January 20, 1997, marked the last Presidential Inauguration of the 20th century. Thousands of people gathered in Washington, DC, and millions more across the country and all over the world joined the ceremony by radio, television and computer. The Inaugural
[PHOTO: The President,
Vice President, First Lady and Mrs Gore on stage at the Inaugural
Gala]

A view of the Capitol Steps during the Inauguration Ceremony

celebration combined tradition with innovation, bringing together citizens from all walks of life not only to honor the President and Vice President, but also to celebrate the larger American family and the enduring promise of our great nation.



[PHOTO: Vice President
Gore takes the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol]

Vice President Gore takes the oath of office on the steps of the Capitol


The public festivities included a rehearsal for the Presidential Gala that was held the following night -- an evening of music and community spirit where some three million pounds of canned goods were donated by concertgoers to benefit local food banks. On Saturday and Sunday, despite freezing
[PHOTO: Looking east at 
the Capitol steps during the Inauguration Ceremony]

Looking east at the Capitol steps during the Inauguration Ceremony

temperatures, crowds gathered on the Mall to enjoy regional food and music, interactive technology displays, and discussions with noted American thinkers. Meanwhile, Inaugural planners checked their lists and made sure everything was in place for Monday's historic events.



[PHOTO: President Clinton 
addresses the crowd from the steps of the Capitol during the Inauguration
Ceremony]

President Clinton addresses the crowd from the steps of the Capitol during the Inauguration Ceremony

President Bill Clinton's schedule on Inauguration Day began with a morning prayer service at the Metropolitan A.M.E. Church near the White House. By the time he reached the west front of the Capitol for his swearing-in, thousands of people had gathered on the Mall to share in the special moment.
[PHOTO: The President and
First Lady at the Inaugural Meal in the Capitol]

The President and First Lady at the Inaugural Meal in the Capitol

After the Reverend Billy Graham gave the invocation and those assembled had said the Pledge of Allegiance, Associate Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg administered the oath of office to Vice President Al Gore. Then, famed soprano Jessye Norman sang a medley of patriotic songs and spirituals, preparing the audience for the central rite of the day.



[PHOTO: The President, 
First Lady and Chelsea walk down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration
day]

The President, First Lady, and Chelsea walk down Pennsylvania Avenue on Inauguration day

Surrounded by members of Congress, Justices of the Supreme Court, dignitaries, family and friends, the President stood nest to his daughter, Chelsea, and rested his left hand on a family Bible held by Mrs. Clinton. He repeated the oath of office administered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist,
[PHOTO: President Clinton and Vice 
President Gore share a happy moment with their families on Inauguration
Day]

President Clinton and Vice President Gore share a happy moment with their families on Inauguration Day

ending with the traditional words, "So help me God." Afterwards, the National Anthem was sung, and Arkansas poet Miller Williams read a poem, specifically written for the Inauguration, called "Of History and Hope."



[PHOTO: Photographer takes
a picture of the Bridge to the 21st Century on the
Mall]

Photographer takes a picture of the Bridge to the 21st Century on the Mall

Inauguration Day, 1997, coincided with the national holiday commemorating the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. President Bill Clinton’s second Inaugural Address paid tribute to Dr. King’s legacy by calling on Americans of all races, cultures, religions, and backgrounds to heal divisions and to become one community to face the challenges ahead. He
[PHOTO: Notes from 
well-wishes posted on the Bridge to the 21st Century on the 
Mall]

Notes from well-wishes posted on the Bridge to the 21st Century on the Mall

asked his listeners to remember the goals of our nation’s founders, strengthening the American Dream of opportunity for all. After the ceremony’s final blessing, the President and other guests gathered in the Capitol’s Statutory Hall to eat a meal based on recipes from Thomas Jefferson’s era. The President also issued a special Inaugural Proclamation declaring a "National Day of Hope and Renewal."

[PHOTO: The President and
First Lady prepare to attend one of the 16 Inaugural
Balls]

The President and First Lady prepare to attend one of the 16 Inaugural Balls

The First Family later participated in the Inaugural Parade, first by car, and then by walking the last few blocks to the White House, where they watched the colorful procession of military formations, floats, and performers
[PHOTO: The President,
with the First Lady at his side, addresses the crowd at one of the
Inaugural Balls]

The President, with the First Lady at his side, addresses the crowd at one of the Inaugural Balls

from across the country. That evening, President and Mrs. Clinton visited each of the 14 official Inaugural Balls taking place around Washington, D.C. They enjoyed visiting with friends, greeting well-wishers, and taking part in a truly national celebration of our unique and wonderful democracy.



[PHOTO: The President and
First Lady enjoy a dance on stage at one of the Inaugural
Balls]

The President and First Lady enjoy a dance on stage at one of the Inaugural Balls


The Clinton Inaugurations


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