No longer just a hypothetical for an HBO comedy series, (although, shout out to you, Julia Louis-Dreyfus), America is finally getting its first female Veep. Joining President-Elect Joe Biden, Kamala Harris will make history as the first woman, first Black person and first South East Asian American to serve as Vice President of The United States. After defeating President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence in the 2020 election, the two will be sworn into office on Inauguration Day, taking place Wednesday, January 20, in Washington D.C..
Between the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by a mob of Trump supporters on January 6, this year’s event will look much different from any Inauguration Day before. For starters, the National Mall and Washington Monument are being temporarily closed to the public and Americans are being told to stay home and tune in remotely, There will also be up to 25,000 National Guard troops in place around the Capitol and around the city in response to security concerns. That’s five times the number of U.S. service members currently stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to NPR.
Despite the new health and safety guidelines, the day won’t be any less historic. The theme of the 59th presidential inauguration will be “America United,” the concept of which “reflects the beginning of a new national journey that restores the soul of America, brings the country together, and creates a path to a brighter future,” according to the announcement from the Presidential Inaugural Committee.
The inaugural ceremonies will begin with Lady Gaga performing the National Anthem and invocation around 11:30 a.m. ET. Harris will be sworn in by Supreme Court Justice, Sonia Sotomayor, the first Latina Supreme Court Justice and a fellow former prosecutor, shortly before noon. Her husband, who will become the country’s first Second Gentleman, Greg Emhoff is expected to be by her side. In tradition, President-elect Biden will then be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts at noon ET on the Capitol’s West Front, per tradition.
Later in the evening, Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lopez, Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and Ant Clemons, will perform on the Inauguration Day prime time TV special, Celebrating America. The 90-minute broadcast will be hosted by Tom Hanks and air on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and MSNBC at 8:30 p.m. ET.
No word on what the Vogue cover star plans to wear for her big day, but we wouldn’t be surprised if she once again went with white. On November 7, after she and Biden were declared the winners of the presidential election, the 51-year-old delivered an inspiring speech outside the Chase Center in Wilmington, Delaware. Walking out on stage to the song “Work That” by Mary J. Blige, Harris looked like she meant business wearing a crisp, white suit from Wes Gordan for Carolina Herrera’s Resort 2021 collection, teamed with a matching silk pussy-bow blouse. The white color choice was likely a nod to the suffragettes whose movement led to the ratification of the 19th Amendment in 1920, which granted women the right to vote.
“While I may be the first woman in this office, I will not be the last,” she told the drive-in crowd. “Every little girl that’s watching tonight sees that this is a country of possibilities.”
On January 18, the Howard University alum formally resigned her seat as one of California’s U.S. Senators. In a farewell address posted to Twitter, Harris said, “Of course, I’m not saying goodbye. In many ways, I’m now saying hello as your vice president.”
California Governor Gavin Newsom formally submitted the appointment of Alex Padilla as Harris’ replacement to the U.S. Senate, according to a press release from the governor’s office. Padilla formally resigned as Secretary of State and Gov. Newsom also submitted his nomination letter for Assembly member Shirley Weber to replace him.