Outspoken businessman and former reality TV star Donald Trump became the 45th president of the United States Friday, Jan. 20, taking command of a deeply divided nation.
His victory gives Republicans control of the White House for the first time in eight years.
Looking out over the crowd spread across the National Mall, Trump painted a picture of what the nation he now leads will look like these next four years. He vowed to stir “new national pride,” bring back jobs and “eradicate completely” Islamic terrorism.
“From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only, ‘America First,’” Trump said in his 16-minute address.
Chief Justice John Roberts swore in Trump as light rain began to fall, and the new president stepped forward to address America. He recited the 35-word oath with his hands placed on two Bibles; one used by his family and the other was used during the inauguration of president Abraham Lincoln.
While Trump’s inauguration drew crowds to the nation’s capital to witness history, some stayed away in protest. More than 60 House Democrats refused to attend his swearing in ceremony in the shadow of the Capitol dome. However, one Democrat who did sit among the dignitaries was Hillary Clinton, Trump’s campaign rival.
At 70, Trump is the oldest person to be sworn in as president, whereas Barack Obama was one of the youngest presidents to serve as commander in chief.
Trump is also the first president to take office without ever having held a political position or served in the military.
Before being sworn in, Trump followed the inauguration traditions. He started the morning with a church service with his family. Trump and his wife, Melania, had tea at the White House with Obama and outgoing first lady Michelle Obama.
Like every inauguration, all living American presidents attended the swearing-in ceremony, except for 92-year-old George H.W. Bush, who was hospitalized this week with pneumonia. His wife, Barbara, was also admitted to the hospital after falling ill.
At the end of his speech, Trump promised America that the people’s voices will be heard, no one will be ignored and that America will be great again.
“So to all the Americans, in every city near or far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words: You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes and your dreams will define our American destiny. And your courage and goodness and love will forever guide us along the way. Together, we will make America great again,” Trump said.