Every four years, the country watches as the chief justice of the United States swears in the president. The 57th presidential inauguration is only two weeks away, and AAUW has everything you need to know to celebrate the occasion in Washington, D.C., or from the comfort of your own home. Start by watching this newly released video (“January 20th, 2009” By Tanya Somanader) about the inauguration, and read below for our tips!
- Inauguration Day, including the public swearing-in ceremony, inaugural parade, and official inaugural balls, will take place on Monday, January 21, 2013. Many states throw their own inaugural balls — ask your members of Congress if your state is hosting one.
- You can request free tickets to the swearing-in ceremony from your members of Congress. Each office uses a different process to distribute a limited number of tickets — tickets are very limited, so be sure to request tickets as soon as possible to increase your chances of receiving them.
- If you are unable to get a ticket to the swearing-in ceremony, public viewing areas will be set up along the National Mall beginning at Fourth Street Northwest. No tickets are required to watch the swearing-in ceremony from these areas.
- The Presidential Inauguration Committee website should be your first stop, whether you are coming to Washington, D.C., or participating from home. The site contains information about the festivities and the National Day of Service on January 19, an opportunity to sign up for e-mail updates, and fun facts about past inaugurations.
If you’re coming to Washington, D.C.
- Contact your members of Congress. They have staff trained to help you plan your trip; in addition to inauguration tickets, your member of Congress may also be able to get you tickets for a tour of the U.S. Capitol, White House, Library of Congress, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Supreme Court, or Pentagon. Visit your member of Congress’ website for more information. You can look up your representative’s contact information on www.house.gov and your senators’ contact information on www.senate.gov.
- The Presidential Inauguration Committee website contains a schedule of events, information on volunteering and requesting public tickets to the 2013 inaugural balls, and other useful information. Make sure to sign up for e-mail updates so you can receive the latest details!
- Another good source is the D.C. government’s Inauguration 2013 website, which includes information on getting to and around D.C., a list of prohibited items for inauguration events, maps of the area, and tips for the weekend. While you’re in town, don’t forget to check out the national monuments and parks and the Smithsonian museums.
- Don’t miss the Newseum’s AAUW-sponsored exhibit, Every Four Years: Presidential Campaigns and the Press, which explores the evolution of media coverage of presidential campaigns.
- Of course, we’d love for you to visit us here at AAUW headquarters! We are fortunately situated at 1111 16th St. NW, just a few blocks away from the White House. Call ahead at 202.785.7793 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a tour of our building, where you can meet AAUW staff and view treasures from our 132-year history.
- The inauguration is an exciting time, with events happening around every corner! Special events are available through places such as the Newseum and M Central (a new venue for millennials to connect during inauguration weekend).
If you can’t make it to Washington, D.C.
- Key events throughout Inauguration Day, typically the president’s speech and excerpts from the inaugural parade and balls, will be televised on news networks. Why not host an inauguration watch party for your AAUW branch and potential members? The parade will begin on Monday, January 21, at 2:30 p.m. EST, and the timing of other Inauguration Day events will be announced shortly. E-mail us at email@example.com to let us know if you’ll be hosting an inauguration watch party, and remember to take (and send us) pictures!
- The Presidential Inauguration Committee website has many suggestions for participating virtually, including e-mail updates and social media. You can share your favorite memories from the 2009 inauguration on the site and follow the official inaugural committee on Twitter and Facebook.
- Join your fellow citizens nationwide in the National Day of Service on Saturday, January 19. Consider starting your own volunteer project or volunteering as an AAUW branch. As always, AAUW’s Facebook and Twitter pages are a great resource for receiving updates on current events, including the inauguration. “Like” AAUW and the AAUW Action Fund on Facebook, and follow AAUW, AAUW Public Policy, and the AAUW Action Fund on Twitter.