Second inauguration of Bill Clinton

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Second presidential inauguration of
Bill Clinton
Bill Clinton takes the oath of office for his second term
DateJanuary 20, 1997; 27 years ago (1997-01-20)
LocationUnited States Capitol,
Washington, D.C.
Organized byJoint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies
ParticipantsBill Clinton
42nd president of the United States
— Assuming office

William Rehnquist
Chief Justice of the United States
— Administering oath

Al Gore
45th vice president of the United States
— Assuming office

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States
— Administering oath
← 1993
2001 →

The second inauguration of Bill Clinton as the 42nd president of the United States was held on Monday, January 20, 1997, at the West Front of the United States Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. This was the 53rd inauguration and marked the commencement of the second and final term of Bill Clinton as president and Al Gore as vice president. This was the last presidential inauguration to take place in the 20th century,[1] the last in the 2nd millennium, and the first to be streamed live on the internet.[2][3]

Inaugural ceremony[edit]

Hillary, Bill, and Chelsea walking the inaugural parade route

Reverend Billy Graham gave an invocation to start the ceremony followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave the oath to office for Vice President Al Gore. Jessye Norman, the famed Georgian opera singer, then serenaded the crowd with a medley of patriotic songs. Following the performance, surrounded by members of Congress dignitaries, Justices of the Supreme Court, family, and friends, Bill Clinton stood next to his daughter while his wife held the Bible. The oath to office was administered by Chief Justice William Rehnquist[1] at 12:05 pm.[4] The oath was ended with the traditional words, "So help me God." The National Anthem was sung by Santita Jackson,[5][6] daughter of renowned civil rights activist Jesse Jackson,[6] and then Arkansas poet Miller Williams read "Of History and Hope", a poem he wrote for the occasion. President Clinton's inaugural speech followed. The inauguration was celebrated that night by 14 different official galas held in honor of the President and First Lady.[1]

January 20, 1997, was also Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The President's speech addressed King and his legacy as a champion of African-American rights and freedoms during the civil rights era. In addition, luncheon was held after the oath was taken at the Capitol's Statuary Hall that was based on traditional recipes from President Thomas Jefferson's era.[1]

Miller Williams, a poet from Clinton's home state of Arkansas, penned the poem "Of History and Hope" especially for the day.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "The 1997 Inauguration". Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  2. ^ "53TH INAUGURAL CEREMONIES". United States Senate. Retrieved June 15, 2021.
  3. ^ Wolly, Brian. "Inaugural Firsts". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  4. ^ Mitchell, Alison (1997-01-21). "Clinton, Sworn in for 2d Term, Assails 'Bickering and Extreme Partisanship'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-12-25.
  5. ^ "User Clip: Clip: President Clinton 1997 Inaugural Ceremony |". Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  6. ^ a b "From Jessye Norman to Jackie Evancho: US presidential inauguration performers through the years". The Telegraph. 2017-01-19. ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2020-11-05.
  7. ^ " Inauguration '97". Retrieved 2019-12-25.

External links[edit]