With the new Congress sworn in, Washington is now turning its attention to the next leaders to take the oath of office: President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
"I will be honored to again stand on the inaugural platform and take part in this important American tradition," Obama said.
Obama will be sworn in publicly for his second term by Chief Justice John Roberts on Jan. 21, Martin Luther King Day, at the U.S. Capitol, but he will be administered the actual oath a day earlier, as per the Constitution.
Vice President Joe Biden will be sworn in — as per his personal selection — by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, whom he called "a friend" by whom it would be "an incredible honor" to be given the oath.
Sotomayor will become the first Hispanic judge, and only the fourth woman, ever to have administered an oath of office.
The unusual practice of having separate official and ceremonial swearing-in ceremonies is taking place this year because Inauguration Day, Jan. 20, falls on a Sunday, when courts and other public institutions are closed.
As in years past, the Obama and Biden families called on Americans to participate in a National Day of Service Saturday, Jan. 19, in the run-up to the inauguration — this year in honor of Martin Luther King, given the ceremony's coinciding this year with the holiday that honors his birth.