How to Watch the Presidential Inauguration Online

5 Ways to Watch the Swearing in of the President of the USA

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The 2021 United States Presidential Inauguration will be held on Wednesday, January 20, 2021. On this day, the president-elect will be sworn in officially as the 46th President of the United States, saying these words:

"I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

This peaceful transfer of power happens every four years in the United States with the presidential election. With this presidential election comes an inauguration, a solemn yet celebratory affair that the entire nation watches with anticipation.

Trump Presidential Inauguration 2017 [Youtube, ABC News, 8:33:04]
Obama Presidential Inauguration 2013 [Youtube, NYT, 1:19:49]
Obama Presidential Inauguration 2009 [Youtube, C-SPAN, 21:50]

Here are a number of places you can enjoy the presidential inauguration festivities, live on the web:

Hands holding American flag and digital tablet at the White House
PeskyMonkey/iStock

The Presidential Inaugural Committee is the official place to find the latest and greatest streaming video and media for the Presidential Inauguration

Viewers can watch the actual swearing-in ceremonies live here; you can also view interactive maps of the Inaugural ceremonies, and watch the entertainers that will be participating in the Presidential Inauguration. More »

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Major News Sites

news outlets
Credit: Getty/Paul Bradbury

Every major news site will be offering dedicated coverage of the Presidential Inauguration, including:

The news station CNN usually schedules a special Presidential Inauguration feature; users are able to watch the inauguration online in tandem with other CNN users who are also their Facebook friends. Be sure to check out the CNN live feed.

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C-SPAN

Cspan

C-SPAN puts together a Presidential Inauguration Hub, with live video feeds from key events throughout the Presidential Inauguration in their online Control Room. Note: to make sure to get the best coverage of the presidential inauguration or any other live, historical event, be sure to check the C-SPAN schedule to understand when and what kind of coverage to expect.

For example, there are different C-SPAN channels that cover different proceedings. C-SPAN covers live events on the floor of the U.S. House of representatives. C-SPAN2 covers live floor proceedings in the U.S. Senate. C-SPAN3 covers events that are considered public affairs, congressional hearings, and other related history programming. When the House and Senate are not in session or there are historical events that take precedence (such as the presidential inauguration), C-SPAN carries live coverage. 

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Twitter

Twitter

Twitter is a literal fire hose of information, and can be a bit of an overload. However, if you're looking for live information on one of the most closely followed events worldwide, this is a great place to accomplish that.

Hashtags (keywords that help categorize information into more easily navigable topics) you'll want to follow:#inauguration, #president, and of course, the name of the candidate who has been chosen to take the oath of office.

In addition, you'll want to take a look at a few users that do a great job of covering inaugural events: the official White House Twitter account at https://twitter.com/whitehouse, the Marine Corp band at https://twitter.com/marineband, and the Secret Service at https://twitter.com/secretservice.

Watch Twitter carefully, especially making use of trending hashtags, to get a head start on any breaking news or interesting events that may happen during the course of the inauguration. Twitter users are usually among the first to make these known, and it's a great way to get live, breaking news from firsthand witnesses.

Last but not least, Twitter users compile lists, and these lists are exceedingly handy to follow since you don't have to go through and find all these different users yourself. For example, this list of breaking news  Twitter handles has almost every global source of news you can think of, from Al Jazeera to the BBC.

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Live streaming options

Live streaming of presidential inauguration
Credit: Getty

 Users can watch the presidential inauguration online and on connected devices via a variety of options:

  • New York Times Live Stream: a variety of coverage will be offered here, anything from parade interviews to the presidential swearing-in.
  • The Official White House Live Stream: This is the official headquarters of live-streamed events at the White House.
  • Politico Live Stream: The popular news pundit offers live streaming and news of the presidential inauguration.
  • The White House usually streams the inauguration live on its' YouTube channel.
  • Looking for a Spanish language version? Try Univision’s Spanish-language live stream of the inauguration.