Inauguration Day Coverage and Celebrating America: A PBS NewsHour Presentation

January 19, 2021

Inauguration Day is Wednesday, January 20. THIRTEEN news and public affairs programs, including PBS NewsHour, MetroFocus and Amanpour and Company, will provide coverage and analysis of the historic day when Joe Biden is inaugurated as the nation’s 46th president and Kamala Harris is sworn in as it’s first vice president who is a woman, who is Black, and who is of South Asian descent. All of THIRTEEN’s broadcasts are live streamed at

Inauguration Ceremony Coverage January 20

On Wednesday, January 20 beginning at 10:30 a.m., THIRTEEN will broadcast live Presidential Inauguration Day Coverage from PBS NewsHour. The special will include the swearing-in of the 46th President of the United States Joseph R. Biden and the 49th Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris. The broadcast will be anchored by managing editor Judy Woodruff, with contributions from White House correspondent Yamiche Alcindor, Capitol Hill correspondent Lisa Desjardins, senior national correspondent Amna Nawaz, national correspondents William Brangham and John Yang, and foreign affairs and defense correspondent Nick Schifrin, among other NewsHour talent and guests. Anchored coverage is expected to continue through 3 or 3:30 p.m.

Inauguration Day Schedule of Events

11 a.m. – Joe Biden arrives at the U.S. Capitol.

11:15 a.m. – The inauguration program begins.
–Invocation – Father Leo J. O’Donovan
–Pledge of Allegiance – Andrea Hall
–National Anthem – Lady Gaga
–Poetry Reading – Amanda Gorman
–Musical Performance – Jennifer Lopez

12 p.m. – Biden is sworn in as 46th president.

2:30 to 3 p.m. – Biden lays a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier with Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff;President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama;President George W. Bush and Laura Bush; and President Bill Clinton and Secretary Hillary Clinton.

3:15 to 3:30 p.m. – Joe and Jill Biden receive presidential military escort to the White House.

PBS NewsHour will provide anchored coverage through President Biden’s afternoon arrival at the White House. Coverage will continue, unanchored, through the conclusion of the virtual inaugural parade, which is expected to last approximately 75 minutes and conclude, approximately, at 4:30-5 p.m.

Read more about inauguration day activities, security and breaks from tradition on the PBS NewsHour website.

Watch Now: The Field of Flags

See the Field of Flags, a public art display celebrating Biden’s inauguration on this PBS NewsHour YouTube video.

On Monday evening – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – a “field of flags” art exhibit was installed by the Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) on the National Mall. It illuminates 56 light pillars and displays 200,000 flags representing the U.S. states and territories.


MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

MetroFocus hosts Rafael Pi Roman, Jenna Flanagan and Jack Ford.

Special guests on MetroFocus will respond to the day’s events and the dramatic lead-up to Inauguration Day during times of unrest and a pandemic.

The show will discuss the highlights amid the heightened security as new President Joe Biden swears in as Commander-in-Chief with Kamala Harris, our first Black and South Asian female vice president, by his side. Special guests are Rick Shenkman, presidential historian, founder of George Washington University’s History News Network and New York Times best-selling author ; L. Joy Williams, president of the Brooklyn NAACP, senior adviser to Ray McGuire’s NYC Mayoral campaign and host of “Sunday Civics” podcast; and Joseph Pinion, Republican strategist, founder and chairman of The Conservative Color Coalition and host of Newsmax’s “Saturday Agenda.”

MetroFocus airs weeknights at 6 p.m. (see schedule for late-night and weekends) and livestreams; listen weeknights on 88.3 WLIW-FM at 11 p.m..

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Celebrating America: A PBS NewsHour Presentation

Judy Woodruff, host of PBS NewsHour.

Judy Woodruff, host of PBS NewsHour.

Celebrating America: A PBS NewsHour Presentation airs and streams 8-10 p.m., featuring remarks from the newly inaugurated President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, and performances by diverse artists, including Jon Bon Jovi, Demi Lovato and more.

Amanpour and Company

L to R: Walter Isaacson, Michel Martin, Christiane Amanpour, Hari Sreenivasan

Amanpour and Company airs at 11 p.m.; repeats at 4 p.m on Thursday. Watch broadcast or livestream.