At noon on 20 January 2021, the tumultuous and divisive Trump term ended and Joe Biden, the former VP and longtime senator with working-class Scranton roots, became the 46th president of the United States.
The swearing-in ceremony on Wednesday was a stark reminder of the uphill challenges that the new president faces in office.
Washington DC is surrounded by a ring of steel and troops reminiscent of a war zone following an insurrectionist siege at the US Capitol by a pro-Trump mob earlier this month. And the capital, normally dotted with jubilant scenes on such a historic occasion, is strangely empty due to pandemic precautions.
Here, The Independent, takes a look at the defining images on the day the Biden era began.
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th President of the United States on the West Front of the Capitol while his wife Jill Biden held a bible. The president welcomed a ‘day of history and hope’ after taking the oath of office saying: ‘This is America’s day. This is democracy’s day.’
Kamala Harris was sworn in as Vice President while her husband Doug Emhoff held a bible, marking a historic moment for the United States as she became the first Black vice president, first woman, and first South-Asian to be elected to the role. Mr Emhoff also made history as the first-ever First Gentleman
The ‘Field of Flags’ on the National Mall in front of the Capitol building, representing those not able to attend the celebrations due to the Covid-19 pandemic
President Biden and wife Dr Jill Biden descend the steps minutes before he officials became the 46th president
Barack Obama, America’s first Black president, fist-bumps Kamala Harris, the first Black vice president
Former Vice President Mike Pence, his wife Karen Pence, the new Vice President Kamala Harris, and her husband Doug Emhoff walk down the stairs after the inauguration. Mr Pence attended the ceremony but not Donald Trump who left Washington before the ceremony began
Donald Trump and Melania Trump at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland before heading to their Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Florida. Mr Trump is the first president in 152 years to refuse to attend the inauguration of their successor
(AFP via Getty Images)