Sunday, December 28, 2008

Black Men Built the Capitol

The platform where Obama will be sworn in.
UPI: When Barack Obama takes the oath of office, becoming the first African-American U.S. president, he will be standing amid stonework laid by slaves.
The former Illinois senator will also appear on Inauguration Day on the National Mall , where slaves were once held in pens before going up for auction, The Boston Globe reported Sunday.

The Globe said the 200-year-old story of slavery in the nation's capital remains beneath the surface, noting there is no memorial at the spot near the Capitol where slaves were once kept and sold in a three-story building called the Yellow House.

"Many people come down to the National Mall and never realize that they are walking on the site of the slave markets," said Jesse J. Holland, author of the recent book, "Black Men Built the Capitol."
23 more days until Obama's inauguration:
Festivities surrounding the swearing-in ceremony will commence at 10 a.m. on the west front of the U.S. Capitol and will include:

• Musical Selections: The United States Marine Band, followed by The San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus
• Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
• Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
• Musical Selection: Aretha Franklin
• Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will be sworn into office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honorable John Paul Stevens
• Musical Selection: John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet)
• President-elect Barack H. Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible, administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.
• President Obama gives his Inaugural Address
• Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
• Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
• The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

After President Obama gives his Inaugural Address, he’ll attend a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall. The 56th Inaugural Parade will then make its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House with groups traveling from all over the country to participate. Later that day, the Presidential Inaugural Committee will host ten official Inaugural Balls.