On Tuesday millions of people will flock to Washington DC to see President-elect Barack Obama sworn in as our 44th President. But what if you can't get there? Well, turns out in this digital age it's not a problem; as Obama recently pointed out "you don't have to brave the crowds and commotion in order to participate in this celebration."
While various news outlets will be streaming the event, we've compiled this list of online resources to make it easier for those of you who wish to navigate the inauguration virtually. Included are Inaugural Week events, where to watch the Inauguration online, how to stay up-to-date with news, what to do if you're heading to DC, and links to interesting and [we hope] fun sites.
Inaugural Week Events
Sunday January 18
Inaugural Week begins tomorrow at 2.30pm with a free and open to the public celebration at the Lincoln Memorial. HBO will broadcast the event at 2.30pm ET and Encore will run the footage at 7pm ET or, just watch it online.
Monday January 19
President-elect Obama has chosen the eve of his inauguration and Martin Luther King Jr. Day to launch "Renew America Together," a call for Americans to make an ongoing commitment to serve their communities. Along with Vice President-elect Biden, Obama will be participating in service projects in Washington D.C. to honor Dr. King's legacy. To find an event in your community, visit USA Service and type in your zip code.
On Monday night at 7 pm Michelle Obama and Jill Biden will host a free kids' inaugural concert at The Verizon Center to honor the children of military families. The concert will be broadcast on the Disney Channel at 8/7c, simulcast on Radio Disney and streamed on Disney.com. Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Brothers are two of the artists confirmed.
Tuesday January 20: Inauguration Day
At 11:30 am, at the west front of the U.S. Capitol, the President-elect will become President Obama. For the first time ever, the length of the National Mall will be open to those wishing to attend the swearing-in ceremony. No tickets are required; download a map (PDF) here.
At around 2.30 pm, the 56th Inaugural Parade makes its way down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. You can browse the list of groups that have accepted an invitation to march at this year's event.
The first-ever Neighborhood Inaugural Ball will take place at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 7 pm and include performances by some of the music world's finest. ABC will air the event live from 8:00 - 10:00 pm ET, and the main event will be linked to other neighborhood ball parties happening across the country.
Where to Watch the Inauguration Online
Harris Corporation is offering Internet and television viewers high definition views of the Presidential Inaugural Parade route and 3-D virtual views of downtown Washington, D.C. Harris is also providing a live video feed of the parade route from a webcam positioned atop the J.W. Marriott Hotel in the heart of downtown Washington. The feed has been live since Friday.
Using Silverlight technology, the Presidential Inauguration Committee website will be live streaming video of the official swearing-in ceremony on its site. The swearing-in ceremony begins at 11:30 am ET on the steps of the U.S. Capitol.
Hulu - The Obama Presidency
Hulu will also be live streaming the 2009 Inauguration, but until then you can watch past inaugural speeches (23) or check out the Obama Presidency page that hosts a variety of videos by category: Speeches and Press Conferences (11), Weekly Addresses (8), Commentary (224), Humor (52), Debate (1).
If you want a more social experience watch live video on Ustream which gives you the option of interactive chat.
For more ideas on where to watch the inauguration online, take a look at Liz Gannes list over on NewTeeVee.
Staying Up To Date with Inaugural News
- Follow the Presidential Inaugural Committee on Twitter
- Follow the US Government on Twitter
- Follow the District of Columbia on Twitter
- Join Be Ready DC on Facebook
- Read the latest news on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's blog
- Check out the latest pictures on the Presidential Inaugural Committee's photostream on Flickr
- Watch videos from the Presidential Inaugural Committee on YouTube
If You're Heading to DC
Join Flickr in Washington
Flickr has just launched a Countdown to the Inauguration 2009 for people to share photos and video of the event. They are also hosting a meetup and are inviting Flickr fans to their party on the 20th from noon until 8 pm.
Participate in a 3D Photosynth of the Inauguration
If you've got a digital camera and are going to be among the millions attending why not help create a three-dimensional image of this single moment and be part of crowdsourcing history.
Get Free Wi-Fi from iPass
In a tweet earlier today, iPass offered free Wi-Fi to anyone travelling to DC this weekend. Read the tweet and send an e-mail.
Find Free Wi-Fi in Washington
Another useful resource if you're heading to DC, the Wi-Fi-FreeSpot Directory provides a list of places that offer free Wi-Fi.
Certain Roads and Bridges Will be Closed in DC
Interesting Inauguration Facts
Obama's People is a selection of photographs by Nadav Kander of Obama's advisors, aides and members of his incoming administration; 52 portraits in all. Watching the gallery, you'll hear Kander and Kathy Ryan, director of photography at the New York Times Magazine, talk about what happened during the shoot.
On January 20, transportation and security officials will have a centralized, consolidated stream of traffic information and other data displayed on a single screen using software developed by the University of Maryland. The idea is to enhance officials' ability to monitor vehicular traffic, accidents, incidents, response plans, air space, and weather conditions.
Earlier today the FBI Washington Field Office issued a press release stating that a wide variety of tactical response vehicles will be available for Tuesdays Inauguration.
The vehicles include a state-of-the-art mobile command post, an armored assault vehicle, WMD response vehicles, evidence recovery team vehicles, and bomb trucks. More information and images are available on the site.
Fun Inauguration Facts
According to the Uptake Vacations Blog, inauguration insanity has taken a firm hold over Washington DC hotels, all hotels within a 50 mile radius being booked out. Fortunately, it seems bars have been given the green light to stay open until 5 am and for restaurants to serve food 24hrs a day from January 17th - 20th.
According to the Zillow blog, you would have to earn more than $53 million a year to afford the $1.48 million monthly mortgage that you'd be hit with if you were purchasing the White House. Take a look at who could potentially afford it.
Shortly after the election of Barak Obama, Edna O'Brien "felt compelled to write a poem about this remarkable and unique man," according to The Daily Beast. You can listen to O'Brien read it or read it yourself.
A fun site as described by Adam Ostrow over at Mashable, the Obama Inauguration Speech Generator asks that you select choice adjectives, verbs, and nouns, which it then generates into a speech for you. The results can be quite interesting.
Useful Inauguration Links
- Inauguration page on the US Government site
- The District of Columbia's 2009 Presidential Inauguration website
- Inaugural Events 2009 on the senate site
- Armed Forces Inaugural Committee
- US Secret Service Inaugural Site
- Reflections on the heritage of Inaugurations past
Don't forget. If you've got suggestions for the new administration, you've still got time to share them in the Citizens Briefing Book. Tbe CBB will be open until tomorrow night (Sunday 18th January, 6pm). Submit ideas, vote and comment on others and the best ideas will be delivered to the new president after he is sworn in.
So, how will you be spending Inauguration Day?