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Kamala Harris has been sworn in as vice president of the United States, becoming the first woman, first Black person and first Asian American to hold the office.

She is also the first graduate of a historically Black college and the first member of a Black sorority to do so.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor administered the oath.

Sotomayor, the first woman of color to serve on the Supreme Court, previously administered the vice presidential oath to Biden in 2013.

Harris used two Bibles in the ceremony.

The first belonged to Regina Shelton, a family friend whom Harris viewed as a surrogate mother.

Harris has used this Bible before, when she took the oath of office as both California attorney general and U.S. senator.

The second Bible was previously owned by the late Justice Thurgood Marshall, the first Black member of the Supreme Court and Harris’ lifelong political role model.

At the start of the ceremony, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar said of Harris, “When she takes the oath of office, little girls and boys across the world will know that anything and everything is possible. And in the end, that is America.”

Despite the historic nature of Wednesday’s inauguration, festivities were muted due to the coronavirus pandemic and the continued risk of violence following the insurrection at the Capitol two weeks ago.

Over 20,000 National Guard members have been in D.C. since last week, creating a tight perimeter around the District’s downtown area, closing a large number of streets and Metro stops in the process.

As a result, flags instead of spectators filled the national mall.

Still, some of the usual fanfare still remained, such as the attendance of living former presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama.

Notably, outgoing president Donald Trump was not in attendance, though his outgoing vice president Mike Pence was.

Former President Jimmy Carter, 96, and his wife Rosalynn Carter, 93, were also not in attendance.


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