With a little more than a month until the 57th presidential inauguration, the White House has officially launched its counterpart to the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee, which oversees the festivities surrounding the inauguration that take place beyond the Capitol campus — the joint committee’s jurisdiction — announced on Thursday its chief staff members and a couple of scheduling details.
The Saturday before Inauguration Day, Monday, Jan. 21, will be a National Day of Service, a tradition President Barack Obama began in 2009 in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
Recognition of the civil rights hero will continue right up to the day of Obama’s swearing in. Because the day normally reserved for the inauguration ceremonies, Jan. 20, falls on a Sunday this year, the public event and all its pageantry was rescheduled for the next day — which falls on the same day King’s legacy is celebrated.
The 20th Amendment states that presidents’ terms end on Jan. 20; Obama will have a “small, private swearing-in ceremony” on that day, according to the release, while the full-blown inauguration ceremony will be the following day.”
More information about inaugural events including themes, official balls and the parade will be announced in the coming weeks.
In the meantime, the committee was prepared on Thursday to announce its co-chairs: former Ambassador to Sweden Matthew Barzun; actress Eva Longoria; Democratic National Committee National Finance Chairwoman Jane Stetson; and Frank White, former member of the National Advisory Council on Minority Business Enterprises.
The Presidential Inaugural Committee’s honorary co-chairs will be Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
“Vice President Biden and I are grateful to these distinguished women and men for agreeing to serve as co-chairs and honorary co-chairs, including presidents from both sides of the aisle who have dedicated their lives to serving the American people,” Obama said in a statement. “This year’s inaugural will reflect our belief that working together, we can keep moving our country forward and fulfill the promise of the American Dream for all families.”
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.