Then and now: A look at how Trump's and Biden's inauguration ceremonies compare

Tori Floyd
·Editor
·2 min read
Then and now: A look at how Trump's and Biden's inauguration ceremonies compare

On January 21, 2021, politicians and special guests braved the cold and a global pandemic to attend the inauguration of the 46th President of the United States, Joe Biden.

On a much warmer day in 2017, under very different circumstances, people gathered in the same places for the inauguration of the 45th president, Donald Trump.

While there were no crowds allowed to gather due to COVID-19 restrictions, Biden’s inauguration did look similar to Trump’s in many ways. Scroll through our image slider gallery to see how some things changed while others stayed the same.

To view images, click and drag the white dot in the centre of the pictures to switch between the 2017 and 2021 pictures.

There was some controversy over the number of people who attended Trump’s inauguration in 2017, it was much clearer that no guests were permitted on the National Mall, and was instead filled with an installation called “The Field of Flags.”

Social distancing was the order of the day for the 2021 event, as guests can be seen distanced from one another in front of the U.S. Capitol.

In 2017, the then-newly-elected President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence stood with their partners on the east steps of the U.S. Capitol following the inauguration ceremony and waved to the Obamas as they departed from the ceremony. After the 2021 event, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were seen distancing from each other with their spouses as they descended the steps. There was no one to wave to, as Trump did not attend Biden’s inauguration.

Following tradition, the former U.S. presidents attended the inaugurations of both Biden and Trump. Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Bush (seen in these images with his wife Laura Bush) were all present.

While crowds are typically a common sight at U.S. presidential inaugurations, this year’s event saw much more dramatic spacing, as seen in these two images of Sen. Bernie Sanders.

For all the latest on the U.S. inauguration, click this link for live updates.