The inauguration will be held on Monday, Jan. 21, coinciding with the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. That's a day later than usual, the result of the traditional Inauguration Day — Jan. 20 — falling on a Sunday, and the second time the federal holiday has coincided with a presidential inauguration. Former President Clinton's second inauguration in 1997 also fell on the holiday.
The committee indicated that a tribute to African-Americans could play a role in the ceremony, noting that blacks began work on the Capitol Dome enslaved but finished the project as free laborers, thanks to the D.C. Emancipation Act enacted during the Civil War.
"The year 1863 was one of the most fateful in our nation’s history," the committee said in a statement. "It began with the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1st, and ended with a celebration of the new Capitol Dome crowned by the Statue of Freedom in December. It also was the year of the first homestead claim, the start of the first transcontinental railroad, the opening of the first land grant college, and President Lincoln’s historic and visionary Gettysburg Address."
The event's agenda is being coordinated by a special congressional committee, which includes much of the top leadership of both chambers. Appointed by the vice president and Speaker of the House, the group includes Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidWeek ahead: House to revive Yucca Mountain fight Warren builds her brand with 2020 down the road 'Tuesday Group' turncoats must use recess to regroup on ObamaCare MORE (D-Nev.) and Sen. Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderGroups warn of rural health 'crisis' under ObamaCare repeal Trump’s Army pick faces tough confirmation fight Trump faces risky ObamaCare choice MORE (R-Tenn.), along with House Majority Leader Eric CantorEric CantorTrump nominates two new DOD officials Brat: New ObamaCare repeal bill has 'significant' changes Overnight Energy: Flint lawmaker pushes EPA for new lead rule MORE (R-Va.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).