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Fist bumps, cute kids, and a giant bird: Not-to-miss moments from the inauguration

The Boston Globe logo The Boston Globe 1/20/2021 Amanda Kaufman
a group of people that are talking to each other: Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff were greeted by former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during the inauguration on Wednesday. © SUSAN WALSH Vice President Kamala Harris and her husband Doug Emhoff were greeted by former President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama during the inauguration on Wednesday.

The fist bumps. Janet Yellen bundled up. Lady Gaga’s enormous bird brooch.

Amid all the pomp and circumstance of President Biden’s inauguration came small, endearing moments that offered glimpses of both humanity and levity as a new presidential administration began.

Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office Wednesday, with Harris making history as the first woman, the first Black woman, and the first South Asian woman to hold the position. With so many major milestones, and the backdrop of a global pandemic, it was easy to miss the small stuff, those snapshots that tend to be remembered long after the bunting comes down. So we’ve highlighted a few of our favorite moments for you:

Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama’s fist bumps

There were a lot of fist bumps at the ceremony, a greeting that has become commonplace during the COVID-19 pandemic. But the ones shared between Harris and former president Barack Obama, the first Black president, and Michelle Obama, the first Black first lady, during the inauguration struck many as symbolic — and sparked a number of reactions online.

“The universe was created when Kamala Harris and Michelle Obama fist bumped,” one Twitter user wrote.

“PLAY THIS AT MY FUNERAL,” another said.

Janet Yellen looking cozy

At one point during the proceedings, a few snowflakes began to fall, and attendees came prepared for the weather, with many swaddled in coats, gloves, and scarves. But perhaps no one was as prepared as Biden’s nominee to lead the Treasury Department, Janet Yellen.

Yellen was pictured before the ceremony looking cozy in a puffer jacket with the hood up, along with a blanket.

Bernie’s mittens

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders sported an eye-catching accessory to keep warm, too: A pair of mittens made right here in New England.

A teacher from Essex Junction, Vt., reportedly knitted the pair, which even has its own Twitter account that was created when Sanders started wearing them on the campaign trail in 2020.

The image of Sanders got a lot of social media attention and instantly became a meme, with some dropping the photo of him in the lone chair in different backgrounds. “Bernie” was the No. 1 trending item on Twitter Wednesday evening.

Kids in cute coats

Also among the major fashion moments of the day: The youngest Biden and Harris family members looking adorable in statement coats.

Harris’ grandnieces, the children of her niece, Meena, could be seen taking selfies before the ceremony began in fluffy, animal print outerwear.

And Biden’s grandson was bundled in a plaid coat and blue bonnet as he was carried by his aunt, Ashley, with Twitter commenters noting that the baby’s outfit stole their hearts and the show.

Lady Gaga’s enormous bird brooch

The huge gold brooch fastened to Lady Gaga’s inauguration dress was hard to miss — and Twitter users definitely took notice, with many comparing it to the Hunger Games mockingjay pin.

“Katniss everdeen arriving to the capitol in hunger games: mockingjay (2014),” someone wrote, along with a photo of Lady Gaga arriving at the inauguration ceremony.

The official Hunger Games account even joined in, writing on Twitter: “we’re missing one of our mockingjay pins, has anybody seen it?”

Lady Gaga took to the platform to explain the symbolism behind the brooch, noting it’s a dove carrying an olive branch.

“May we all make peace with each other,” she wrote.

J-Lo’s performance — and the Capitol photos

Jennifer Lopez gave an original rendition of “America the Beautiful” and “This Land is Your Land,” and at one point said “One nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” in Spanish.

Those lines, the final phrase of the Pledge of Allegiance, sparked a number of people to note the significance of Spanish being spoken at the ceremony and were seen as a nod to unity and inclusion, themes that Biden would later stress in his inaugural speech.

She also sang the line “Let’s Get Loud,” the title of her 1999 hit, prompting a flurry of memes on Twitter and a number of users to joke the addition felt a bit random for the moment.

“You’re nuts if you think I’m not shouting LET’s GET LOUD at random moments for the rest of my life,” one Twitter user wrote.

“I don’t think we have fully processed yet how J.Lo invoked “Let’s Get Loud” during a presidential inauguration,” another said.

And while J-Lo came to the Capitol to perform, she definitely stuck around for the selfies. She posted a number of photos of her and her fiance, former baseball pro and entrepreneur Alex Rodriguez, striking poses on steps outside the building.

Celebrity moments

Lady Gaga and Lopez brought their typical starpower during their performances. But there were also a couple famous dates in attendance, including Rodriguez, who was seen chatting it up with Obama.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker also brought his girlfriend, actress Rosario Dawson.

There will surely be more to come Wednesday night, with a number of musicians, including John Legend, Demi Lovato, Bruce Springsteen, and more set to perform at a “Celebrating America” event.


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