Swearing in of the 113th Congress
At the start of each new Congress, the entire House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are sworn into office. One hundred and forty-five years after John Willis Menard was denied his seat in Congress and in the year of the 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, 43 African American legislators were sworn into the 113th Congress and the first African American President will be sworn into his second term in office. Swearing-in ceremonies date back to 1789 and this year’s ceremonial proceedings captured its own place in history as the most diverse congress. The 113th Congress marks another significant moment in a year that commemorates the fight of freedom, equality and justice and bolsters the mission of the Congressional Black Caucus, the conscience of the Congress. For over 40 years, the CBC has remained committed to being the voice of the voiceless and to keeping the issues of disparities at the forefront. This 113th Congress prepares to willingly undergo what seems to be the most challenging yet most promising battles in legislative history. From health care to LGBT rights, the continuous debate on equality remains as one of the top agenda items for this Congress. We recognize and salute this historic stride in American history that highlights our progress in legislative history and diversity and freedom.