Why An Inauguration Like Biden's Won't Happen Again For 1,000 Years

After months of preparation and discussion, Joe Biden's presidential inauguration day has arrived. Today — January 20, 2021 — the president-elect will officially become the 46th President of the United States, replacing the 45th President, Donald Trump, in the office. Mr. Biden's Vice President, Kamala Harris, will also be sworn in today, replacing Mr. Trump's VP, Mike Pence. When that happens, Ms. Harris will become the first female vice president in the nation's history. The transition has been several months in the making, and the event itself will, no doubt, be viewed by millions of people all around the world.

All presidential inaugurations are special events, but there's something about Mr. Biden's inauguration today that makes it unlike any other in American history, a detail that won't happen again for another 1,000 years. It doesn't have anything to do with the political dynamics of the day either, or with the physical size and spectacle of it, but rests entirely on the actual date of the inauguration ceremony itself.

Biden's inauguration date is a numeric palindrome

The Farmers' Almanac reports (as does CNET) that today's presidential inauguration is the first such ceremony in American history to fall on a date that is also a five-digit palindrome. That's frequently observed in letters of words or sentences that read the same backwards or forwards — Bob, tot, or the sentence "Able was I ere I saw Elba." For Inauguration Day 2021, the actual numbers of the date — 1-20-21– read the same way, backward and forward. Even further, today is actually the first in a 10-day series of palindrome dates, which will run from January 20 (1-20-21) to January 29 (1-29-21).

The Farmers' Almanac also reports that the year 2021 will have a total of 22 palindrome dates, all of which occur in January and December, and range from four-digit to six-digit palindromes — for example, December 11, which could be displayed as 12-11-21. This year has already featured one palindrome date: January 2 — 1-2-21.

Today isn't just the first time in American history that a President-elect has been sworn into the Oval Office on a palindrome date, however; it's also the only time that it will happen for many, many years. The next time an Inauguration Day could fall on a palindrome date will be in 1,000 years: January 20, 3021 (1-20-3021). For those keeping track, it will be a Saturday.