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Seated at a table in the Capitol’s ornate President’s Room off the Senate chamber, Mr. Obama — some of whose nominations face tough sailing on Capitol Hill — joked, “I know they will be dealt with great dispatch.”

1:21 p.m. — Some in the crowd count themselves as disillusioned former supporters of the president. Beating plastic bucket drums and holding peace signs and black cloth flags, a group of about 40 protesters gather in McPherson Square as Mr. Obama is sworn in.

“We’re making it clear that there is nothing to celebrate,” said Brian, who would give only his first name, but is associated with the environmental group Earth First. “We’re trying to cut through this false idea that Obama has been good for the environment. That’s why we’re here today.”

2:59 p.m. — Mr. Obama wraps up the congressional luncheon in his honor in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, a bipartisan gathering marked by numerous toasts and gifts of hand-cut Lenox crystal vases for Mr. Obama and Mr. Biden. The president’s vase has his name and the date on it, while the vice president’s has the U.S. Capitol etched on it. The luncheon is a tradition dating back to the late 19th century.

In his own toast, Mr. Obama hails departing and incoming members of his Cabinet and the families of all officials and lawmakers who have make sacrifices in the name of public service.

3:15 p.m. — Standing on the East Front steps of the Capitol, Mr. Obama observes another Inauguration Day tradition: reviewing of the troops before heading back to the White House for the inaugural parade and round of evening celebratory balls.

4:16 p.m. — Mr. Obama and the first lady pass by city hall with enthusiastic waves from the back seat of their shiny limousine, but do not offer the grand acknowledgment that D.C. leaders may have hoped for.

Although the first couple delight the crowd by emerging from their car to walk the route for portions of the inaugural parade, Mr. Obama is seated on the right side of his limo away from the John A. Wilson Building while Mrs. Obama offers waves and two thumbs up to enthusiastic and screaming crowds in front of city hall.

The Obamas get out of their vehicle at about Ninth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. A block later, the crowds begin chanting “Obama, Obama,” and reaching for the cellphones to record the moment.

4:20 p.m. — As the president, vice president and their families settle into the heated reviewing stand to watch the inaugural parade. Metro officials reveal that, as of 4 p.m. the D.C. transit system had carried 538,000 riders — two-thirds of the ridership in the same period on the day of Mr. Obama’s first inaugural celebration in 2009.

6:14 p.m. — The lengthy inaugural parade is still going strong, as the seat next to Mr. Obama in the reviewing stand is occupied by a rotating band of friends, supporters and allies. The president and first lady still have two inaugural balls at the nearby Washington Convention Center to attend before calling it a day.

8:45 p.m. — Mr. Obama addresses cheering crowds at the Commander in Chief Ball, speaking by video to thank a group of troops in southern Afghanistan. He then introduces his “date,” Mrs. Obama, who dances with her husband in a ruby chiffon and velvet gown while Jennifer Hudson sings “Let’s Stay Together.” Ms. Hudson reprises the same Al Green classic, an Obama favorite, at the Inauguration Ball about 40 minutes later.

• Washington Times reporters David Sherfinski, Tom Howell Jr., Stephen Dinan, Susan Crabtree, David Boyer and David R. Sands contributed to this diary.