Richard Blanco is the first Latino and openly gay man to deliver the inaugural poem. Anderson Cooper asks him about the honor, his inspiration for the poem, and the significance of being part of President Obama's swearing-in ceremony. The president made history by acknowledging the struggle for gay rights as part of America's civil rights tradition in his inaugural address.
Anderson Cooper was in the National Mall with at least 800,000 others today for Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama's public swearing-in ceremony. The festivities coincidentally fell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The celebrations were exquisite, the styles glamorous, and the performances worthy of the momentous occasion – and the night is still young.
After he took his oath of office, the president addressed the nation and called on Americans to come together for a common purpose. The overarching theme was equality. For the first time in an inaugural speech, a president called for gay rights, which received a loud applause from the crowd.
Among the many symbolic traditions, the commander in chief used two Bibles, instead of one, for the swearing-in by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts. President Obama chose to place his hand on the Bible Abraham Lincoln used for his first inauguration, and a Bible used by King.
Read President Obama's address below and tune in to AC360° at 10 p.m. ET for insight from political insiders and historians, and relive the best moments from the 57th presidential inauguration. Anderson will also speak with inaugural poet Richard Blanco.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is at the forefront of the campaign for stricter gun legislation in America. Stirred by the shooting massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, he’s been increasingly vocal in demanding new federal gun control measures.
Tonight Anderson Cooper sits down with Bloomberg to get his reaction to the 23 executive actions signed by President Obama on Wednesday, and the gun legislation he sent to Capitol Hill.
Bloomberg has called for many of the White House proposals, including prohibiting the sale of the military-style assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips, and addressing background checks.
Colin Goddard, who was shot during the 2007 Virginia Tech mass shooting, and Alexis Haller, uncle of Sandy Hook school shooting victim Noah Pozner, share their reactions to Pres. Obama's plan to reduce gun violence in America.
On Wednesday President Obama signed 23 gun control executive actions and urged Congress to pass additional changes and fund research related to gun violence.
His proposals include universal background checks for every gun sale and bans on military style assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
The president also asked legislators to confirm B. Todd Jones as head of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Congress hasn't confirmed a director for the agency in six years.
A day earlier the NRA released a controversial ad focusing on President Obama's daughters. Anderson Cooper reports on the president's plan to reduce gun violence, and reaction to the ad.
Newt Gingrich discusses gun legislation and suggests Vice President Biden visit Chicago to understand why the laws and system there haven't worked. "Chicago has very strict gun laws; it is also the deadliest city in America where 500 people were killed in Chicago last year," he told Anderson Cooper. "What should we maybe learn from inadequate policing, inadequate enforcement, about a city whose laws on paper are terrific, but whose reality has been really pretty disastrous."
The family of Noah Pozner, a 6-year-old killed in Newtown, Connecticut, contacted the White House to discuss gun law reform proposals. Anderson Cooper spoke with Noah's uncle Alexis Haller.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
Questions or comments? Send an email
Want to know more? Go behind the scenes with