The transition from one president to the next is full of longstanding traditions. Many of these traditions take place in the moments surrounding the inauguration, set in place to symbolically demonstrate the shift in power and to welcome the new president to the White House.
Here's what happened in Obama's final hours as president, from the night before the inauguration to the beginning of the ceremony, and his first hours as a regular citizen.
Prior to the inauguration, the White House residence staff began transitioning the Obama White House to the Trump White House. On Thursday, only empty picture frames lined the walls as the transformation was underway.
Thursday was also the date of Obama's final phone call to a world leader. He called German Chancellor Angela Merkel to thank her for her "strong, courageous, and steady leadership" and for "their personal friendship."
Obama signed his last bill into law on the morning of the inauguration. It's called The Tested Ability to Leverage Exceptional National Talent Act of 2017.
The bill "codifies the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program to enable exceptional individuals with proven track records to serve time-limited appointments in executive agencies to address some of the Nation’s most significant challenges," according to the White House press office. It makes the Presidential Innovation Fellows Program permanent.
Obama was seen in the Oval Office before the inauguration began. One tradition during the transition of power is for the outgoing president to leave a letter for his successor in the Oval Office.
I'm still asking you to believe - not in my ability to bring about change, but in yours. I believe in change because I believe in you.— President Obama (@POTUS44) January 20, 2017
Obama sent out his final tweet as President at 9:13 AM ET.
As Obama waited for Trump's arrival, he showed us all the very definition of #relationshipgoals one more time as president.
The Obamas welcomed the Trumps to the White House on the morning of the inauguration, and the couples posed for photos on the White House steps. The tea reception has long been an inaugural tradition.
After the tea reception, Obama headed from the White House to the Capitol for the inauguration ceremony.
Once the inauguration ended, the former president stood next to President Donald Trump on the steps of the Capitol, awaiting his departure.
Obama waved as he boarded the helicopter from the Capitol to Joint Base Andrews.
Obama gave his final farewell at Joint Base Andrews.
And as we say goodbye to Obama, he's saying hello to Palm Springs.
Hi everybody! Back to the original handle. Is this thing still on? Michelle and I are off on a quick vacation, then we’ll get back to work.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 20, 2017
At 4:04 PM ET, Obama returned to his original Twitter handle.