Almost to the day - Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, taking the oath on the very same Bible used to swear in Abraham Lincoln.

In light of this historic event, here's 5 things you didn’t know about the Obama inauguration.

Tickets go for $40,000
The excitement surrounding this inauguration has made them the hottest ticket in the land of the (free) market economy; thus, opportunists, including professional ticket agencies, went to work almost the moment news outlets declared the winner. They began advertising online, and prices reached as high as $40,000 for tickets.

Umbrellas are banned
The U.S. Secret Service assumes leadership in coordinating and implementing security for the event. It’s not uncommon for the temperature to hover in the high 30s; despite this, among the dozens of items prohibited by security are umbrellas, so although there is no official dress code, attendees are urged to bundle up and even bring a poncho.

Phone calls are frowned upon
With so many cell phones expected to be crammed into one place, wireless companies are worried about massive bandwidth gridlock. They have been building added cell sites in the D.C. area, but believing this won’t be enough to prevent delays, congestion and dropped calls. They are encouraging their customers to stick with text messages.

Up to 5 million will attend
Nobody can say with any accuracy just how many will be in Washington, D.C. on January 20, but the estimates are staggering, with some officials anticipating there being as many as 5 million people. The population of the entire Washington Metropolitan Area -- the 8th largest in the country, which includes D.C. and numerous counties in Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia -- is around 5.3 million.

The Inaugural Ball will be webcast
That night, the Obamas and the Bidens will attend all 10 of the official inaugural balls, and in a break with tradition, the first one will not only likely be free (although tickets will be required), but it will also be webcast. The Neighborhood Inaugural Ball, taking place at the Washington Convention Center, is the first of its kind in history, meant to give more people greater access to the new President and the celebration of his inauguration.
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Funny cartoon of the day

Funny cartoon of the day