(CNN) - The 5,000 tickets for prime parade viewing spots on Pennsylvania Avenue that went on sale at 1 p.m. Friday were all claimed within minutes, according to the Presidential Inaugural Committee. Some additional seats are being awarded to local students and parents who participated in a committee-sponsored essay contest.
Update: All 5,000 tickets actually sold in less than a minute, Ticketmaster Vice President of Strategic Communications Albert Lopez told CNN's Eric Weisbrod - one of the company's fastest sellouts ever.
(CNN) - The Presidential Inaugural Committee announced Friday that the 2009 Inaugural Luncheon will take place in the Statuary Hall in the Capitol and celebrate the bicentennial of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln, following the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama and Vice President-elect Joe Biden.
In keeping with the theme, meals will be served on replicas of china used during the Lincoln presidency, boasting the American bald eagle and the U.S. Coat of Arms.
The menu is inspired by the era of Lincoln’s presidency and features courses of seafood stew, pheasant and duck with sweet potatoes and chutney, and apple cinnamon sponge cake for dessert. Carefully-selected wines and champagne will be served to compliment the flavors of the luncheon courses.
Aside from the feast, the event features toasts to the new administration, presentations of gifts given by Congress on behalf of the American people, various speeches, and music by the Smithsonian Chamber Players – an ensemble known for its performances of period music played on instruments from the museum’s collection.
The inaugural luncheon tradition dates as far back as 1897, when one was held in honor of President McKinley and the U.S. Capitol, though the current practice began in 1953.
(CNN) - Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon has been indicted on 12 corruption counts, according to a spokesman for the state prosecutor's office.
Dixon, who was slated to talk to reporters at 4 p.m., committed no crimes, she and her attorneys said.
The indictment follows a three-year investigation by the state prosecutor's office into City Hall finances, CNN affiliate WBAL reported. A grand jury focused on gifts the mayor received from developer Ron Lipscomb and the use of gift cards donated to the city for use by the needy, it said.
Dixon reported no gifts from Lipscomb on her financial disclosure forms, WBAL said.
Dixon was expected to return Friday afternoon to Baltimore after spending the morning at a state conference on the Eastern Shore.
- CNN's Carol Cratty and Kevin Bohn contributed to this story.
(CNN) - Three generations of the new First family will move into the White House on Inauguration Day.
The Obama transition confirmed to CNN Friday that Marian Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother, will live in the White House for several months while she decides if she wants to make a permanent move to Washington.
Robinson retired from her job as a bank secretary to help with the care of her granddaughters during the presidential campaign.
She wouldn't be the first Robinson presidential mother-in-law to live on the White House grounds
for at least some length of time. Other mother-in-laws - most notably, Harry Truman's - have lived for a time on White House grounds.
(CNN) - Illinois' highest court has ruled the secretary of state does not have sign off on the appointment of Roland Burris to fill Barack Obama's vacant U.S. Senate seat.
Click here to read the Illinois Supreme Court's opinion
(CNN) - Senate Democratic leaders are weighing their options in light of the Illinois State Supreme Court decision that Roland Burris’s certificate of appointment does not require the secretary of state’s signature.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Illinois senior Sen. Dick Durbin had been very clear that their path to seating Burris began with the signature of Secretary of State Jesse White, citing a Senate rule from 1884 that seems to require it.
The court ruled Friday afternoon that no such signature was required.
Two days ago, White insisted to a Chicago radio station that he would keep his word, and not sign any certificate that also had the signature of Gov. Rod Blagojevich on it. But White was also critical of the Senate’s decision to block Burris, and said he merely considered his own signature ceremonial. His next move also remains a question mark.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Details of President-elect Barack Obama’s multi-billion dollar economic stimulus plan might still be murky, but his position on the hottest topic in the world of college football certainly is not.
“We need a playoff,” Obama told reporters after being asked about Florida’s 24-14 victory over Oklahoma in Thursday night’s BCS Championship game. "If I'm Utah, or if I'm USC or if I'm Texas, I might still have some quibbles.”
Florida, Oklahoma and Texas all finished the season with one loss. Texas actually handed Oklahoma its one defeat in October on a neutral field. When the BCS computer system put Florida and Oklahoma in this year’s national championship game, the annual back and forth over whether to have a college football playoff system was reignited. Utah was the only college football team to finish the season undefeated but its conference is considered less competitive and therefore was put at a statistical disadvantage in the BCS.
Friday was not the first time Obama stated his preference for a playoff system.
Related: BCS is a political football in 2009
"It would add three extra weeks to the season," Obama said in a interview on CBS’ 60 Minutes just after the election. "You could trim back on the regular season. I don't know any serious fan of college football who has disagreed with me on this. So, I'm going to throw my weight around a little bit. I think it's the right thing to do."
The night before Election Day both Sen. John McCain and Obama made brief appearances during Monday Night Football. “I'm fed up with these computer rankings and this that and the other. Get eight teams - the top eight teams right at the end. You got a playoff. Decide on a national champion,” he said then.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - A U.S. intelligence assessment says the upcoming presidential inauguration offers an attractive target for terrorists, but it hastens to add no specific threat has been detected thus far.
Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff told CNN Thursday, "I can assure you we will be looking up until the last minute to see if there is any indication of something."
A copy of the intelligence document was obtained by CNN and says in part that the inauguration is "a potential target for a terrorist attack" because many dignitaries will be attending it, it's a high profile and symbolic event and because of "the historic significance of the Nation's first minority President."
(CNN) - Illinois lawmakers voted overwhelmingly Friday to impeach embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich for what they call his abuse of power and mismanagement of the state.
The impeachment resolution needed just a simple majority to pass, but when it was all over the House voted 114 to 1 in favor of the measure. Now the action will move to the state Senate, which will try the case and decide whether to remove Blagojevich from office.
Blagojevich was arrested on December 9, one month ago today, after federal prosecutors alleged, among other things, that he tried to sell the Senate seat formerly held by President-elect Barack Obama.
Today's vote comes one day after a legislative committee unanimously recommended impeaching the governor amid corruption allegations.
The governor issued a statement after committee's vote, criticizing the proceedings and vote as unfair and biased. Blagojevich continues to proclaim his innocence against all allegations.
If Blagojevich is removed from office, Lt. Governor Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat, would take over the top spot as governor.