Inauguration of Brasilia
April 20, 1960, five o´clock p.m., of a magnificent afternoon. The official program of the capital´s change begins with the arrival of President Kubitscheck de Oliveira. The first solemnity takes place in the Planalto Palace, still smelling fresh paint. Israel Pinheiro, hands the keys of Brasilia to the president, in front of hundreds of open-faced candangos and official guests.
At 7 p.m., Cardinal Manuel Gonçalves Cerejeira, Pontifical Legate , arrives. He is received at the airport by JK and all the Ministries of State and others high authorities. At five o´clock on April 21, workers complete the altar structure at the Square of the Three Powers, for the solemn mass that will mark the first minutes of Brasilia as the capital of the country.
At 11:45 p.m., the Mass begins. The excitement is intense. It is only a few minutes before Brasilia becomes a reality. Midnight. The eyes filled with tears. Elevation of the Blessed Sacrament. The Marines band performs the National Anthem. The lights of Brasilia are light up in the Square, the Esplanade of the Ministries light up suddenly, in the intense light of hundreds of reflectors.
The president cries, the candangos cry. Brasilia is the Capital!!
At 45 minutes, the speakers broadcast directly from Vatican Radio, Rome, the greeting of Pope John XXIII. The solemnity ends and the candangos stand there, walking slowly.
At 8 o´clock, the band of the Guard Battalion gave the touch of Dawn. The President hoists the National Flag, in the Planalto Palace, to the sound of the National Anthem.
At 9:30 a.m., the simultaneous installation of the Three Powers is given.
Everything restarts at 4:30 p.m., from a beautiful afternoon. The people now focus on the South Road Axis, at the Brasilia Movie Theatre, for the city´s first military parade followed by the most exiting parade already seen: the worker´s parade, pulled by Israel Pinheiro and other directors of Novacap.
At 7:30 p.m., the fireworks show, almost 30 tons of fireworks, starts at the bus station. From anywhere in the city one could accompany the wonderful spectacle.
In the evening, the official reception held in the Planalto Palace. Juscelino and Mrs. Sarah arrived at 11:45 p.m. The palms which they were received soon become a great ovation.
Brasilia, noted JK, was no longer a huge construction site – it was now a metropolis. “The dream is now a reality.”