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The experience in person

(Credit: Politirazzi)

(AP)

By Meg Boyle

Special to amNewYork

Barack Hussein Obama made history on Tuesday when he became the first black president of the United States, calling on all Americans to reject fear and embrace a renewed sense of personal responsibility.

Freezing temperatures did not stop nearly 2 million people from traveling to the National Mall to witness history, many entering in the early morning and standing for hours. Volunteers greeted the incoming spectators with cheers and high-fives, helping to create a mood of jubilation and good will. The crowds eventually stretched from the steps of the Capitol to the Washington Monument and even beyond to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.A reverent-looking Obama exited the Capitol while the excited audience shouted his name. Just before noon, his hand on the Bible held by his wife Michelle, Obama took the oath of office and became the 44th president of the United States.

In his inaugural address, President Obama directly addressed the challenges facing America but pledged decisively that those challenges would be met. Obama also acknowledged the historical significance of the day, noting soberly that Tuesday, "a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath."

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