Millions of people come to Washington, D.C., to see President-elect Barack Obama sworn in today as America’s 44th President
Update: 4:56 p.m.
The Obamas are now in the White House.
The Inaugural Parade route ended at the White House, and President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama took a quick break from watching the rest of the parade by stopping in to their new home.
But their break lasted only a few minutes. The President, First Lady, and their two daughters, Sasha and Malia, left their home and made their way to the reviewing stand in front of the White House. The President is greeting people in the enclosed area, and the First Family will watch the end of the parade from there.
All that's left today is one more piece of inaugural business: the balls. The Obamas will celebrate the inauguration tonight at numerous official balls around Washington D.C. Other inaugural balls and parties are also scheduled for tonight. The Obamas won’t be at those balls, but they will attract many of the nearly two million people who have come to Washington for today’s events.
Check back tomorrow for Scholastic News Online's coverage of tonight’s inauguration events and President Barack Obama’s first day in office.
Update: 4:30 p.m.
Along the Inaugural Parade route, hundreds of thousands of people waited all day to catch a glimpse of the new President. And he didn’t disappoint them.
|President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama wave to spectators during the Inaugural Parade in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2009. (Photo: ©Jae Hong/AP Images)|
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama spent most of the parade in their new, heavily-armored Cadillac limousine. But at two spots in the parade, the Obamas left their car and walked the parade route. Crowds of people went crazy, screaming "Obama!" and waving enthusiastically. Obama responded by waving back and smiling widely.
Obama is the first President to walk in the Inaugural Parade since Jimmy Carter did it in 1977.
The parade wound its way up Pennsylvania Avenue to a review stand that has been built in front of the White House. When the parade ends, the Obamas will enter their new home at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.
Stay tuned to Scholastic News Online for further inaugural updates.
Update: 3:40 p.m.
It seems that Senator Ted Kennedy gave his congressional colleagues quite a scare.
After suffering a seizure at the inaugural luncheon, Kennedy was attended to by medical staff and placed in an ambulance. But according to people at the scene, Kennedy seemed to be OK.
“The good news is, he’s going to be fine,” Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd said, according to the New York Times.
Good news for Senator Robert Byrd too. According to his Senate office, the Senator left the lunch after becoming disturbed by Kennedy’s seizure, MSNBC has reported.
In other inaugural news, the Inaugural Parade has just gotten under way—an hour behind schedule.
Update: 3:00 p.m.
The celebrations surrounding President Barack Obama’s inauguration have taken a serious tone.
During the Inaugural Luncheon at the Capitol building earlier this afternoon, two senators required medical attention.
As dessert was being served, Senator Robert Byrd from West Virginia became pale and looked uncomfortable, according to people sitting with him. Medical staff responded quickly and took Byrd for medical attention.
A few minutes later, Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy reportedly suffered a seizure. Medical professionals responded immediately. He was then taken out of the lunch to be attended to by Senate medical staff.
Senator Byrd is in his 90s, and Senator Kennedy has been battling cancer since last year.
Update: 12:40 p.m.
Just after noon, Eastern Time, President Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States.
In his Inaugural Address, President Obama spoke about the problems in the economy and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said that the challenges were great but that America must and will overcome them.
It’s time to "pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get to work rebuilding America," Obama said. To confront the nation's problems, Obama called for a "new era of responsibility" in America.
He also spoke about America's status in the world, saying, "We are ready to lead once more."
See the full text of President Barack Obama's Inaugural Address here.
President-elect Barack Obama will be sworn in today as the 44th President of the United States.
People from around the country—and the world—have descended on Washington, D.C., to witness the historic inauguration of America’s first African-American President. Some have been gathered on the National Mall since early this morning to make sure they got a front-row seat to history.
|Thousands of spectators crowd the National Mall in Washington, D.C., on January 20, 2009, prior to the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama. (Photo: ©Jason Reed/Reuters)|
Officials estimate that two million people will gather in the nation’s capital for the inauguration. Millions more will watch the ceremonies on television.
The main event of today’s inaugural activities is the swearing-in ceremony. This happens at 11:30 in front of the Capitol building. Vice President-elect Joe Biden will be sworn in first, then Obama will take the Oath of Office. Obama will be sworn in on the Bible that Abraham Lincoln used at his first inauguration in 1861.
After the swearing-in ceremonies are over, the new President and Vice President will attend the Inaugural Luncheon at the Capitol. This will be followed by the Inaugural Parade, which begins at 2:30 p.m. The parade is Obama’s ceremonial journey down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House.
The parade is the last official inaugural activity of the afternoon. But the festivities will continue into the night with numerous inaugural balls taking place in Washington, D.C.
Stay tuned to Scholastic News Online for the latest coverage of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration as America’s 44th President. And follow Scholastic Kid Reporters as they blog and twitter from the inauguration.
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