Where: Washington, DC, U.S.A.
January 20, 2009 : Barack Obama became the first African-American President of the U.S.A. in a year which is also the 200th birth anniversary of Abraham Lincoln, the President who abolished slavery in that country. African-Americans first went to America as slaves, and they did not have the same rights as white people even as recently as the middle years of the twentieth century.
Despite freezing weather conditions and high security, a record number of people (over a million) gathered outside Washington D.C.’s Capitol building to witness the inauguration. The President was sworn in on an outdoor platform of the Capitol, in keeping with tradition. He chose to take oath with his hand on the same Bible that President Lincoln had used on his inauguration in 1861. The crowds waved American flags and cheered wildly in a jubilant atmosphere. The American people seemed to be expressing the hope that President Obama would pull their country out of its terrible economic crisis, out of the controversial war in Iraq, and into a new era of peace and prosperity. The event was watched live by millions of television viewers all over the world.
The 47-year-old president, who is the son of a Kenyan father and an American mother, is a law graduate from the prestigious Harvard Law School. He belongs to the Democratic Party, and he won a landslide victory in the presidential elections in November, 2008. President Obama moved into the White House immediately after the inauguration with his wife, Michelle, and their two daughters. Malia and Sasha are the youngest children to move into the White House in many years.