Obama Steps into History as 44th President
Stepping into history, Barack Hussein Obama grasps the reins of power as America’s first black president in a high-noon inauguration amid grave economic worries and high expectations. Braving icy temperatures and possible snow flurries, hundreds of thousands of people descended on the heavily guarded capital city Tuesday for the first change of administrations since the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Two years after beginning his improbable quest as a little-known, first-term Illinois senator with a foreign-sounding name, Obama moves into the Oval Office as the nation’s fourth youngest president, at 47, and the first African-American, a racial barrier-breaking achievement believed impossible by generations of minorities. Around the world, Obama’s election electrified millions with the hope that America will be more embracing, more open to change. (Continue Reading…)

Nobel Winner Tutu Calls Obama’s Inauguration a ‘Mandela Moment’
Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu, the South African cleric who won the Nobel Peace Prize for his fight against apartheid, called Barack Obama’s inauguration a “Mandela moment” for the U.S. With America’s history of violent racism, Obama’s election “is an incredible tribute to the strength of your democracy,” Tutu said, comparing how far the U.S. has come since its civil- rights struggle with the 1994 election of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa. It is “the dawn of a new era” for Washington’s relations with the world, Tutu, 77, said in an interview in Washington today. “Despite the economic downturn, there’s a sense of something new in the air.” (Continue Reading…)

Crowds of 1 to 2 Million Expected at Inauguration
Subway trains are packed. Traffic is bumper-to-bumper. It seems that every dimension of President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration is taking on historic proportions as visitors stream into the nation’s capital. Thousands of charter buses from across the country were planning to arrive in the District of Columbia, packing parking lots and even streets that closed Monday night to accommodate the surge of overnight visitors and day-trippers. “We’re prepared; we’re braced,” said Steven Taubenkibel, spokesman for the District’s Metro mass-transit system. (Continue Reading…)

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