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UPDATED: Inauguration coverage: Obama sworn in as 44th U.S. president

Posted: January 20, 2009 7:46 a.m.
Updated: January 20, 2009 6:09 p.m.

The Signal's Brian Charles delivers his final radio update on KHTS AM 1220 Tuesday afternoon, with air personality Jason Endicott. Click to listen.

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Editor's note: To follow the article's thread and the day's events chronologically, read from the bottom.

Updated 6:10 p.m.
Listen to Signal Staff Writer Brian Charles' final radio report on KHTS AM 1220 Tuesday afternoon, chatting with air personality Jason Endicott. Click on the "click to play" icon in the slideshow to the left.

Updated 12:39 p.m.
Our reporter in Washington, D.C., Signal Staff Writer Brian Charles, just filed this report about this morning's inauguration of President Barack Obama:

"It started early in the morning with the crush of people trying to get into Washington for the inauguration today. People were lined up as early as 4 a.m. to get onto the D.C. Metro trains, and the wait in lines to get into the ticketed area lasted more than two hours. It was a lot of hurry-up-and-wait as we were waiting around for the inauguration to begin.

"It's very cold. The forecast called for a high temperature of 31 degrees. People stayed warm by staying close to one another.

"Even with the crowds and long lines, there was no cutting, no people yelling, pushing or shoving in the lines to get to seats or into viewing positions. It was pretty orderly to move that many people. It's hard for me to estimate the size of the crowd because I can't count into the millions, but it was definitely more than a million. There were 250,000 people in the ticketed area, and that was maybe a fifth of the area you saw covered with people.

"There were a lot of cheers once the inauguration began as people started to watch the Jumbotron screens as then-President-elect, now President Obama, made his way in a motorcade toward the capitol.

"There were a lot of boos every time George Bush's image and images of some of the higher-ranking members of Congress on the Republican side came up on the screens.

"There were repetitive chants of 'Yes, we can!' People were expressing hope, embracing it, saying this is an incredible moment in our history.

"I noticed a lot of young people going up to older people, especially older African-Americans, thanking them for persevering through the civil rights struggle so we could have this payoff today.

"A couple notes I jotted down during Obama's speech -- He referred to those who had come before, and mentioned that the struggle laid down by people beforehand allowed this moment to happen. As anticipated, he also mentioned the call to Americans for service to their country.

"When he said, 'People voted for hope over fear,' that resonated with the crowd. People nodded their heads in affirmation and you heard people saying. 'Yes, that's exactly what we voted for.'

"Obama mentioned there were challenges, like two wars and the economy, and people agreed, and understood we have those challenges.

"He referred to the Bible and there were many folks in the crowd I was in, like an older woman next to me, praying a lot of the time.

"He said we're very young as a nation, but as the Bible says, the time has come to put away childish things, quoting from Corinthians, and that resonated with some folks in the crowd who were from the faith community.

"When Obama talked about harnessing the sun, the soil and the wind, and that our imagination is what makes us great as a nation, many in the crowd really heard that message.

"My mother came down here (from New York) and I haven't seen her because she was in a non-ticketed area, but I feel that we've shared this with each other, even though we're far away.

"It was an amazing experience. There was a carnival-like atmosphere. People standing in lines and watching the inauguration had these moments of collective joy, remembering how it all happened, and it made the feeling of being here and being part of it very powerful for me.

"My next move is to go get warm, call the kids from Academy of the Canyons and the Cooper family and get some reaction from them, and get my photos uploaded. I'll have a more complete story later today."

Updated 10:45 a.m.
Our man in Washington, D.C., Brian Charles just checked in, moving his way out of the crush of people from the Mall to the Metro. The cell reception was sketchy, but he said he'd file a report as soon as he could find a warm spot with good cell service. Check back soon. Meanwhile, we'll add more photos from the historic event.

Updated 9:57 a.m.
Former President Bush and former First Lady Laura Bush have left the Capitol in Executive One, the helicopter formerly known as Marine One, and are en route to Andrews Air Force Base.

Updated 9:49 a.m.
Former President Bush is set to board a helicopter and leave the Capitol shortly. He will fly to Andrews Air Force Base, where he board the Boeing 747 formerly known as Air Force One and fly to Texas.

Bush - following tradition - left a note for Obama in the top drawer of his desk in the Oval Office.

White House press secretary Dana Perino said the theme of the message - which Bush wrote on Monday - was similar to what he has said since election night: that Obama is about to begin a "fabulous new chapter" in the United States, and that he wishes him well.

Updated 9:40 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama told the world's Muslims that his administration will be looking for a "new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect."

And he's warning leaders around the globe who try to encourage conflict and "blame their society's ills on the West" that their people will judge them on what they build, not what they destroy.

In his inaugural address, Obama also pledged broader engagement in the world. Saying the people of the world should know that America is a friend of all who seek "a future of peace and dignity," Obama vowed that the U.S. is "ready to lead once more."

He's also pledging to "work alongside" the people of poor nations to make "farms flourish and let clean waters flow."

Updated 9:30 a.m.
President Obama has completed his nearly 20-minute inaugural address. Poet Elizabeth Alexander speaks next.

Updated 9:21 a.m.
President Barack Obama began his inaugural address telling Americans: "I am mindful of the sacrifices borne by our ancestors" and thanking former President George W. Bush "for his service to our nation."

"We remain a young nation, but in the words of Scripture," he said, "'The time has come to set aside childish things.'"

"Our capacity remains undiminished. ... Starting today ... we must begin again the work of remaking America."

"America is a friend of each nation ... and we are ready to lead once more."

His address has touched on nearly everything presently facing America, from economic pains and national security, to racism and multiculturalism.

Updated 9:07 a.m.
Barack Obama has been sworn in as President of the United States of America by Supreme Court Justice John G. Roberts, greeted by a 21-gun salute, the playing of "Hail to the Chief" and the sound of raucous applause and cheering.

Updated 9:05 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Barack Hussein Obama is now the nation's 44th president - and first black chief executive.

Even before he took the oath of office, Obama assumed the country's highest office by mandate of the U.S. Constitution.

The 20th Amendment specifies that the terms of office of the president and vice president "shall end at noon on the 20th day of January ... and the terms of their successors shall then begin."

And so, the transfer of power was complete when the clock struck noon.

Updated 9:03 a.m.
Joseph R. Biden has been sworn in as Vice President of the United States.

Updated 8:57 a.m.
Joe Biden is being sworn in as Vice President of the United States.

Updated 8:31 a.m.
CNN is reporting the swearing-in of President-elect Barack Obama is set to begin shortly after 12:01 p.m. EST.

Updated 8:21 a.m.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Crowds streamed into the U.S. capital this morning, jamming subway cars and packing the National Mall from the Capitol building to the Washington Monument hours before President-elect Barack Obama was to be sworn in.

By 7 a.m. EST, some 207,000 people had entered Washington's Metro transit system, transit officials said. Huge lines formed outside subway stations; many parking lots filled up and had to be closed.

Police have projected crowds ranging between 1 and 2 million for the inauguration. It is possible that attendance could top the 1.2 million people who were at Lyndon Johnson's 1965 inauguration, which is the largest crowd the National Park Service has on record.

In 1981, President Ronald Reagan's inauguration drew about 500,000 people, and President Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration drew about 800,000 people, according to park service estimates.

Crowd counting has long been a controversial issue. The National Park Service says Congress ordered it to stop doing crowd counts in 1997 after the agency was accused of underestimating numbers for the 1995 Million Man March.

The Inaugural Program (begins approximately 6 a.m. PST)

* Inaugural prelude by the United States Marine Band; musical selections by the San Francisco Boys Chorus and the San Francisco Girls Chorus.

* Call to order and welcoming remarks by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (R-Calif.).

* Invocation by the Rev. Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Lake Forest (Orange County).

* Musical selection by Aretha Franklin, "My Country 'Tis of Thee."

* Oath of office administered to Vice President-elect Joe Biden by Supreme Court Associate Justice John Paul Stevens.

* Musical selection by composer John Williams, "Air and Simple Gifts," performed by Yo-Yo Ma, cello; Itzhak Perlman, violin; Gabriela Montero, piano; Anthony McGill, clarinet.

* Oath of office administered to Barack Obama by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts.

* Inaugural address by Obama.

* Poem by Elizabeth Alexander.

* Benediction by the Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery.

* National anthem by the United States Navy Band "Sea Chanters."

Source: Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies

 

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