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Inauguration Day24:21
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Huge crowds gather on the National Mall in Washington for the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP)
Huge crowds gather on the National Mall in Washington for the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Barack Obama on Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009. (AP)

On Inauguration Day, January 20th, 2009.

At noon today, Barack Obama lays his hand on the inaugural Bible Abraham Lincoln used, to take the oath as president of the United States. Red velvet cover. Gold trim. History under that hand. And in Obama’s oath today.

An African-American president swearing to “preserve, protect and defend” the US Constitution on the steps of a capitol built by black slaves. The great Mall in Washington is filling up. The nation and the world turn to hear. This hour, On Point: we’re opening Inauguration Day for Barack Hussein Obama.

You can join the conversation. What are your thoughts, your emotions, on this day? Did you think you would ever live to see it?Guests:

Gerald Seib, executive Washington editor of The Wall Street Journal, where he writes the Capital Journal column, and co-author with John Harwood of "Pennsylvania Avenue: Profiles in Backroom Power."

Ronald Brownstein, political director for Atlantic Media publishers and author of "The Second Civil War: How Extreme Partisanship has Paralyzed Washington and Polarized America."

Nell Irvin Painter, historian and author of "Creating Black Americans: African American History and Its Meanings, 1619 to the Present."

Monica Brady-Myerov, reporter for WBUR, on the Mall in Washington.

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

This program aired on January 20, 2009.

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