This site is designed to help us learn about Social Studies and other areas of interest "beyond the classroom." I plan to enter a post at least once a week, so I hope you join us in this conversation on learning.
January 20, 2009 was an historic day in America. Barrack H. Obama was inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States of America. This was a day that the country, old and young, black, white, yellow, red and brown, celebrated the inauguration of an African-American to the highest elected position in America. I am glad the we studied the Civil Rights Movement following our study of the election because it made the historical significance of Obama’s election more meaningful to you than it would have been without that background knowledge.
The following link will take you to that ceremony. It is too bad that Chief Justice Roberts flubbed his part… President Obama retook the oath the following morning to be sure it was administered correctly. Time will tell whether Obama’s call for change will actually result in meaningful change in how business is done in Washington D.C. and the country at large, but the fact that an African-American is now our President is a change that many only dreamed about. One of the highlights of this ceremony for me was when Obama made mention of how this day was dreamed of by those who had participated in the Civil Rights Movement decades earlier. Upon these words, A Black man and his wife, who were seated on the platform behind President Obama, rose and applauded. This man was John Lewis. Lewis is now a senator, but as a college student in the 1960’s, Lewis was a leader of SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee). In that capacity, Lewis had marched with Dr. King and the others, and he had been an integral figure in that movement. What a day January 20, 2009 must have been for him (…and the many other living participants of the Civil Rights Movement)! I only wish more people on the platform would have stood with him at that moment…
I hope you visit the site and watch the Inaugural Day festivities. I was fortunate to see Aretha Franklin in concert last year, so I appreciated her part in this ceremony. ...and how about Yo Yo Ma and Itzhak Perlman?!...The poem by Elizabeth Alexander was also significant. Please feel free to leave a comment.