Anderson Cooper was in the National Mall with at least 800,000 others today for Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama's public swearing-in ceremony. The festivities coincidentally fell on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. The celebrations were exquisite, the styles glamorous, and the performances worthy of the momentous occasion – and the night is still young.
After he took his oath of office, the president addressed the nation and called on Americans to come together for a common purpose. The overarching theme was equality. For the first time in an inaugural speech, a president called for gay rights, which received a loud applause from the crowd.
Among the many symbolic traditions, the commander in chief used two Bibles, instead of one, for the swearing-in by Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts. President Obama chose to place his hand on the Bible Abraham Lincoln used for his first inauguration, and a Bible used by King.
Read President Obama's address below and tune in to AC360° at 10 p.m. ET for insight from political insiders and historians, and relive the best moments from the 57th presidential inauguration. Anderson will also speak with inaugural poet Richard Blanco.
Reporter's Note: President Obama is enjoying his public inauguration today and preparing for four more years of work. I, on the other hand, will be taking a break. The letter below is the same one I sent on the day of his first inauguration when I began this unbroken string of missives. It is also the last one.
Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations! Watching you on that podium today, surrounded by so many hundreds of thousands of Americans I could not help but feel inspired by the miracle of Democracy and the greatness of our nation. I also have a question: Do you have any idea what you’ve gotten yourself into?
I know you are busy today, but call when you can.
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