Page last updated at 03:35 GMT, Wednesday, 21 January 2009
As it happened: Obama inauguration



Barack Obama is sworn in as president

Barack Obama has been sworn in as the 44th President of the United States of America, at a historic ceremony in Washington DC.

Crowds gather in the National Mall, Washington DC

Millions of people in the US and around the world watched as he pledged to "preserve, protect and defend" the US constitution.

President Barack Obama"s Inaugural Parade proceeds down Pennsylvania Avenue

Mr Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama then travelled to the White House in an Inaugural Parade.

U.S. President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk in the inaugural parade

The motorcade stopped and the couple stepped out of the car and walked, waving to the hundreds of wellwishers lining the route - many of whom had waited 10 hours in the cold.

Crowds gather in the National Mall, Washington DC

Earlier in the day, those gathered in Washington's National Mall erupted into cheers when Mr Obama appeared on the inauguration stage.

The Obama family on stage in Washington DC

The new president was joined by his wife Michelle and his daughters Sasha and Malia, who will be the youngest White House residents for many years.

Bill and Hillary Clinton at the inaguration ceremony in Washington DC

Also on stage were Mr Obama's former rival for the Democratic candidacy and probable future Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Barack Obama swears on the Lincoln Bible, held by Michelle Obama, in Washington DC

Mr Obama swore his oath of allegiance on the same Bible used by Abraham Lincoln at his inauguration in 1861, held by the new First Lady Michelle Obama.

President Barack Obama is seen on the screen as he delivers his speech over a packed National Mall in Washington

He used his inaugural speech to say the US was entering a "new era of responsibility", and vowed to begin the work of "remaking" the country.

People celebrate during the inauguration of Barack Obama

Mr Obama made reference to the scale of his achievement at being the first black American elected to the White House, in a remark that gathered one of the biggest cheers of the speech.

US Vice-President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama in Washington DC

The newly-sworn in Vice-President Joe Biden congratulated Mr Obama on his new role.

Former US President George W. Bush and Laura Bush wave from a helicopter

The now former President George W Bush, who has been commended by many for the smooth transition of power to Mr Obama, also congratulated his successor.

Armed security personnel at the Capitol in Washington DC

Security was intense, with roads and subways closed and some 40,000 security personnel on duty, including police snipers in position on the roof of the White House.

President-elect Barack Obama, First Lady Laura Bush, President George Bush and Michelle Obama on the steps of the White House

The first couple had started the day with a church service, then travelled to the White House for coffee with Mr Bush and his wife Laura.

A Marine Corps' helicopter carrying former President flies past the U.S. Capitol for the final time en route to Andrews Air Force Base.

Mr and Mrs Bush left by helicopter bound for Midland, Texas, before heading to the family ranch at Crawford.

Crowds climb on a statue in the National Mall in Washington DC

Some had been waiting in the streets of the capital from the early hours, despite the freezing temperatures.

Aretha Franklin at the inauguration ceremony

They had been entertained by music from the stage, including singer Aretha Franklin, who sang My Country 'Tis of Thee with the backing of a choir.

People wave flags in Washington DC

Correspondents said there was a real sense of history among the cheering and flag-waving crowds gathered in the National Mall.

A man holds a sign at the inauguration in Washington DC

For many Americans, seeing the first African-American president sworn into the White House is a sign of the country having overcome its racially divided past.

Michelle Obama and Barack Obama at the Inaugural Ball in Washington

Barack and Michelle Obama then began attending a series of balls traditionally held after the inauguration ceremonies.



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