Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

Whether Democrat, Republican or Libertarian, whichever party you call your political home, they all celebrated Illinois’ native son Barack Obama’s victory.

The biggest party in Washington DC history took place on January 20, 2009. The inauguration of Barack Obama made history, since he was elected the first African American president of the United States.

Every hotel in Washington was booked. Washington residents left their apartments so that visitors could rent them for their stay in the nation’s capital.

Record numbers of spectators attended the ceremony. Among those attending were some Chicago public elementary school students that were given tickets by US Senator Roland Burris. Other tickets were awarded by US Rep. Danny K. Davis. In an effort to stop the tickets from being copied, the US Congress passed a law that forbids the tickets from being duplicated.

The new president and first lady danced to Beyonce singing “At Last,” the song made famous by Blues icon Etta James. Aretha Franklin sang “My country ‘tis of thee” during the inaugural ceremony. With more than one million people in the nation’s capital and more troops than there are in Iraq, there were no incidents reported in or around the inauguration premises. That’s a big surprise on the biggest day in American history.

The Obamas had big plans in the night. Michelle and Barack Obama visited 10 inaugural balls throughout Washington D.C. First daughters Sasha and Malia had plans of their own: they celebrated in their new home with friends watching Disney movies “High School Musical 3” and “Bolt.”

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