Obama Promises New Destiny, Work Begins Today

Barack Obama's Inauguration showed the world a more sober, civil and exuberant America

Jim Bourg / Reuters

The 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, takes the oath given by U.S. Supreme Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, January 20, 2009.

"I, Barack Hussein Obama , do solemnly swear ..." Well, nothing was more stunning and cathartic than those few words. Not the remarkable American diorama — in all its polychromatic wonder — spread out for miles on the National Mall in Washington . Not the clear, sober cadences of our new President's Inaugural Address . Not the prayers and tears, the unstoppable smiles and barely controlled giddiness of what may have been the happiest crowd ever to grace the nation's capital. A man named Barack Hussein Obama is now the President of the United States. He...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!