Obama sworn in as US President

BARACK Obama was today sworn in as 44th President of the United States, the first black person in the nation's 233 year history to hold the office.

Graham Dines

BARACK Obama was today sworn in as 44th President of the United States, the first black person in the nation's 233 year history to hold the office.

He took the oath on the Bible that was used by his hero Abraham Lincoln at his inaugurations in 1861 and 1865.

Huge crowds lined the presidential route, braving temperatures of minus 6 centigrade to greet their new leader, who defeated Republican candidate John McCain last November.


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The day started for President Obama and his wife Michelle with a private service at St John's Episcopal Church, a tradition started by Franklin D. Roosevelt for those about to take over the most powerful office in the world.

The couple then arrived at the White House for coffee with President George Bush and his wife Laura.

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The two leaders and their wives posed for photos before Mrs Obama handed Mrs Bush a present in a cream box, wrapped in red ribbon.

Inside the White House, the two couples took coffee together before travelling the short distance to the Capitol building for the smooth transfer of power.

Firstly, Joe Biden was sworn in as Vice-President, succeeding a wheelchair bound Dick Cheney, and shortly before noon Mr Obama took the oath of office.

Then the niceties continued as President Obama escorted Mr Bush to his departure ceremony. George and Laura bush will be flying home to Texas and their ranch outside of Midland, the town where he grew up.

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