Sacramentans react to Obama's historic inauguration

Sacramento BeeJanuary 21, 2009 

Mary Hollie chose a church for the historic day. Nancy Green wanted to share it with a crowd. Amanda Atkinson spent the day with family.

As Barack Obama took the oath of office Tuesday as the 44th president, residents of the nation's most diverse city carefully chose where they would watch.

Throughout the Sacramento region, inaugural watch parties large and small took place in homes, schools and churches. People of all races and ages paused to take in the ceremony and parade. Some took their children out of school. Others planned parties that went well into the night.

Many celebrated with prayer and gratitude.

"This is truly a miracle. Halleluja! Halleluja!" said Hollie, 81, who watched the ceremony with hundreds of others on a huge screen at St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church, a predominantly African American congregation in Oak Park. "I never thought I'd see this day."

"Our ancestors are singing in heaven," added George Townsend, 82, who wept as he watched the events unfold in Washington, D.C.

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