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An East African banner commemorating Barack Obama’s election, with a text in Swahili reading "God has blessed us with peace and love.
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by Sidney Lawrence

More than a million visitors are expected for the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama on Jan. 20, 2009, the largest number ever, with most of them thronged onto the National Mall -- overflowing, presumably, into the many museums that ring the greensward. Festivities begin at 10 am in front of the U.S. Capitol, starting with the U.S. Marine Band, an invocation by the famous homophobic evangelist Rick Warren and a song by Aretha Franklin.