Celebrating Obama, From Coast To Coast

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Obama supporters marched over a bridge in Selma.
CBS

Across the country on Inauguration Day Americans blew their horns, waved their flags, and cheered themselves hoarse, CBS News correspondent Dean Reynolds reports.

In Memphis, a crowd cheered, "Yes we can!"

In Miami, a supporter of President Obama said: "Oh, this is such a wonderful day. God is good."

People marched over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., where the civil rights struggle came of age.

And in Miami they marveled over the progress since those days. One resident said: "I was thinking in this same town I couldn't get a drink of water out of a fountain - and that black man is president now."

Some people had goosebumps. "You could feel everyone's excitement and everyone just standing up a little taller and really being proud to be American," said Alison Klare.

Perhaps 202 million Americans watched it all on TV, everybody awaiting the salutation history has reserved for so few: "Congratulations, Mr. President."

In Chicago, denizens of the Aquarium shared top billing with the doings in D.C. TV monitors were positioned above the sharks and turtles.

And in the city's south side, which pointed Barack Obama toward the White House, the day was inspirational and educational.

At St. Columbanus Catholic School, teacher Carol Sehlinger was grateful for the help.

"There's an example being set for them that we could never teach them," she said.

The day provided a lesson for the students here - no longer just a theoretical one - about aspiring to the greatest heights.

"He doesn't have superpowers. He's just a regular person like me and you. And if he can do it I know I can do it," one of her students said.

  • Dean Reynolds
    Dean Reynolds

    Dean Reynolds is a CBS News National Correspondent based in Chicago.