At White House, it's "pictures, pictures, selfies, selfies all day"

A White House tradition going back to the '70s is no more. Tourists are finally allowed to take pictures inside what may be the most memorable part of a visit to Washington.

"First of all, I just turned it on and just start taking pictures, pictures, pictures, selfies, selfies all day," 10-year-old Cole Lucas said.

The Lucas family made the most of being among the first, reports CBS News correspondent Jan Crawford.

"Then I just went up to the cool statues, start taking pictures by them so I could make my friends feel like, 'Oh wow, Cole, you got to go in the president's house!'" Cole said.

Visiting from Houston, the family heard the news just hours before their tour was set to start.

"Watching 'CBS This Morning,' I see Mrs. Obama tear the paper and say that starting today anyone who visits the White House can take pictures. So that was like, 'Seriously? On the day I am touring!'" mother Filecha Lucas said.

"We were elated," father Erik Lucas said.

For the first time in some 40 years, tourists streaming through the White House Wednesday no longer had to try to sneak a quick shot.

Taking pictures of the East Room, Blue Room, panoramics of the state room and selfies with President Kennedy - the Messer family couldn't stop snapping.

"It is definitely exciting because you get to be able to remember all that you saw and know how many people have walked through here and what history that has been created here," Sandy Messer said.

The White House historical society tells CBS News the ban was in place for logistical reasons. In the old pre-cell phone days, photography slowed down the tours.

Anita McBride was the chief of staff to First Lady Laura Bush and now is executive-in-residence at the Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies at American University.

"The White House is a living breathing place. It evolves the way society evolves, even to the point of taking pictures a lot more easily than we used to be able to," McBride said.

The Lucas family, the photographs will make the memories last.

"It was amazing. They're always going to remember this. For the rest of their lives," Erik said.

The White House will still not allow flash photography because of the artwork and paintings in the rooms, but a cellphone with no flash is more than good enough.