On assignment for school, I was tasked with documenting the Inauguration. You may not believe this, but there wasn't much going on in Athens, Ohio where I go to school. Not interested in traveling to fight the mob in Washington D.C., I decided to head home for the assignment.
Back in October, Cincinnati was visited by both major party candidates. Sen. John McCain and running mate Gov. Sarah Palin spoke at Lunken Airport:
Sen. Barack Obama would speak later that month at the University of Cincinnati. The election took place and Sen. Obama came out on top becoming the first African-American president-elect, a historic election.
January 19, 2009: The Martin Luther King Jr. Coalition of Cincinnati, Ohio prepares to march in remembrance of one of the most well known American civil rights activists. The march is not only a celebration of his life and work, but a victory celebration for Barack Obama who the next day would become the United State's first African-American president.
The march ended at Music Hall with a speech by Rev. Curtis Fuller and other programs.
Public viewing parties were planned all around Cincinnati. Fountain Square, the Museum Center and even the Freedom Center all had planned to show the Inauguration to the public. I chose to go to the Museum Center, it was inside and warm. I would find out eventually that the Freedom Center had technical problems, so the Museum Center was a good choice.
A large projection screen was situated beneath the rotunda, flanked on both sides by the murals of Cincinnati history. Droves of people crammed in as a friendly Museum Center staff allowed me to go upstairs to get an interesting perspective on the event.
I left for a few minutes to check out Fountain Square. According to weather.com on my Blackberry, the temperature was 17 degrees. Hardly anyone was outside so back to the Museum Center I went. I arrived just in time as the ceremony began. As everyone took up viewing positions one woman began to cry stating "I've been waiting for this for 70 years."
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush were announced on screen. Many, but not all in attendance under the rotunda let out "boos." Then, as the announcer uttered the name "Bara..." the crowd stood and erupted in applause. First Biden was sworn in then it was time for Obama to take the oath. Many stood and began clapping, some even crying tears of joy.
While many stayed around to watch the Inaugural parade, I left. I made my way out of the Museum Center parking lot and over to Central Ave. to stop at "Ollie's Trolley." Ever since the Democratic Primary Campaign's started last year, I noticed that "Ollie's" had been decked out in Obama campaign posters and paraphernalia. I wanted to stop by to see how those inside were celebrating the Inauguration.
Speaking to those inside, I found that the owner, Mr. Smith, was actually in attendance at the Inauguration in Washington D.C. Meanwhile, back home in Cincinnati his daughter, Mary, watched the live broadcast while working at "Ollie's Trolley."
While I got to talk with and photograph those inside, I had to satisfy my curiosity. A year ago I had seen the Obama posters on the building and Obama won the election. I had also seen the words "World's Greatest Hamburger" printed on the side of the building, so I ordered the "Ollieburger." Ollie's Trolley makes a good burger, definitely one of the best! I'd say it ties as my personal favorite, but I also supported McCain, so I could be wrong. If you ever have the time and if you're nearby make sure you stop by for friendly service and some great food.
The rest of the day was spent driving back to Athens listening to 700 WLW after a day of documenting history happening in Cincinnai.
For more photographs check out the Queen City Discovery Features Gallery.
Previous Update: 1/11/2009 - The Ruins of Hudepohl Brewery