President Barack Obama and the State of the Union Address

Historian article

By Michael Dunne, published 1st November 2010


Shortly after noon on 20 January 2009 Barack Obama began his historic Inaugural Address as 44th President of the United States of America. On the west porch of the Capitol, home to the US Congress, and under propitiously blue skies, the first African American president spoke before more than 1,500,000 spectators gathered in the freezing air on the Washington Mall. Television, the internet and radio broadcast Obama's words to hundreds of millions across the nation and abroad; for foreigners no less than American citizens appreciated the significance of this unprecedented occasion. If racism had not been overcome (as some naïvely hoped), at least those once called ‘people of colour' had an inspirational rolemodel in the man who now held the most powerful political position in the world. Precisely one year, one week and one day after that inspiring moment, President Obama...

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