Wichita Watches As Obama Takes Oath Of Office

By: Cayle Thompson Email
By: Cayle Thompson Email

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Across Wichita, thousands were glued to televisions, watching President Obama take the oath of office.

For some, it was an especially emotional moment.

"It's just beautiful," said Brenda Baker Hayden, fighting back tears Tuesday morning. "We know this is how it's suppose to be. We know this is how God planned it for all of us to come together."

Hayden joined more than 100 others inside the small All Occasions Event Center near 21st and Oliver to watch as Barack Obama was sworn in as the country's 44th - and 1st African American - president.

Among those in the crowd were Mayola and Curtis Franklin, who each grew up during the Jim Crow years. They never thought they'd see the day an African American became president.

"He is now the most powerful man in the world," Mayola Franklin said. "And to think, our people built the White House."

Former state senator UL "Rip" Gooch also grew up in the Jim Crow years. He told the crowded event center Tuesday that in order to know where this country is headed, one must never forget what it went through to get to this moment.

For others, like Brenda Baker Hayden, it's the sense of unity - and President Obama's promise of change - that inspires whole crowds.

"It makes me want to do more," Hayden said. "He's a people's president. He's America's President. It's why I love Barack Obama."


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