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Published: Tuesday, 1/20/2009

Toledoans gather together to watch Obama's inauguration

BY STEVE EDER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Toledoans huddled around televisions across the city Tuesday afternoon as Barack Obama became became the 44th U.S. President.

At Downtown Latte, about 30 people gathered and cheered as Mr. Obama took the oath of office and delivered his inaugural address.

Downtown Latte is adjacent to Mr. Obama's former Toledo headquarters and during the summer and fall was a place for campaign workers to gather.

But Tuesday, it was a place for Obama supporters to savor the moment and share their hopes for the new president.

"It is a feeling of hope," said Zak Vassar, 29, as he waited for Mr. Obama to take center stage in the nation's capital. "This is going to be a real change, just a different way of doing business in Washington."

There were celebrations planned across the region today to usher in the new president, including gatherings at schools, universities, and home parties.

The Toledo-Lucas County Public Library had inaugural viewing times set up at six of its locations, including the Main Library downtown.

"It is historical," said Marcia Brown, a downtown patron who met with friends at Downtown Latte today. "It is beautiful and amazing. He brings new hope to a lot of people he has the ability to unite a lot of people in this country."



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