Elected second time for a four year term, America's first black president, Barack Obama took oath of office on Monday and spoke to a gathering of about 8 lakh people from the specially constructed stands for his inaugural address outside the US Capitol.
Barack Obama's inauguration was replete with all the usual fanfare with Marine trumpeters heralding the arrival of law makers and other dignitaries on the inaugural stands. He urged people to act with passion and dedication for greater equality and prosperity, nurture democracy, safeguard human rights and combat global warming.
The inauguration this year coincided with the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. who was assassinated in 1968. Obama used the Bibles belonging to King and Abraham Lincoln for the swearing-in ceremony.
Exercising his usual spoken word artist style with poetic recitation language, Obama laid out a progressive agenda for issues like gun control, climate change, gay marriages and immigration reform to the cheering crowd.
"We have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action," said Obama.
It was on November 6, 2012 that Obama got re-elected as president of the US for a second term by securing 332 electoral votes against 270 required for the win. He won the election with 51% of the popular vote. In the history of the country, Obama has become the first Democratic president since Franklin D. Roosevelt to win the majority of the popular vote twice.