Students across Chicago, like the 5th graders at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy on the North Side, paused to watch history in the making on Tuesday.
But what was it that they learned?
"It means change, opportunities. It's just so big for America," said Earl Schultz, Hawthorne Academy.
Big for America? Perhaps even bigger for Chicago. In the city there are huge signs of hope and a feeling that he, Mr. President, is really one of us.
" I feel like I am so well connected with what is going on in our country," said Toya Randolph.
Valetta Bell invited us into her South Side home today, along with a dozen of her closest friends.They watched as Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior's dream was realized in a way they never imagined.
"It makes me proud, it makes me proud to be an American," said Kimberly Echols.
There was pride in Hyde Park as well where the Obamas used to live. They covered the chair at the barbershop where President Obama has gotten many a haircut.
And pride in front of ABC7's State Street studio - dozens stood as the snow came down, frozen in silence, watching it all on TV.
They had not one, but two reasons to be proud at Whitney Young High School, alma mater to the new First Lady. Michelle Robinson graduated from the school in 1981.
And the clarinetist playing right before Obama was sworn in was Anthony McGill, another Whitney Young grad."Martin Luther King laid the pavement. Barack Obama is making the dream come alive," said Dominick Williams, Whitney Young freshman.
The dreams and hopes of a city -- and a nation today.