Chicagoans watch history at events

January 20, 2009 5:22:24 AM PST
Chicagoans can watch history at the number of events and viewing parties being held around the city and suburbs for Obama's inauguration. More than 400 people are expected to watch today's events at the Union League in the Loop. The club's rare presidential memorabilia will be on display.

School children across the city and suburbs will also be watching the inauguration this morning as part of a civics lesson.

On the South Side, hundreds of students will watch the historic ceremony at the auditorium of the Harold Washington Cultural Center.

"It's not just about what President Obama is saying in his speech, but how does that speech resonate with them and their personal lives? How do we make that something that you can apply every day?" said T.J. Crawford, event organizer.

Students the gathering at Whitney Young High School on the city's West Side will be beaming with pride during the inauguration. That's because incoming First Lady Michelle Obama graduated from there in 1981.

"Whitney young gave me a space where I could be smart, be in a community of like-minded kids, and sort of revel in my intellect," said Michelle Obama.

Members of the Whitney Young's junior ROTC program are in Washington. They will be marching in the inaugural parade today.

Later today, hundreds of local Obama election volunteers will host the Chicago Inaugural Ball at McCormick Place. The party will include dinner, dancing, and a toast to the new president.

"We have three video shorts that we're going to be showing about the campaign and about renewing America's promise, and about the future that we'll see under Barack Obama, and we will replay the actual swearing in and then toast our new president," said Vasyl Markus, Chicago Inaugural Ball Organizer.