Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Barack Obama has called for Americans to come together for the common good, hours before he is sworn in as the first black president in US history.
Evoking the spirit of the assassinated civil rights leader Martin Luther King, he called on people to dedicate themselves to public service.
With so many people facing hardship, he said, there could be no idle hands.
At least two million people are expected to attend the inauguration in a record turnout for such an event.
The roar of approval that will greet Barack Obama when he takes the oath of office will be heard around the world and will be genuine and heartfelt and will come from all corners of America, BBC North America editor Justin Webb reports.
Mr Obama has been a hugely active and visible president-elect - probably the most active in history - and the nation has on the whole approved of his demeanour and choices, our editor says.
It will, of course, get much more difficult but to suggest that his honeymoon might be shortlived would seem at the moment to fly in the face of a general mood of optimism, he adds.
Put a different way, there is a desperate hope that someone has got some answers to America's problems, our editor says....(Click for remainder).