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Almost immediately after the election, informal and unplanned celebrations exploded on street corners in cities all over the country. It seems strange to me, but the only time I got emotional after the election was while watching some of the videos of celebrations and seeing people all over the country reacting exactly the same – joyously. What surprised me the most was how many random groups of people all over the country felt compelled to sing the National Anthem, almost as if there was a latent patriotism bubbling to the surface. Another thing I’ll never forget is the group of people who gathered outside the White House, chanting and singing until 1 AM. Below are some videos, pictures, and stories about the celebrations.
Before leaving the election party I was at 10:58, there was a toast, ‘To our new President. Barack Hussein Obama!’
It’s clear people had to be together, and so they were:
But collective revelry isn’t just an expression of excitement or a biological impulse: it’s also a political act.
My favorite video, if you only watch one celebration video, watch this one. ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ from the streets of Seattle.
For my part, the most memorable part of last night was coming out of the subway at 34th street at 11pm to a sea of cars and cabs moving up Sixth Avenue, horns honking. I had not been able to check the results since 8PM, but I knew then that Obama had won.
Dancing on a bus in NYC.
And what it might have been like to be a passenger on that bus.
And what it might have been like to be on the street next to that bus.
And I found that very thing on Bedford Ave. in Williamsburg, the geographic heart of all we mock. Hipsters, it was your finest moment. And you can’t help but believe that when the amorphous hipster mob takes to the street for democracy while a grim Lou Dobbs climbs silently into his pajamas somewhere across town, brighter days are ahead. God bless America
Dancing in Brooklyn
When history landed, it was with car horns, tears, gunfire and echoes from historic corners of the city.
USAOBAMA! – DC
Crowds gathering outside the White House
CNN of crowd outside White House
Washington D.C.’s U Street, once known as the Black Broadway before being ravaged by riots after the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968, came alive last night, as blacks and whites shut down traffic in a spontaneous celebration of the nation’s first African-American president.
It’s an incredible scene, almost indescribable. Outside, hundreds, maybe thousands of D.C. residents have taken to the streets.
Warning: This video appears to be of legitimate strangers hugging each other in glee. Iâ€™ve never seen anything like this.
South Park, Colorado
Think about this while you think about what you were doing in Seattle while you think about what was happening in Chicago… for this much happiness to be simultaneously … pretty remarkable.
“It is, for the moment, cool to be patriotic again” which lead to the National Anthem being sung all over the country.
In Harvard Yard
In Seattle, lead by a drag queen
In New York
Last night, in Harlem, there was such a big thing to celebrate that people were celebrating any little thing.
I’ve never seen DC’s streets like that. I’ve never seen any streets like that. Thousands of people, screaming, honking, hugging each other. An indiscriminate celebration. U Street was a mass of humanity, everyone giving high-fives, drivers stuck in the road and laughing with the crowd.
Yes We Can! Car Honking
I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje, who was at an election party at Arbor Brewing Co. on Washington Street, celebrating his own victory for a fifth 2-year term. “You could hear them coming and then half the bar went outside and followed along.
Yes We Can! – Prospect Heights, Brooklyn
Jacked up on motivational rhetoric and tunes from Barack’s iPod – including Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered,” Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America,” Jackie Wilson’s “Higher and Higher,” Bruce Springsteen’s “The Rising,” U2’s “City of Blinding Lights” and Buddy Guy’s “Sweet Home Chicago – the departing crowd poured onto Michigan Avenue where the afterparty took form. The impromptu street bash assumed the joyous spirit of Times Square on V-J Day, particularly when guys realized that if they shouted “O-ba-ma!” in proximity to ebullient coeds that it would earn them hugs or, better, kisses. The “O-ba-ma” mating call and response persisted into the wee hours. Past midnight, in front of the Art Institute of Chicago, an impulsive young emcee armed with a cowbell and a voice that carried whipped revelers into an ecstatic dance eddy that sucked in everybody within earshot. Super Tuesday melded with Fat Tuesday.
As people streamed out of the park, a black woman leaving the rally could not believe the balmy weather: “70 degrees in November in Chicago.” Her husband added “and a black man is the president,” Change, to use Mr Obama’s sometimes vague slogan, seemed palpably in the air.
Some Blair Witch style videos from Grant Park:
On election night, as the whole world was watching Barack Obama speak in the same park where protestors battled police in 1968, the city by the lake became America’s city on the hill, the epicenter of national politics for a new era.
Text and video of Obama’s victory speech from CNN.
And from the Campaign.
And another Blair Witch
The joy here is sexualized. Couples are full-body hugging and making out. It feels like that iconic photo of soldiers returning from World War II, a sailor getting wet kisses from a nurse in New York City. Every contact feels extra honest, like weâ€™ve just been through such an ordeal that we long for real comfort. Diplo screams into the mike along to the rhythm: “O-bam-a! Oh my god! O-bam-a! Oh my god!” Damn, it feels good to be an American.
People celebrated at UC Berkley
And at the Boston Public Library!
And in Harvard Square (Turn down your volume, this one is loud)
I didn’t feel this way on election night, but several times over the last several years I did.
As I watched CNN call the race for Obama, I had a rush of joy, followed by something I totally did not expect: Anger. I was holding a glass of champagne in my hand, and it was all I could do not to launch it across the room (I was in my own living room with family). Then it was over. The weight of the last eight years bursting out? Don’t know. I wonder if anyone else felt the same way? It did not last, but it sure was there for a moment.
Celebrate! – A run down of the celebrations.
WINS! – A list of 38 sites and their winning posts.
Winners and Losers – 18 lists of election winners and losers.
Turnout, Voting, and Polling – Articles and stories about voting, polling, and turn out.
Reactions – Reactions from the world, pundits, and celebrities.
How Obama Won – Some thoughts on how Obama won.
Why McCain Lost – Some thoughts on why McCain lost and what next for the GOP.
Expectations and Advice – There are a lot of people with expectations and a lot of people with advice.
Race – Obviously electing the first black president is going to bring up comments on race.
Money and Business – What will the impact on your money and you business be?
The Media – Without the media, wherever would we be!?
Humor – Without the humor, wherever would we be!?
Miscellaneous – Without the miscellaneous, wherever would we be!?
Personal Stories from Friends – Just what it says.
273 Status Political Status Messages in 27 Hours – Just what it says.
Via – Here’s a list of all the sites I used in putting this together – the sources.