People across the country watched the inaugural ceremony on TV.
One of those was 90 year old Mary Parrish.
Parrish watched the inauguration in her San Jose living room, with her daughter Shirley.
Parrish grew up picking cotton in the south. Her aunts and uncles were the victims of slavery.
She says she is just excited to be here and that she never thought she'd live to see this day.
Still, the Parrish's joy and hope are tempered with a little fear that not every American is ready for the nation's first black president.
She hopes no body tires to hurt him.
But this is a day to celebrate in the Parrish home.
From the chains of slavery, to the cotton fields of Louisiana she has been part of the black struggle.
Now finally, to the majestic columns of the White House.