Civil Rights Museum hosts inauguration viewing - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Ben Watson

Civil Rights Museum hosts inauguration viewing

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - People eager to see history in the packed the auditorium and lobby of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis Tuesday to witness the historical inauguration of Barack Obama as the nation's first African-American president.

Immediately after Obama was sworn in, the crowd erupted in chants of 'Yes We Can!'

Museum Director Beverly Robertson said of the crowd, "If they weren't going to be in Washington, D.C. then they need to be here."

The museum is on the site where civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. Tuesday, about 700 people gathered to watch a live broadcast of the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
"It means so much to me to be able to actually be here and actually be part of this moment here," Memphian Derrick Alexander said. "It means a lot."
Enthusiasm was high among Obama supporters, with tears of joy on many faces.
"It's much hope, not only for me, for Americans - all Americans - and that what this is about: all Americans," Beth Lester said.

For many at the museum dedicated to honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., watching the election of an African-American president was one fulfillment of Dr. King's dream.

"This is the place where Dr. King lost his life, so I figured this would be a good spot to come actually and watch Barack Obama take the oath of office," Alexander said.

 And now their attention turns toward the future, and what many hope President Obama can do to help the country.
"My biggest hope is that he can change, like I said, change the economy, and get more jobs," Memphian Megan Farone said. "We need more jobs. There are too many people in foreclosure, getting laid off."

For many, Tuesday's inauguration was the first step of what they hoped would be a great presidency.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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