A Local Family's Mission to Witness History

November 19, 2008 8:22:12 PM PST
When Barack Obama takes the oath of office on January 20th a new page of American history will be written on the first African American president.A footnote on that page will be how many people are in Washington D.C. when that happens.

The total number of tickets to Barack Obama's Inauguration is somewhere around two-hundred-50 thousand. One Fresno couple hopes all their efforts will score them a pair and a place to witness this moment in history.

Karen Major said, "Long before Senator Obama became the 'President-Elect' Karen and Dennis Major had started planning to attend his inauguration ... Going to the Inauguration: It's such an historic moment and I never thought I would see it in my life time."

During their visit to Washington, D.C. this past September they put their names on California Senator Barbara Boxer's inaugural ticket list. That was the beginning.

Dennis Major said, "Going to the Inauguration: Right after the election, I mean hours after the election the phone calls started, the online activity started."

Their net surfing resulted in hotel rooms in Baltimore, Maryland ... A short metro system ride to D.C.

Dennis said, "Going to the Inauguration: The Union Station lets us off within walking distance to the Mall."

Most senators and members of congress have now stopped taking names for tickets, including Fresno's Jim Costa.

Jim Costa, (D) U.S. Congress: "We've had over three hundred requests but not as much as Senator Feinstein who's had over 8-thousand requests."

Early estimates predict a 2009 inaugural crowd at one million-plus. A far cry from Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural of 'tens of thousands' in 1865. Or the 8-hundred thousand in 1993 for Bill Clinton's. This week brought news that the park service is bracing for perhaps four times that many people stretching 2 miles from Capitol Hill to the Washington monument and beyond.

Jim Costa, (D) U.S. Congress: "And I wouldn't be surprised if people line up throughout the Mall if the security lets them."

With or without official tickets ... The Major's will be there. Their family's journey began four generations ago as slaves and has led to this momentous time in American history.

Karen Major said, "Going to the Inauguration: It's not just a victory for African-Americans, I think it's a victory for all Americans."

Dennis Major said, "Going to the Inauguration: It might be our luck that we end up with nothing but we will be there, we will be somewhere back in the crowd along the mall."

And the rest of America will likely turn to their TV sets to watch this new page in history settle into place.

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