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Obama makes history

The 2008 presidential election concluded with the election of America’s first black president.

Millions throughout the country cheered at bars, restaurants and voter-watch parties as major television networks called the election shortly after the West coast’s polls closed at 11 p.m. EST Nov. 4.

Although Florida went to President-elect Barack Obama by a margin of 2 percent – 51-49 percent – Duval County went to McCain by a margin of 1 percent, making it a 50-49 percent race.

Obama gave his acceptance speech at Grant Park in Chicago in front of tens of thousands of screaming supporters.

“Change has come to America,” Obama said in his speech. “Above all, I will never forget who this election belongs to. It belongs to you.”

Obama thanked the young people who came out in droves to support him, as well as the older people who braved the weather to knock on strangers’ doors to get the word out.

“Even as we celebrate tonight, we know that tomorrow will bring the greatest challenges we will ever face – two wars and the greatest financial crisis in a century,” Obama said amidst cheers of “Yes We Can.”

Before several states’ results were tallied, Obama secured the election by winning several traditionally “red states” like Virginia, which has not supported a democratic presidential nominee since John Kennedy in 1964.

He also secured Iowa, Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota – all of which went for President Bush in 2004.

“We can all look to [Gov. Palin’s] service to Alaska and to her country, ”Sen. John McCain said in his concession speech shortly after 11 p.m. Nov. 4. “A lost election will never mean more to me than the faith and friendship you have given me.”

McCain closed his statement by saying all Americans must not despair against America’s current difficulties, and he hopes the public will stand behind President-elect Obama.

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