A day pulsing with history follows very old script


WASHINGTON (AP) — For once, the drumbeats of division receded and Americans of every ornery opinion gathered to witness history in President Barack Obama's second-term inauguration.

Hours before Monday's pageantry, people on foot spilled out of Metro stations near the White House and streamed toward festivities, official vehicles sealed off intersections and commuters packed coffee shops, among the few businesses open on the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.

A steady stream of people headed toward the National Mall, but there wasn't the same early morning crush of humanity of Obama's first swearing-in. No one expected a repeat of those unprecedented crowds, nor quite the same excitement. But for many thousands, it was not a day to be missed.

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