|As the election result was announced, people started gathering outside the White House [AFP]
When they blocked off the road in front of they White House, they probably didn't realise they had created a great place for a party.
As the result was announced, people started gathering. First in their fours and fives, then slowly in bigger groups until hundreds were there, celebrating the moment - the election of Barack Obama.
Many had never voted before and were excited their "X" had made a difference. This was a victory for a new generation.
The chants of "O-bam-a" started and they were picked up across the crowd until they filled the air.
In the background stood the White House, brilliantly illuminated against the dark Washington night.
Then the rain started to fall, slowly at first and then bigger and harder but it did nothing to dampen the crowd's fervour.
Bedtime for Bush
George Bush, the incumbent US president, is famous for heading to bed before 10, but his aides said he would be watching the results.
|The banner headline that much of
America will wake up to
Maybe he headed off when the result was clear, maybe he stayed to listen to the man who will soon replace him.
And the crowd found its voice again with a new song especially for him "Na Na Na, hey hey, goodbye".
They were calling on their phones, urging others to join them or just to share the moment with them.
There were smiles, there were tears but mostly there was hope that this time it would be different.
The Washington Post has printed many famous front pages in its long illustrious history marking the outbreak of war, the declaration of peace and exclusives on the Watergate scandal.
On Tuesday night they added another to the collection marking the Obama victory.
"Obama Makes History" is the banner headline on the newspaper much of America will wake up to.
Roddy MacPherson has worked at The Post for 33 years.
He remembers the Carter victory in 1976 with affection as that was his first Presidential front page, but he told me: "This is right up there with any of them, an historic issue which many people will want to keep to mark the moment when America elected an African American to be president."