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Hundreds of Thousands Cheer Obama's Presidential Victory in Chicago

Senator Barack Obama's victory in the U.S. presidential election was celebrated in his home town of Chicago by hundreds-of-thousands of supporters who reveled in the history-making moment. In a large, open-air park, Obama thanked his supporters, and outlined the change he hopes to make as president. VOA's Kane Farabaugh has followed Obama's campaign, and files this report from Chicago.

It was an extraordinary night in the city of Chicago.

Senator Barack Obama's supporters came from far and wide by the hundreds-of-thousands in the hopes that their chosen candidate would be the victor.

They were not disappointed.

Throughout the night, as election returns from each state came in, and Obama's lead over his Republican rival John McCain grew, the crowd was energized.

When it was clear that Senator Obama made history as the the first African-American elected president of the United States, the excitement of the crowd was hard to contain.

There were hugs, laughs and cheers, and even some tears among Obama's most faithful supporters. They were given exclusive access to the event, and had the best view in the crowd near the podium where Obama gave his acceptance speech.

"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders in alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy tonight is your answer," he said.

Obama had arrived at this moment with a message of change that seems to have resonated with the voting public, as evidenced in his election night victory.

But in his speech, he made clear that while his election signaled change in America, much remains to be done.

"For even as we celebrate tonight, we know the challenges that tomorrow will bring are the greatest of our lifetime - two wars a planet in peril, the worst financial crisis in a century," he said.

President-elect Obama's exit from the stage, marks the beginning of a two-month period when he will focus on forming his Cabinet, and the priorities he will tackle in the first months of his administration, which begins on Inauguration Day, January 20, 2009.