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For many inauguration attendees without tickets to official viewing areas, there was a historic alternative all the way on the other side of the National Mall at the Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln is often invoked by President Obama and the memorial's role in the civil rights movement also made it a powerful draw on a day that was not only Inauguration Day, but also Martin Luther King, Jr., Day.

If the voters in Louisa, Ky., had their wish, Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office Monday. Louisa is in eastern Kentucky, and "coal" was the one-word issue in the election. President Obama is seen as an enemy of coal mining and he got only 27 percent of the vote in the county.

And now comes word that Louisa is going to lose its biggest industry — a power generating plant that's been burning coal since 1962.

For the past few weeks a team of scientists, archaeologists and documentary makers has been digging at Yangon's international airport in Myanmar, also known as Burma. They are searching for a legendary trove of Spitfire fighter planes, said to have been buried in Burma in the waning days of World War II.

It's about 25 degrees on a clear Saturday morning when Gregg Treinish — executive director of Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation, a nonprofit that puts volunteers to work gathering data for scientists around the world — gathers a small group of outdoor adventurers around him near the Duckabush River in the Olympic National Forest in Washington state.

One of President Obama's gun control proposals appears to have widespread support — universal background checks for gun purchases. Some experts on mental health and gun violence find problems with the current laws, and they say the system doesn't do a very good job of predicting and preventing gun crime.

When you enter Kerley's Hunting and Outfitting in Cupertino, Calif., you're greeted by a taxidermy lion roaring and leaping. There are rows of rifles on the walls, but the owner, Harry Dwyer III, doesn't appear to be as fierce as his mascot.

President Barack Hussein Obama, sobered but resolute after four years as the nation's first African-American head of state, began his second term Monday with an ardent defense of government as essential to the nation's economic and moral fiber, and a call to citizens to accept their obligation to shape the national debate.

As he walked up the steps and back into the Capitol today following his inaugural address, President Obama paused and turned around to look back.

"I want to take a look," he could be heard saying, because "I'm not going to see this again."

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Today's inaugural ceremonies also fall on the holiday honoring civil rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. In a special touch, President Obama used two Bibles to take the oath of office, one of them belonging to Abraham Lincoln and the other once belonged to Dr. King. And a lot of Americans have drawn a connection between this nation's first African-American president and Dr. King.

The Russian government said that it was sending two airplanes to Lebanon in an effort to evacuate any of its citizens who wish to leave neighboring Syria.

Russia Today, the official English-language outlet for the country, reports the planes will depart on Tuesday and are expected to carry about 100 Russians.

President Obama began his second term with an unapologetically liberal inaugural address, calling on Americans to work together to preserve entitlements, address climate change and extend civil rights.

"Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play," the president said. "Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune."

What Will The Next Four Years Be About?

Jan 21, 2013

Hope and change were two of the watch words of President Obama's first presidential campaign. As he begins a second term, Tell Me More speaks with people gathered in the nation's capital about what they think the next four years will be about.

After The Social Movement, What's Next?

Jan 21, 2013

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Later in the program, we will hear more from some of the folks attending the inauguration ceremonies.

President Barack Obama delivered his second inaugural speech today. Host Michel Martin explores how his words may have resonated with Americans --those who voted for him and those who didn't-- with two former White House insiders.

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

On this day, when we observe the inauguration of the nation's president and, as well, the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, we decided to send TELL ME MORE producer Emily Ochsenschlager to the Martin Luther King, Jr. memorial to hear what visitors there had to say about what today's events mean to them.

Carrie Haskins(ph) came in for the inauguration from Fort Lee, Virginia.

In the new Fox TV series The Following, Kevin Bacon plays a former FBI agent asked to help apprehend an escaped serial killer he once put behind bars. The show is from Kevin Williamson, who also created the Scream horror-movie franchise.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is special coverage from NPR News of the presidential inauguration. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. The crowds along the National Mall have dwindled, and President Obama is making his way to the inaugural parade, which then will head down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. The theme of this year's inauguration, faith in America's future, an idea that echoed through much of what the president said in an inaugural address that illuminated many of the principles behind the policies he intends to address during his final term.

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NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is special coverage from NPR News. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Just over two hours ago, President Barack Obama took the oath of office on the west steps of the Capitol before a throng gathered on the National Mall and millions listening on radio and TV. As he begins his second term in the White House, he leads a nation deeply divided on the size and purpose of government, on gay marriage, on guns.

In his new book, The Double V: How Wars, Protest and Harry Truman Desegregated America's Military, author Rawn James Jr. argues that if one wants to understand the story of race in the United States, one must understand the history of African-Americans in the country's military. Since the country was founded, he tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, the military "has continually been forced to confront what it means to segregate individuals according to race."

WATCH: 'One Today,' An Inaugural Poem

Jan 21, 2013

Today, Richard Blanco became the fifth poet to read at the inauguration of a United States president.

The rapper Lupe Fiasco was escorted off the stage at an unofficial inaugural ball in Washington, last night.

As Politico reports, the Grammy-nominated rapper stayed on the anti-war song "Words I Never Said" for 30 minutes. Video posted by Now This News shows Fiasco dropping lines critical of President Obama, before the lights go off and men in black suits escort him off the stage.

The remarks of President Obama, as released by The White House and prepared for delivery:

Vice President Biden, Mr. Chief Justice, Members of the United States Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Update 2:30 p.m. 'Hoping For Unity':

With the ceremony at the Capitol complete, spectators looked ahead to their hopes for the next four years. Speaking to NPR's Tom Dreisbach, here's what some in the crowd had to say:

"I'm looking for Washington to start getting along. I mean nobody's working together. And both sides have got to give a little bit and they've got to come to some agreement on some things."

-- Alan Dillon, 50, elementary school principal, Western Slope, Colo.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Steve, thanks very much. Now let's go just beyond the capital building, into the National Mall. That's where NPR's Ailsa Chang is. And she's between the Capitol, as I understand it, Ailsa, and the Washington Monument, right there in the thick of things.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Well, from the studio, I'm going to go out again to talk to NPR's Linda Wertheimer. She is at a place that has a very good view of the activities there on the Mall. That happens to be the Canadian embassy. And just one thing: the West Front of the Capitol is decorated in red, white and blue. That is the backdrop for President Obama's second Inauguration. And Linda has seen every Inauguration since the second time President Richard Nixon was sworn into office, his second inaugural. Good morning.

Staten Island's PS22 student choral group performs as people file onto the National Mall hoping for a glimpse of President Obama later.

Calling on Americans to "answer the call of history, and carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom," President Obama used his second inaugural address to push for action on the nation's problems and to say that partisan politics should not get in the way of pragmatism.

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RENEE MONTAGE, HOST:

And let's rejoin Steve, now, over at the Capitol.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Yeah. And let's bring one more voice into the conversation, here. Michele Flournoy is a former undersecretary of defense for policy in the Obama administration, was mentioned at one time as a possible secretary of defense in a second term. Ms. Flournoy, where are you this morning?

MICHELE FLOURNOY: We are on our way from Bethesda, downtown.

Besides President Obama's oath and address, Monday's festivities will include an invocation by Myrlie Evers-Williams, Vice President Joe Biden's oath and poet Richard Blanco. Looking ahead to Obama's second term, politics in Washington seems as broken and gridlocked as ever.

Inauguration 2013: Live NPR Chat

Jan 21, 2013

Join "It's All Politics" blogger Frank James and other NPR journalists to talk about the day's events and the issues coming up in President Obama's second term.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Inauguration 2013: Live Coverage

Jan 21, 2013

See what NPR users want President Obama to remember in his second term — then send us your own thoughts. And chat with NPR reporters about the day's events and the issues looming in Obama's second term.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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