[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/01/20/obama.inauguration/art.inaug.crowd.cnn.jpg caption="Up to 2 million people are expected to gather among the Capitol, White House and Lincoln Memorial by noon."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - The nation's capital woke early Tuesday, or perhaps never slept the night before, in anticipation of the swearing in of Barack Obama as the 44th president of the United States.
People from across the country and around the world made the pilgramage to Washington with the hopes of witnessing a moment in history. Even in the darkest moments of the morning, people began heading down to the National Mall hoping to stake out a spot to watch Obama be sworn in as the nation's first black president. People were lined up from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to the base of Capitol Hill hours before the noontime swearing in.
The visitors were not alone: vendors hawked everything from buttons and t-shirts to "Barack Bucks" - oversized copies of five dollar bills. It was a competitive sales environment as the vendors vied for every dollar they could pry from tourists' hands in this brutal economic environment.
But the briskest business was not the paraphernalia featuring Obama's face or camapign slogans: It was the sale of hand and feet warmers that people were buying to help hold off the chill in this below freezing weather.