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 Inauguration Event Draws Enormous Crowd 

200920Jan
Submitted by Dr. Sebastian M. Herrmann on Tue, 01/20/2009 - 23:45

Today's inauguration event drew an unexpected crowd as over 200 people showed up for a live viewing of President Obama taking the oath of office, the inauguration speech, and discussions. On the panel, American Studies Leipzig faculty discussed with Consul General Katherine Brucker, and affiliated faculty joining the discussion from Oklahoma and Washington DC.

In the next days, we will update this news item with media files and more links. Pictures are already available through our web gallery. Sorry to everybody we had to turn away after the room was packed. And thanks to everybody in the room for a great event.

Media

As promised, we'll try to provide more material throughout the next couple of days. Most prominently, we will try to include a video transcript of the discussion sessions. But of course, we will also try to add the media coverage the event received.

I just listened to the Mephisto contribution and stumbled upon the remark claiming that Obama is the first president, who was not born in the U.S. As many of you probably know, that it WRONG. Obama was born in Hawaii in 1961. And Hawaii became a U.S. territory in 1898 and a state in 1959. There has been some controversy surrounding Obama's birthplace. Allegations that he was not born in the U.S. were made to question his candidacy and to create fear of the "other" if you will. To counter these allegations, his birth certificate was made public. The country of birth is critical for individuals seeking the U.S. presidency because the U.S. Constitution states: "No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President." 

Yes, this is indeed very weird. I am very curious to learn how the journalist got that idea. After all, as you said, the idea that Obama was not born in the US was one of the attempts by the far right to discredit him during the election. The mechanisms of this allegation, of course, went far beyond simply questioning his electability...

As you know, I am very much interested in how such "false knowledge" comes about and how it becomes accepted, 'true' knowledge in societies (or subgroups). I emailed mephisto to ask the author how this could happen...

ASL Team - thanks for organizing the great event last night; very interesting insights and comments from a truly transatlantic perspective.

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