CHICAGO-Late Tuesday evening, President-elect Barack Obama addressed a crowd of tens of thousands in Grant Park here, minutes after Sen. John McCain conceded the election. Similar crowds in other US cities also gathered to hear him speak, such as in Times Square and around the White House, as well as in various countries around the globe. No foreign country’s people celebrated more than those in Kenya, Africa, the birthplace of Obama’s late father. The country has declared Nov. 6 as a national holiday, in celebration of Obama’s victory.

By 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, vote counts tallied Obama earning 338 electoral votes to McCain’s 141 votes. Obama was winning the popular vote as well, with 53.5 million, to McCain’s 49.2 million.

In his acceptance speech to Chicago, with a teary Jesse Jackson and Oprah Winfrey in the audience, Obama said the road ahead will be tough, but that Americans can pull together to weather the current crises. “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 in his speech. “There are mothers and fathers who will lie awake after their children fall asleep and wonder how they’ll make the mortgage, or pay their doctors bills, or save enough for college. There is new energy to harness and new jobs to be created; new schools to build and threats to meet and alliances to repair.”

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