NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – “Madam Vice President.”
It’s the first time those words have been spoken here in the United States.READ MORE: Sources: Salman Muflihi Faces Hate Crime Charges In Stabbing Of Asian Man In Lower Manhattan
“We celebrate our first African-American, first Asian-American and first woman vice president,” said Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
“Don’t tell me things can’t change,” President Joe Biden said.
Harris was sworn in with her hand on two Bibles. One belonged to former Justice Thurgood Marshall, and the other was from Mrs. Regina Shelton, who ran a daycare below Harris’ childhood home in Berkeley, California.
“That, you know, really took care of all of the kids in the neighborhood,” childhood friend Carole Porter said.
Harris’ alma mater, Howard University’s drumline led the inauguration parade, and her two nieces dressed in her likeness for the occasion.
Meanwhile, Harris’ Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority sisters all across the country wore pearls in her honor.
“It was a personal victory for each and every one of us,” said Inez Brown, one of Harris’ sorority sisters.
In Central Park, Gainer spotted Brianna Wilson streaming the inauguration on her way home.
“I’m beyond excited – over the moon. I just can’t stop smiling,” Wilson said. “I hope it just means we can continue to progress and move forward and to continue to shatter glass ceilings. I don’t think all the obstacles have been overcome, but I think this is a tremendous first step.”
Watch Alice Gainer’s report —
In the shadow of the women’s rights pioneers monument featuring Sojourner Truth, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton that commemorates the centennial of the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, Gainer chatted with people about the very first madam vice president.
“It makes a lot of sense to be interviewed in front of that statue,” said Arlene Wachtel.READ MORE: Elizabeth Galarza Arrested For Allegedly Repeatedly Punching 2-Year-Old In The Face On Subway
“It should’ve happened a long time ago, but that it’s happening now is a wonderful thing,” said Jennifer Perry.
“It’s always nice to see yourself represented,” Harlem resident Katherine Park said.
“Seeing her being prestigious, being strong, being Black, being a woman,” Harlem resident Tanya Hudson said. “I feel change is coming.”
“We’re moving in the right direction,” one man said.
A direction many never thought they’d actually see, soon to be a history lesson never taught before in a U.S. classroom.
“For the last couple of years, students at Fordham, like at every other university in America, have been talking about feminism and about the place that women play in creating a more just and fair society,” said Prof. Beth Knobel of Fordham University. “There are so many things she represents about women in politics, about people of color in politics, about change and about healing in American politics.”
Candace Miller teaches second grade and watched the inauguration with her students.
“It hit home for me knowing this can actually happen,” Miller told CBS2’s Ali Bauman. “I hope that more of them will be encouraged to get more involved and to feel empowered that they can do this.”
“It’s cool that there’s a girl going in to being vice president,” one 10-year-old girl said.
Americans aren’t the only ones celebrating this monumental first.
Residents of an Indian village, where Harris’ grandfather was born more than 100 years ago, cheered as she took her oath of office.
Josie Cox just moved here from overseas.
“It’s an absolute benchmark in history. It’s wonderful that we’re going to have her as a role model for so many girls and women around the world,” Cox said.
She’s the first, but many vow she won’t be the last.
CBS2’s Alice Gainer and Ali Bauman contributed to this report.MORE NEWS: New Yorkers At Bronx Food Pantry Describe Need For Federal Stimulus Checks, $15 Minimum Wage; 'Got To Choose Between Rent, Food'
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