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From Hope to History



Ten years ago you helped make history — now you've helped us write it.

We’re bringing to life a museum that will tell the story of the Obama presidency. It will live within the new Obama Presidential Center being built on Chicago’s South Side, and serve as a testament to how ordinary people can create extraordinary change in their communities and in their countries.

So when it comes to telling the story of the historic 2008 election, it’s not just about a candidate or a campaign — it’s about the millions of people who got involved to bring about change. Telling that story is no small task, which is why we asked for your help.

Whether you voted for the first time, or watched your grandparents vote for the first time, whether you caucused in the Iowa winter, or knocked on doors in the Florida heat, whether you celebrated with thousands in Grant Park or tuned in from around the world, we heard your stories.

The sights. The sounds. What you were wearing. How you felt. Who you called. The moments you remember most.  Together, we captured the emotions and significance of that November night and the work that made it possible, culminating in an extremely cold January day on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

Some of your stories will become part of museum exhibits, and your memories will help form a rich archive, both physical and digital, for future generations to learn about this historic election through the words of those who lived it.

We couldn’t have done this work without you. Read on to take it back 10 years, when a campaign rooted in hope, became written in history.

A blue, green, and brown poster with a tree, Obama Rising Sun logo, and "Progress" rests on top of a light brown storage console

The Obama Foundation Shop

Show your support today. Find T-shirts, Mugs, and Vintage Gear.

A crowd of people cheering with their arms in the air. At the center is a trio holding an American flag. Other people hold up cameras.

Relive the 2008 Election

We gladly accepted personal narratives in the form of original, unedited audio and video recorded interviews, reflecting on President Obama’s historic election and inauguration on January 20, 2009 and thank the thousands of you who took the time to share your memories.

Please note we stopped accepting submissions on February 1, 2019 at 5pm ET.


If you have any questions, you can visit our FAQ page.

2008 Election Time Machine

Relive the 2008 election through the eyes and the words of those who lived it.