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From Jubilation To Dismay, A Divided Nation Reacts To Biden's Victory

WASHINGTON: Janice Jamison, Evans, Ga, reacts after hearing the announcement by CNN that former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had defeated Pres. Donald Trump, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at McPherson Square in Washington.
Alex Brandon
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AP
WASHINGTON: Janice Jamison, Evans, Ga, reacts after hearing the announcement by CNN that former vice president and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden had defeated Pres. Donald Trump, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, at McPherson Square in Washington.

Updated at 6:32 p.m. ET

For nearly four days, tension mounted in American households as an anxious nation awaited the results of the presidential election. But in an instant on Saturday, that tension washed away.

It took only seconds after Joe Biden was declared the winner over President Trump for a divided country's relief, frustration, anger and joy over the outcome to begin spilling into the streets.

In Washington, D.C., elated crowds gathered outside the White House, erupting in cheers that seemed as celebratory over Trump's loss as they were over Biden's victory.

"Goodbye!" sang the large crowd gathered in Black Lives Matter Plaza, directing their voices toward the White House. "Nah, nah, nah, nah, Goodbye!"

WASHINGTON: Soon after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election Saturday, a celebratory crowd headed to Black Lives Matter Plaza across from the White House in Washington, D.C.
Mandel Ngan / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
WASHINGTON: Soon after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election Saturday, a celebratory crowd headed to Black Lives Matter Plaza across from the White House in Washington, D.C.
LOS ANGELES: A woman holds a Joe Biden mask as people march in Los Angeles celebrating after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election on November 7, 2020.
Apu Gomes / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
LOS ANGELES: A woman holds a Joe Biden mask as people march in Los Angeles celebrating after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election on November 7, 2020.

In Chicago, Kimmy Fuller was among the revelers who took over a street corner on the city's North Side.

"Words can't even express it. It's a great day," Fuller said, adding that the feeling of relief was overwhelming her. She said she had spent years dismayed over the president's treatment of Black and brown Americans. "We need to be reunited. Because the racism is just too much. It's so despicable."

In Manhattan's Times Square, hundreds gathered to wave U.S. flags and chant "no more years."

HARRISBURG: Supporters of President Donald Trump unfurl a giant American flag outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa., after Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump to become 46th president of the United States.
Julio Cortez / AP
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AP
HARRISBURG: Supporters of President Donald Trump unfurl a giant American flag outside the Pennsylvania State Capitol, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Harrisburg, Pa., after Democrat Joe Biden defeated Trump to become 46th president of the United States.
LANSING: Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on November 7, 2020, after Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 US elections.
Seth Herald / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
LANSING: Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on November 7, 2020, after Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 US elections.
SAN FRANCISCO: Hundreds people gather in San Francisco's Castro district to celebrate the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.
Noah Berger / AP
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AP
SAN FRANCISCO: Hundreds people gather in San Francisco's Castro district to celebrate the victory of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.

Theresa Francis said she was thrilled that "sanity will be restored to the White House" and that Kamala Harris had been elected the nation's first Black vice president.

Similar celebrations erupted in cities from Los Angeles to Boston, including in some of the swing state cities that are proving pivotal to Biden's victory.

In Atlanta, intersections were overrun by impromptu dance parties that made way for cars parading by — their occupants craning their bodies out of passenger windows to wave Biden campaign flags.

LANSING: Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on November 7, 2020, after Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 US elections.
Seth Herald / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
LANSING: Supporters of US President Donald Trump rally at the State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on November 7, 2020, after Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 US elections.

And in Philadelphia, downtown streets were a cacophony of car horns and cheers as strangers celebrated with strangers. A jubilant crowd steadily swelled outside Independence Hall, which for days has been the site of a demonstration in support of counting every vote.

ATLANTA: Christian Joseph, 9, raises his fist as he celebrates the presidential election results on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Atlanta.
Brynn Anderson / AP
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AP
ATLANTA: Christian Joseph, 9, raises his fist as he celebrates the presidential election results on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Atlanta.

But in other areas of the city, animosity flared between Biden and Trump supporters. In northeast Philadelphia, dozens of police officers were reportedly called in to control the scene when an angry argument broke out, outside a planned pro-Trump press conference.

Indeed, the public jubilation expressed in the nation's Democratic strongholds was matched by displays of dismay or defiance from Trump supporters in many parts of the country, many of whom have refused to accept the election's results.

PHOENIX: Jake Angeli, a supporter of President Donald Trump, speaks at a rally outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Phoenix.
Ross D. Franklin / AP
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AP
PHOENIX: Jake Angeli, a supporter of President Donald Trump, speaks at a rally outside the Maricopa County Recorder's Office Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, in Phoenix.
TAMPA: Monica Narain, left, hugs her daughter Elaina while dancing along with supporters of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during a party in front of the Casa Biden campaign office in the West Tampa neighborhood on November 7, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
Octavio Jones / Getty Images
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Getty Images
TAMPA: Monica Narain, left, hugs her daughter Elaina while dancing along with supporters of President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris during a party in front of the Casa Biden campaign office in the West Tampa neighborhood on November 7, 2020 in Tampa, Florida.
MIAMI: Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest in Miami on November 7, 2020, after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election.
Chandan Khanna / AFP via Getty Images
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AFP via Getty Images
MIAMI: Supporters of US President Donald Trump protest in Miami on November 7, 2020, after Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election.

In Colorado Springs, Colo., several hundred Trump supporters gathered outside City Hall after driving in via caravans from Denver and other parts of the state. The crowd waved Trump flags, chanted "four more years" and let out loud cheers as speakers at the rally claimed the election had been stolen from President Trump.

"I will never accept Biden-Harris as my president," said Ron Sauve, at a pro-Trump rally in Phoenix. "Not with this kind of cloud hanging over it."

Some of the people around him, displaying pistols and long guns, demanded a redo of Arizona's election.

PHOENIX: A supporter of President Donald Trump demonstrates at a 'Stop the Steal' rally in front of the State Capitol on November 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.
Mario Tama / Getty Images
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Getty Images
PHOENIX: A supporter of President Donald Trump demonstrates at a 'Stop the Steal' rally in front of the State Capitol on November 7, 2020 in Phoenix, Arizona.

Similar pro-Trump rallies formed in Salem, Ore., Albuquerque, N.M., and Nashville, Tenn.

In Boise, Idaho, Trump supporters staged a "Stop the Count" demonstration, echoing the president's unsubstantiated claim that mail-in voting is fraudulent.

And in Alabama, the president's supporters gathered outside the state Capitol to protest Biden's victory, wave Trump flags and pray. One demonstrator vowed to keep protesting until "this is all over."

LAS VEGAS: A lone Biden supporter stands outside of the Clark County Elections Department in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.
Wong Maye-E / AP
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AP
LAS VEGAS: A lone Biden supporter stands outside of the Clark County Elections Department in North Las Vegas, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020.

NPR correspondents Cheryl Corley and Eric Westervelt, as well as Kyle Gassiott of Troy Public Radio and New York journalist Sally Herships contributed to this story.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Adrian Florido
Adrian Florido is a national correspondent for NPR covering race and identity in America.
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