As soon as the news buzzed on their phones, Americans gathered spontaneously on street corners and front lawns — honking their horns, banging pots and pans, starting impromptu dance parties — as an agonizingly vitriolic election and exhausting four-day wait for results came to an end Saturday morning. And for all that joy, there was equal parts sorrow, anger and mistrust on the other side.
Across the United States, the dramatic conclusion of the 2020 election was cathartic. Just after The Associated Press and other news organizations declared that former Vice President Joe Biden beat President Donald Trump, fireworks erupted in Atlanta. In Maine, a band playing at a farmers’ market broke into the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
People waved Biden signs from balconies and banged pots and pans. A pickup truck drove around Washington with a band playing in the bed. In Manhattan, they danced in the streets, banged cowbells and honked their car horns. In Louisville, Kentucky, Biden supporters gathered on their lawns to toast with champagne.
Trump’s supporters have for days been protesting outside of ballot-counting operations, alleging without evidence that the slow-moving results were proof of cheating. “This isn’t over! This isn’t over! Fake news!”