Today's technological capabilities make it possible for everyone to be a reporter.
Blackberrys as video cameras and cell phones as still cameras allow anyone to keep a record of history in his pocket.
And don't forget text messaging, which allows you to microblog via Twitter or Facebook when there's no Internet cafe in sight.
Others, thankfully, want to share their records with NBCNewYork.com.
So here's what we're starting to get in from some of our friends Tuesday:
Evelyn Storch, a 62-year-old lawyer from West Orange, N.J., offered these frequent updates shortly before Barack Obama's official swearing-in.
4:17 p.m. -- Truthfully, it's not too interesting to watch on the Jumbotron. It was good to see the Obamas get out of the car briefly. Otherwise, I think it's time to come in from the cold.
12:38 p.m. -- WOW! What an address. Our new president has a tough job, but if his speech is an example of how he will handle the job, we are right to feel hopeful. There was a lot of crying, and I joined the cacophony. I already feel the country has begun the turnaround it needs. I feel hopeful and commited. The crowd Is beginning to disperse even as the poet laureate reads. But it seems this crowd is leaving or staying with renewed spirit.
12:05 p.m. -- The crowd is totally silent listening with (full) attention to the Willians composition. It's breathtaking!
11:46 a.m. -- The time has come. He's here!!!!!! The crowd can't stop cheering and chanting.
11:42 a.m. -- Biden's out to huge cheers and a sea of flags. Now the Obama chanting has begun.
11:38 a.m. -- It wasn't nice: it wasn't polite, but the picture of George Bush walking down the hall produced sustained boos and jeers and catcalls. When they were officially announced, the boos got louder. Not nice, but truly genuine.
11:24 a.m. -- The dignataries are arriving, and the ones you'd expect to draw cheers do. The brief sighting of Obama set off a frenzy. I can't imagine what it wil be like when he actually arrives here. GHW Bush just arrived, and the crowd could barely muster polite applause. A ROAR for the Clintons!
10:53 a.m. -- A picture of the motorcade came up and the crowd went wild. But when Teddy Kennedy came out, the cheering was deafening!!! Surprisingly, not too much reaction to the announcement of the senators. On the other hand, Colin Powell and Oprah drew big cheers.
Elizabeth Dooley, a 28-year-old photographer from Astoria, wrote in as well:
11:38 a.m. -- Everyone just booed the announcement of Bush.
Gerry Geist, an attorney who lives in Armonk, called in to report the following:
"This city is so prepared for this in terms of the Metro and traffic control. It's just been fabulous."
"And everyone's wearing paraphernalia down here. It's like a community of spirits or something."
"You're seeing black people so proud of their history. And it's happening 40 years afer MLK's assasination, the week we recognize him. This country is so in need of an inspirationl leader, and that's what we're seeing down here."
Danielle Nebres, a stay-at-home mom from Albany, said she took drastic steps to make it to Washington this week.
"I sold my car because I needed money to buy a ticket," she said. "I was like, 'I have to get there.' I thought about it, and there was a chance I was going to stay home and watch it on TV. But I'd never forgive myself if I didn't see it with my own eyes and hear it with my own ears."
Nebres, a 31-year-old African American, also said she wanted her young, mixed-race daughters -- 2-year-old Isabelle and 6-month-old Charlotte -- to be a part of history.
"I want them to be proud of their heritage," she said. "I really want them to see this. Long after I'm gone, they'll be able to say they were there."
News 4 New York staffer Tiffany Zeno has one of those fancy Blackberrys and is sending short video clips back to us. Check out her clips embedded on the left side of this page.