As you approach the White House from the west, you’ll see hundreds of George Washington University students, jubilant, heading back toward campus. What awaits you in front of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW are thousands more, many of them first-time voters, screaming for their man.

Revelers have climbed no fewer than seven trees lining the White House’s north gate. Within a minute of each other, two separate groups sing “The Star Spangled Banner.” A woman says “Obama” in a French accent. A group of boys chases a police officer chasing who knows whom. Captain America and the Easter Bunny show up. “USA! USA!” finally busts out.

Though the jubilant crowd is composed almost entirely of college-age voters, some of the more veteran members of the crowd seem no less excited. “My father predicted this in a 1972 op-ed in the Washington Post,” says Saladin Jeru-Ahmed. Predicted what, I ask. “A black man in the White House!”

At least tonight, it’s like 2008 all over again.

More photos, after the jump.

Photos by Simon van Zuylen-Wood