For the historic inauguration of the nation's first black president, The Washington Post is hiring hundreds of hawkers to help distribute more than 1.5 million additional copies of the newspaper over two days.

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For the historic inauguration of the nation’s first black president, The Washington Post is hiring hundreds of hawkers to help distribute more than 1.5 million additional copies of the newspaper over two days.

The Post also will print an afternoon “extra” edition, its first for an inauguration, while temporarily increasing single-copy prices to $2 from 75 cents.

Other newspapers, caught off-guard by enormous demand for post-Election Day souvenir copies, are preparing increased press runs and special sections as early as today.

Meanwhile, some cable-TV networks and the Chicago Tribune plan public screenings of the swearing-in ceremony Tuesday.

Many newsstands across the country sold out of newspapers the day after Barack Obama’s election, even after newspapers restarted their printing presses. Many customers bought multiple copies as keepsakes, a reminder that, even as newspapers fight for survival, their roles as tactile markers of history may be irreplaceable.

Newspapers are counting on a repeat as Obama is inaugurated Tuesday.

The Washington Post, as the host-city newspaper, plans four editions Tuesday and Wednesday, including a one-section “extra” targeted at tourists Tuesday afternoon. The Post will increase single-copy prices to $2 for the Tuesday extra, the regular editions Tuesday and Wednesday and a commemorative issue that will go on sale for a few days, starting Wednesday.

The New York Times plans to print 2.2 million copies of Wednesday’s edition, a 75 percent increase.

USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle and the Los Angeles Times are among newspapers taking pre-orders over the Internet for this week’s editions. The Chronicle, Chicago Tribune and St. Louis Post-Dispatch will join The Post in printing afternoon extras.

A 48-page commemorative edition of USA Today, chronicling Obama’s rise to the White House and the evolution of race relations, already is on sale for $4.95.

The Washington Post also is considering sales of a DVD compiling video produced for its Web site, while the Los Angeles Times has a price list for various merchandise online, from $2 for Wednesday’s paper (it’s 75 cents at newsstands) to $180 for a package that includes the Nov. 5, 2008, and Jan. 21 papers, mugs, T-shirts and a holographic mouse pad.

TV news outlets also have big ideas: CNN and Fox News Channel plan to show coverage on large screens at Times Square in New York. MSNBC is helping to arrange free viewing parties at movie theaters in 21 cities (for Seattle-area venues, see Page A15) and in 650 Starbucks stores in Seattle, New York and San Francisco.

For those at work, many news Web sites will show live video coverage. The Associated Press built an interactive tool in which users can choose among seven live anchored and raw feeds.

Comcast’s interactive news channel for digital-cable customers will show coverage of five networks simultaneously; viewers can choose the audio feed using the remote.

At, viewers will be able to update their Facebook status directly from the video player and see what their social-networking friends are saying.

Seattle Times staff contributed

to this report.