The moment America knew Donald Trump had won the presidency

It was a decisive moment, a historic moment. A moment when a nation realized its greatest hopes and darkest fears.

The moment Donald J. Trump confounded pundits and upended projections to become the president-elect of the United States.

These pivotal images tell the story of that improbable moment:

To set the stage, here’s the moment that CNN’s Wolf Blitzer made the announcement:

The emotion was instant. You could see it in the crowds dotted with bright red hats who cheered, sobbed and embraced at Trump’s election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown hotel.

It was a moment of pure elation.

The emotion was there too on the stunned faces of Hillary Clinton’s supporters who had gathered to celebrate what had, once, seemed like a likely victory.

For them, it was a moment of pure desolation.

In that moment, in the early hours of November 9 after nearly two years of an unprecedented and at times unbelievable campaign, the Empire State building glowed an uninterrupted red. Its facade bore a stories-high projection of Donald Trump: America’s next President.