NWA College Students Witness New Pope Election

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Two Rogers women who happened to be on vacation in Rome were at the Vatican Wednesday (March 13) as history was made.

"I think it's really cool to be here while this is happening,” said Chrissy Tatum. “I'm so excited."

Tatum and her friend Amy Jackson had just returned to their hotel rooms when white smoke surfaced and the bells began to toll, announcing a successor to Pope Benedict XVI.

"We were at the Vatican most of the day in St. Peters Basilica,” she said. “It was pretty cool to be there. There were a lot of people and photographers there."

Jorge Bergogolio, the archbishop of Buenos Aires, was elected pope. He’s the first pontiff from Latin America.

The two Northwest Arkansas Community College students planned the trip to Italy six months ago.

"With the former pope resigning, that's the first time to happen since medieval times, centuries,” Jackson said. “The history side is just exciting."

The women plan to return to Northwest Arkansas Friday.

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