There was a lot of excitement and political drama around the 2008 election. Now all that energy is being redirected to the Inauguration, when Barack Obama will be sworn in as the 44th president of the United States. Given the historic nature of this inauguration, with the U.S.'s first African-American president to take office, huge crowds are expected in the nation's capital.
Visitor estimates vary from publication to publication:
- The Washington Post reports that D.C. Metro officials are preparing to transport one of the largest crowds ever in its 32-year history, "as many as 1.6 million people."
- NBC Washington News says government officials are preparing for "crowds of up to 4 million." (And then cites a Nov. 18 Washington Post article as a source)
- The Chicago Sun-Times raises the ante by one million, reporting that D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty is estimating that "Obama’s inauguration could lead to an unprecedented turnout of 3 million to 5 million people."
[O]fficials expect to see more people at this inauguration than any other in the past.
The National Park Service says the largest crowd ever on the National Mall was for President Lyndon B. Johnson's 1965 inauguration. At the time, the park service estimated 1.2 million people attended the event.
As I report, I hope to find New Yorkers who plan to be part of this vast crowd of 1 million/4 million/5 million, and to find out, among other things, why they want to be there, how they are getting there, and where they hope to find a place to stay.
Metro Bulks Up for Massive Inauguration Crowds [Washington Post]
Could Inauguration Crowd Reach 4 Million? [NBC News]
Barack Obama inauguration crowd estimate soars to 5 million [Chicago Sun-Times]
Secret Service Amps Up Inauguration Day Security [Fox News]