A tremendous crowd filled Washington for Barack Obama's presidential inauguration yesterday, surpassing by many estimates the mark set more than four decades ago when 1.2 million people are thought to have watched Lyndon B. Johnson take the oath of office in 1965.
Early indications were that easily more than a million people, and perhaps 2 million, may have journeyed to the National Mall and surrounding areas for the swearing-in of the first African-American president.
The National Park Service - long relied on to calculate crowds for large Washington events - is expected to provide a firmer estimate later in the week, according to a spokesman. Crowd counting is an inexact and controversial business. Experts cautioned that it would be difficult to quickly calculate the size of the gathering.
The Washington Post reported a crowd
of 1.8 million.
The park service has not done official estimates in more than a decade, obeying an order by Congress to stop in the aftermath of controversy over how many people attended the 1995 Million Man March. Then, estimates varied from 400,000 to more than 1 million.
Discuss this story and others in our talk forumsMost recent news talk forum topics:More news talk forums: Local | Nation/World | Business | Health/Science | Computers/TechnologyNote: In-story commenting has been temporarily disabled due to technical issues. We are working to correct the issue and will bring back this feature in the future. In the meantime, please use our talk forums to discuss stories.