January 22nd, 2009
04:34 PM ET
11 months ago

Official Inauguration crowd estimate: 1.8 million

1.8 million were on hand to witness Obama's Inauguration.
1.8 million were on hand to witness Obama's Inauguration.

(CNN) –A record crowd lined the National Mall and parade route on Inauguration Day, Washington officials said Thursday.

About 1.8 million came to the city for the day’s inaugural events, according Leslie Kershaw, a spokeswoman for Washington, DC Mayor Adrian Fenty. That estimate — 50 percent higher than the previous record - came from local and federal agencies in the Joint Operations Command Center, which was responsible for managing the crowd.

The National Park Service, which was banned by Congress from releasing crowd estimates after controversy over its count of participants in the Million Man March in 1995, said it would not challenge the 1.8 million figure, according to the Washington Post.

The figure far surpasses the 400,000 former President George Bush drew in 2005 and 800,000 former President Bill Clinton drew in 1993.


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soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Jon in CA

    Wow – how amazing!

    A black man's inauguration in Washington DC brought out more supporters than a white man's inauguration in Washington DC.

    How SHOCKING!!

    (eyes rolling)

    January 22, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  2. Chris from NY

    It's a lie. It's more than that if you include those that were not let into the mall or capitol hill grounds.

    January 22, 2009 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  3. Gracie

    It's a NEW day...... out with the Bush/Cheney criminals!

    January 22, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  4. Dan, TX

    Obama had strong support.

    January 22, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  5. Scott

    Obama feel the people and we feel his words of Change...

    January 22, 2009 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  6. Veronica

    just, WOW!!!

    January 22, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  7. BB

    And I'm sure the Blitzer monotone will go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on – for days and days and days and days and days and days -----

    January 22, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  8. yellow dog democrat

    America is ready to see change and hope actually being installed even in the frigid weather – heard it was a very nice crowd too! wish I could have gone – but was very happy to watch on TV – all day!!

    January 22, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  9. Veronica

    Lighten up Jon from CA. We have a new president!!
    Sorry your guy lost

    lol

    January 22, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  10. Sonny

    1.8 Million whoooo cahhzz??? Count me as one of the americans who is not impressed. CNN get out of bed with OBAMA.

    January 22, 2009 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  11. Greta Palinannitylimbaughbeck

    That's because Obama will be four times the president in two years than Bush was in all eight loooong years.

    January 22, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  12. Kevin

    Literally, a sea of humanity celebrating one man whose ideals and character we all look for in a person, and our children to emulate. Forgive me if I am envious of the people that were there to witness Obama swearing the presidential oath in person. Fascinating.

    January 22, 2009 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  13. Joyous

    It is quite amazing when most of the people there were not from there. The crowd also looked very, very diverse to me. Blacks were not the only ones in attendance.

    January 22, 2009 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  14. CR, Philadelphia, PA

    Be very afraid, John McCain, Sarah Palin's going to tell all!

    January 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  15. Wil

    I am not sure where to log this comment, but I wish Wolf and now Don Lemmon woud get off the swearing in issue. Your desire to perpetuate non exsistnet news is seemingly petty and ill advised. There are more important issues for you to cover. THe publis understands that with or with out the oath of office, by 12:00 on the day of Jan 20th, the persident elect IS dejure the President of teh US. Roberts and the wing nut falied in their attempt to trip up our smart President. Let it go guys.

    January 22, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  16. Amber

    Yeah, Jon in CA because IT HAS NEVER HAPPENED BEFORE.

    As for eye rolling, my eyes rolled so far back at YOUR comment I could see what I was thinking!

    January 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  17. Mobius

    Gee, three days ago you told us there would be NO official estimates.

    There may have been that many HERE, but there were nowhere near that many downtown on Tuesday.

    Should've had that march instead, huh?

    January 22, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  18. Pat McKinzie

    This is why they didn't over blow the corrected swearing in. The millions of people deserve to have seen the real inaugural and they did.

    January 22, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  19. Conservative James, Phoenix AZ

    I can't get enough of the spoiled brat Rethuglicans with full diapers who still cannot accept the fact that their party is dead and a Democrat, duly elected by the people, is in charge.

    Get over it. Accept it.

    January 22, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  20. Pam for America & Obama

    Jon in CA
    Let your eyes roll all you want. That won't change a thing! Most Americans are hopeful for the first time in years and we will celebrate no matter how often rush limpa says "he hopes Obama will fail".
    We are behind our new President and almost 2 million people were there to celebrate that.
    "Right" thinking Americans and most of the world want to see Obama and the USA succeed.

    January 22, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  21. KB, CO

    Historical moment people, anyone who had a chance to go will be spinning the tale for generations to come.

    January 22, 2009 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  22. Steph

    I wish I could have been there.

    January 22, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  23. Pat

    From here in Canada it looked outstanding. Now if Blitzer would just back off with his attack about no TV cameras at the second take of the Presidential Oath things should be fine there in Washington.

    January 22, 2009 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  24. Shirley in California

    Great! I only wish I could have been there myself. This was indeed an historic event for everyone to remember. Thank you to ALL the secret service and other law enforcement agencies for keeping our first family safe.

    January 22, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  25. Rob

    What's truly amazing...is how so many people could afford to travel in to Washington, DC in these dire times !! And, after looking at all that "LITTER" thrown on the ground ! Now, that's so un-Democrat, or is it ?

    January 22, 2009 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
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