January 22nd, 2009
04:34 PM ET
8 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. aware

    What a waste of time and money! PBHO blew the oath and gave a mediocre speech.

    Michelle's inauguration ensemble was fine except for the green gloves, shoes and bow but her ball gown was extremely unflattering! Just too many gathers and posies for such a big gal! And the wee gal looked like she was made up for halloween. :)

    January 22, 2009 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Jon, you're so weird. Didn't you hear about all those who traveled to DC from across the country? And, if you actually paused and stopped rolling your eyes to view a random sample of the crowd: The crowd was remarkably diverse, spanning different ages and races.

    January 22, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  3. Ari

    Jon, you're so weird. Didn't you hear about all those who traveled to DC from across the country? And, if you actually paused and stopped rolling your eyes to view a random sample of the crowd: The crowd was remarkably diverse, spanning different ages and races.

    January 22, 2009 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  4. Denise

    I am WHITE and have always embraced what is RIGHT!

    BLACK.....GET OVER IT JACK!

    January 22, 2009 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  5. jl2008

    That's amazing! I'm proud of this country...it's always been the best, but now we also have the best president!

    January 22, 2009 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  6. William A. Schaedler from St. Louis

    These 1.8 million spectators witnessed the beginning of the end of the USA! For now we have a government of complete incompetence and ignorance. I'd just like to offer my congratuilations to all those voters who enabled NOBAMA to attain his office. Like Christ was purported to have spoken on the cross at the time of his crucifixion. "FATHER, FORGIVE THEM FOR THEY KNOW NOT WHAT THEY DO."

    January 22, 2009 08:43 pm at 8:43 pm |
  7. Ernie in LA

    Jon in CA, Don't forget the White votes put Obama in office. If every Black in the US would have voted for Obama he still would not have won.

    January 22, 2009 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  8. john

    Mr "eyes rolling" what a are you doing to help the country.........

    January 22, 2009 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  9. Brenda C

    You will not be posted because you tell the truth.

    Sounds like Coleman may have joined in and helped on the latest count. Notice you didn't mention President Reagan?

    January 22, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  10. chinatu

    what about those on high rise building and roof tops
    I truelly believe it was more than 1.8 million.

    It was an amazing site to behold indeed!!!

    January 22, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  11. Wisest one of All

    A lot of people with absolutely no life! Proven Fact!

    January 22, 2009 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Here's a Big Thanks to our Military men and women who smiled as they did their job helping all of us in attendance.

    January 22, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  13. Texas Teacher

    Jon is CA there is a fine example of the very individuals that I was referencing in my last response! :)

    January 22, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  14. paula Reed

    President Obama is real working long hard hours too bad the United States Senate and Congress ,dont work well they fight to much and have a chip on their shoulder, and too much AIR in their heads so they dont spend Time smart. They forget they work for ALL Americans
    and they full of GREED, they wont put a wage Freeze on their pay raise which was $4,700. Each this year. God Bless President Obama
    and his Lovely Family. They sure are what we all need.
    Now if all Americans would do what they can for their Familys and Smile thank God what we now have in the White House. ;)
    Paula

    January 22, 2009 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  15. CNN Hates My Comments

    When they say 1.8 they really meant more like 2.3 million. You have to count the people stuck in the tunnels for hours and on side streets all around the city that could not move and was trying to get to the capital.

    January 22, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  16. Sue Ca

    @Jon in CA January 22nd, 2009 5:38 pm ET
    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!! ******.which half won.......his black half or white half
    let's call it a Combo LOL

    January 22, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |
  17. Gale Chappelle

    This was one of the greatest experiences I had in my 52 years. Can you believe out of all those people I ran into someone from my hometown. I live in Chas. SC and my hometown was. Chas .WV

    Amazing!

    January 22, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. MLH

    It is a new day, evidenced by the fact that even if there were 'only' 1.8 million there to see the inauguration, nationwide, whole schools watched it on television; families stayed home together to watch it; businesses came to a stop while the oath was administered. The world was watching and I was proud of my country.

    January 22, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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