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article imageObama's second inaugural ceremony draws nearly half of 2009

By Leigh Goessl     Jan 22, 2013 in Politics
Washington - Yesterday during President Obama's second inaugural ceremony, reports are indicating about one million people were in attendance. This is about half the number of people who attended Obama's first inauguration.
Officials estimate there were about one million people on the National Mall yesterday during President Barack Obama's second inaugural. Politico reported "if the figure is accurate", attendance was about 55 of the number of people that traveled to Washington to witness the first inauguration ceremony in 2009.
In 2009, 1.8 million people were crowded into the National Mall. While this year saw fewer visitors to the Mall, it was filled to capacity and latecomers were sent over to "overflow" areas, according to several media reports.
The Washington Post reported, while nearly half of 2009's crowd, the 2013 inaugural ceremony appeared to be one of the largest gatherings for a president's second inauguration.
Attendance estimates given about a week before Inauguration Day, which also fell on Martin Luther King Day this year, were placed at about 800,000. These estimates were given as Washington was busily making preparations for the ceremony and parade route.
Traffic warnings were placed all over the Washington Metro area warning motorists of higher traffic volumes that were anticipated on Inauguration Day. During the early portion of afternoon, this reporter observed relatively light traffic on I-95, I-495 and I-66, which was likely to pick up later in the afternoon and evening.
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) reported that almost 780,000 used the rail's services yesterday. Running on a rush-hour schedule all day and staying open for extended hours, WMATA said 779,787 rode the Metro train between 4 a.m. Monday to 2:30 a.m. Tuesday, when the rail closed for the night.
In 2009 during President Obama's first inauguration, WMATA said 1.1 million passengers rode Metro, reported The Hill, but those figures included commuters since four years ago the inauguration fell on a Tuesday, not on a federal holiday.
Although, at 55 percent when compared to 2009, yesterday's attendance is still considered a large showing. Politico reported that the last largest gathering to see a presidential inauguration was in 1965 when Lyndon B. Johnson took his public oath and 1.2 million were in attendance. In comparison, Clinton's was about 800,000 in 1993 and approximately 450,000 in 1998.
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