WASHINGTON — While an inauguration is known to draw hundreds of thousands of Americans to Washington D.C. to watch the president officially be sworn into office, it's unclear just how many people will show up.
In 2009, an estimated 1.8 million people attended President Barack Obama's first inauguration. That record number of people beat the previous record, which had been set by Lyndon Johnson's 1965 inauguration, which had an estimated 1.2 million attendees. About 1 million people attended the event at the National Mall for Obama's second term.
This year, Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president on Jan. 20.
On Tuesday, the President-elect said that "people are pouring into Washington in record numbers," and he previously said that Inauguration Day is "turning out to be even bigger than expected."
But different agencies estimate crowds that vary in number by the hundred thousand.
According to WRC-TV, planners expect no more than 900,000 people to attend Trump's weekend events.
The District of Columbia's Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management is expecting 800,000 to 900,000 people to attend the swearing-in ceremony and the inaugural parade, WRC-TV reported. The news organization says the U.S. Armed Forces Joint Task Force National Capital Region, which provides support for the ceremonies, is expecting 800,000 people. The Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Activities, which plans and executes all ceremonies, is expecting 700,000 to 750,000 people.
Destination D.C., which manages and promotes the city as a tourism and special events destination, estimates about 1 million people will be in the city for inaugural festivities.
It's unclear if those numbers include protesters.
"Anybody who is just saying there were a million people there without saying what method they used, that's just public relations being offered," Arizona State University journalism professor Steve Doig told WRC-TV. "Take any estimate with a grain of salt. What you need to do is look carefully at how the estimate was done and how transparent the group who did it is about their methods."
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