Official Head Count: 1.8 Million on the Mall
A record 1.8 million people were on the Mall to watch Obama take the oath of office, authorities said yesterday in what amounted to a group decision, report the Post's Michael E. Ruane and Aaron C. Davis. They write:
In radio interviews, [D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty] cited the 1.8 million figure, which eclipses the 1.2 million official tally from the 1965 inauguration of Lyndon Johnson.
Mafara Hobson, Fenty's spokeswoman, described the count as a "collective decision" reached Tuesday inside the city's joint operations command center, where dozens of local and federal agencies were helping to coordinate security and traffic management. She said it was based on information collected by several cameras and individuals on the ground.
"The 1.8 [million] was communicated out to the mayor's office and other agencies," she said
The National Park Service said it would not dispute the figure. But two independent experts are disputing the number, putting the number at 750,000 or 1.27 million.
David A Nakamura
January 21, 2009; 10:42 PM ET
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