Donald Trump’s inauguration has dominated the news cycles this past week, and many have taken to measuring just how massive of an event it was.
The size of the crowd quickly became a matter of contention after White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer and Presidential Advisor Kellyanne Conway argued that the size of the crowd may have been misrepresented by the media.
Politifact notes that estimates range from between 250,000 to 600,000 people attending the inauguration. These figures are much lower than President Obama’s inauguration ceremonies, which brought in 1.8 million in 2009 and 1 million in 2013. Interestingly, President Bush’s inaugurations brought in figures closer to this year’s estimates, with 300,000 in 2001 and 400,000 in 2005. President Clinton’s second inaugural ceremony in 1997 brought in the fewest recorded attendees of the past 28 years, at only 250,000.
While physical attendance may have been lower than in the past, Trump’s inauguration brought in many online and television viewers. According to Politico, about 30.6 million had watched Trump’s inauguration on TV. This is down from Obama in 2009 (38 million), but is still more than Bush in 2001 (29 million), Obama in 2013 (16 million), and Bush in 2005(16 million).
While Trump’s inauguration didn’t surpass attendance or viewership records, it was the most expensive ceremony in recent history, at over $200 million. Over $90 million of that was funded through donations, and the largest expense was security, at $100 million. This is more than Obama’s 2009 ceremony, which cost $170 million total ($190 million when adjusted for inflation), though security still cost $100 million.
Of course, the following day, hundreds of thousands of people flooded the National Mall again for the Women’s March. Just like the inauguration, there aren’t exact estimates for how many people participated in the Women’s March in DC, though the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice, Kevin Donahue, reported estimates of over 500,000. Even more demonstrations were held across the country and the globe, with over 2 million attendees marching in hundreds of cities.
While protests were touted as nonviolent,” hundreds of protesters clashed with police causing damage to nearby property and sending several police to the hospital. 217 arrests were made on Friday, as a result of looting, destruction of public and private property, assaults and general rioting. There have been other instances of chaotic protesters around the country, with nine being arrested in New York, six in Chicago, and five in Dallas.
Naturally, many Georgetown students joined in the events this past weekend, and a survey was taken to measure just how many participated in various events. Students had mixed reactions about the official Inauguration events, including the swearing-in ceremony and the parade, with a little more than 50% of respondents saying they attend one of these official events.
On the other hand, students had greater enthusiasm for the Women’s March, with more than two thirds of the respondents answering that they had participated in the march.