On Jan. 21, President Obama placed his hand on a pair of Bibles and pledged, for the second time, to defend the Constitution and execute the office of the President to the best of his ability. He then addressed the nation to share his vision for the next four years — a tradition dating back more than 220 years that was expected to draw throngs of spectators, spawn dozens of galas and keep the kitchen at the iconic Ben's Chili Bowl churning out near-record numbers of half-smokes.
Below, find a brief overview of the forthcoming presidential inauguration, by the numbers, with some historical facts for perspective:
4: Number of times Obama will have taken the oath of office after Jan. 21. In 2009 Chief Justice John Roberts botched the wording of the oath, forcing a private re-do the following day. This year, Jan. 20 — the date the oath of office must be taken, according to the Constitution — fell on a Sunday. Since national ceremonies are typically not held on Sundays, Obama fulfilled his constitutional obligation privately on Sunday and then again, ceremonially, the following day before a massive crowd. He is the only president in U.S. history to have taken the oath of office four times, besides Franklin D. Roosevelt, who was actually elected four times.
3: Number of Bibles on which Obama will swear for his 2013 inauguration. On Sunday, he took the oath of office on the first lady's family Bible. Michelle Obama's father gave the so-called Robinson Family Bible to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson, on Mother's Day 1958. On Monday, President Obama swore on the same Bible he used at his 2009 inauguration—the one President Lincoln used at his first inauguration, as well as the "traveling Bible" used by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. when he was on the road.
600,000 to 800,000:
Number of visitors expected to descend on Washington for the occasion.
1,800,000: The record number of people who clogged up traffic and filled the National Mall — or tried to — in 2009 when Obama first took office. So many people showed up for the historic event that thousands of ticket holders were blocked from entering the Mall and spent the moment they had been waiting for stuck underground among hordes of other disgruntled would-be spectators.
More than 300: Number of military personnel assigned to help the Joint Task Force National Capital Region with planning and logistics for "the biggest, most complicated event that takes place in the nation's capital," according to Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, who spoke with The Inaugural Times about running the show. (In other words, 300 military members will help ensure that the more chaotic events of 2009 are not repeated.)
29,000: Number of hotel rooms in Washington D.C. In 2009, 98 percent of them were occupied the night of Obama's inauguration, according to Smith Travel Research. With fewer visitors expected to attend this time around, the chances of finding a last-minute room appear to be a little better.
More than 1,600:
People who will have front-row seats to Obama's (and Vice President Joe Biden's) swearing-in. Member of Congress, cabinet members, governors, supreme court justices and diplomats will get to sit on the bleachers and platform outside the Capitol building where Obama will take his oath of office.
Size, in square feet, of the platform constructed for Obama's swearing-in. It's the same size as the platform constructed for President George W. Bush's in 2005, which was the largest ever build. The entire platform is made of lumber, which will be donated after the event to help local charities with housing projects, according to Architect of the Capitol
7,000: Number of military service members who will participate in the parade and other pomp and circumstance — color guard, musical units, cordons.
1,000: Gallons of chili Ben's Chili Bowl expects to churn out the week Obama takes his oath (compared to 450 gallons on a typical week). As for the famous chili half-smokes favored by the president, Bill Cosby, and sampled by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Ben's is preparing to sell 12,000 inauguration week. That's an 118 percent jump in demand and would rank second, in terms of business, to the week in January 2009 when Obama showed up for a bite.
Consecutive hours of rush-hour service
the city's Metro will be providing on Jan. 21 (from 4 a.m. to 9 p.m.). Rush hour service also means rush hour prices.
Record number of Metro trips taken on Inauguration Day 2009.
30,000: Number of passengers expected at Reagan National Airport on Jan. 22, the busiest day for inauguration-related air travel, according to the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority's projections. Passenger traffic will be lower than it was for Obama's 2009 swearing-in when 40,000 travelers passed through the airport in a 24-hour period, and airlines had to "upgauge" or use larger aircrafts to meet demand.
The number of official inauguration balls in 2009
. For his first inauguration, Obama and the first lady attended each and every one of them — from the “Be the Change Youth Inauguration Ball,” which counted Leonardo DiCaprio and Ashton Kutcher among its guests, to the Obama Home State Ball for residents of Hawaii and Illinois.
The number of official inaugural balls scheduled for this year. It will be the lowest number of official parties attended by a president in 60 years, The Associated Press reported
. The significant reduction is an acknowledgement of the country’s lingering economic woes and aimed at reducing the burden on law enforcement agencies and Washington residents, planners told the AP. One party is the Commander In Chief’s ball for military members and the other is the Inaugural Ball for invited guests and ticketed members of the public.
Price for tickets to the Inaugural Ball, one of the two Obama actually will attend. (Tickets were available for members of the public, though requests are no longer being accepted. And thanks to a Ticketmaster goof
, they were sold out before they were even supposed to go on sale.)
$1,649Price for a second-hand ticket to the ball on GreatSeats.com
More than 20: Number of unofficial 2013 inauguration balls. The president won’t show up, but that’s not stopping a number of groups from throwing their own bashes. Some on the unofficial list include Russell Simmons’ second Hip-Hop Inaugural Ball, the Ambassadors Ball and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the Native American’s Native Nations Ball. (Here, an unofficial guide to the unofficial balls.)
Amount Obama raised for his 2009 inauguration. That year he barred corporate contributions and capped individual donations at $50,000 a person. This time around, he lifted that ban.
Addie Whisenant, a spokesperson for the Presidential Inauguration Committee, said in a statement that the goal was “to make sure that we will meet the fundraising requirements for this civic event after the most expensive presidential campaign in history.”
The number of benefactors
who donated to Obama’s second inauguration (as of Jan. 14). Microsoft and AT&T were among the few corporate donors on the list. Contribution amounts have not yet been released.
$7,500: Price of an official Obama-Biden medallion set from the 57th Presidential Inauguration Commemorative Collection. Planners have launched both an online and brick-and-mortar memorabilia store that is offering up everything from pins and coffee mugs to golf equipment and a $5 "Sno Bo Button" — a button of First Dog Bo in the snow. Everything is supposed to align with the inauguration theme, "Our People. Our Future." The medallion set is the priciest item on the menu.
WORDS AND DEATH:
Number of words in Obama's first inaugural address
in 2009. The pithiest inaugural speech belonged to George Washington who, at the beginning of his second term, said all he wanted to say to the nation in 135 words
Number of words in William Henry Harrison’s inauguration address
. It was the lengthiest inaugural speech in the country’s history and lasted nearly two hours. It was a chilly March day and he did not wear a hat or coat. He developed a cold, which turned to pneumonia and he died a month later
. Vice President John Tyler was sworn in 33 days after Harrison became president.
7: Number of vice presidents who hastily took the presidential oath of office after learning that their president had died. (John Tyler in 1841 after William Henry Harrison died; Millard Fillmore in 1850 after Zachary Taylor died; Andrew Johnson in 1865 after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated; Chester Alan Arthur in 1881 after James A. Garfield was assassinated; Theodore Roosevelt in 1901 after the assassination of William McKinley; Calvin Coolidge in 1925 after Warren G. Harding died; Harry Truman in 1945 after Franklin Roosevelt died; Lyndon Johnson in 1963 after John F. Kennedy was assassinated -- he was sworn in by Judge Sarah T. Hughes, who was the first woman to swear in a president.)