Glenn Beck Rally: How Big Was the Crowd?
How many people attended Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday?
There is a puzzling disparity among the estimates offered: USA Today and ABC News headline it merely "thousands" (but USA Today uses "tens of thousands" in the text, while ABC says "more than 100,000"), and the AP offers us "tens of thousands." The New York Times offers us just "enormous," while Politico takes the easy way out and simply says "no one can say for sure." The National Park Service has returned to insisting that they don't make crowd size estimates, which is true, except on those occasions when they do.
So, once again, let's see if we can make a reasonable estimate for ourselves. Unlike some of our previous attempts, there seems to be a good supply of photographs.
First, one sent to Glenn Reynolds by Ed Frank, taken from the top of the Washington Monument. According to Ed, this was taken at about 11 am, while people were still arriving:
Second, the AP's own photograph:
Another AP photograph shows more of the area between the Washington Monument and the end of the reflecting pool:
Clearly, it's a big crowd.
First, look carefully at the crowd, and for context, have a look at this Google Map of the area.
You can see the Memorial on the left, the Washington Monument on the right, and of course these photographs are looking to the west; the reflecting pool is in the middle, and north is to the right.