We arrived on the Mall just after 8 am on Tuesday, January 20, 2009. There were already so many people there! We were across the Mall from the American History Museum and Natural History Museum.
This is a Google satellite image of the Mall before inauguration. Based on how many people are in this image, my guess is that it was taken no later than 9 am. We were about 3/4 of the way from the capitol to the Washington Monument.
This was our view of the capitol...
...and this was our view of the monument. It was pretty much people from one end to another. The mall definitely had room for more people in our area. Apparently they closed off sections of the Mall as the morning went on, which explains why it never got completely packed and there was quite a bit of open space off to the sides. These photos that I took were taken around 11 am.
They replayed Sunday's concert on the jumbotrons while we waited for things to start happening on the capitol. It was a good excuse to dance and keep warm! They had some trouble synchronizing the video and audio, and it wasn't just because light and sound travel at different speeds! Sometimes the video was ahead and sometimes it was behind. But that was hardly important.
Bush got some boos, but mostly I think people there were more focused on Obama coming in than Bush going out. As soon as Obama finished the oath of office, the entire crowd went crazy and everyone was hugging and cheering. His inaugural speech had some great lines, but only time will tell which will become as famous as, "Ask not what your country can do for you but what you can do for your country," and "...the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
Photos from the Natural History Museum still to come.