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President Obama took a moment to soak the scene in yesterday as he left the Capitol steps following his address to hundreds of thousands on the National Mall. Obama is only one of a few dozen men who have held that commanding view during an Inauguration Day and it's surely a site and feeling to store away in the memory as one of the warmest moments in a presidency.

Just how many people witnessed this very human moment? According to an AP report, somewhere north of 800,000:

Chris Geldart, who directs the District of Columbia's homeland security and emergency management agency, says early and unofficial estimates of the number of people on the National Mall indicate a turnout higher than 800,000. That's based on aerial views of how the crowd filled sections of the mall.


WASHINGTON -- Feathers and false eyelashes, tuxedos and tiaras. The throngs of people who streamed into the Washington Convention Center for one of three Inaugural galas on Monday pulled out all the stops and were rewarded with some of the top entertainment around. Jennifer Hudson sang the "Let's Stay Together," for the First Couple's first dance. The popular pop group, FUN. performed two of their hits -- "Some Nights and "We are Young." Stevie Wonder,

Alicia Keys and Brad Paisley were among the others to perform.

Women gathered up their long dresses to step onto the escalators that brought them from one giant hall to the next.

The Washington Convention Center is a cavernous space that spans at least two football fields in length. The entire space holds about 42,000 people.

The hall wasn't completely filled but pretty jammed at the most crowded point of the night -- when the President and First Lady made an appearance.

Tickets went for $500 each, a recently reduced price after some who bought theirs early on paid $1,000.

More on the fashion of the day, with photos.

Inaugural ball photos and more.

Road Trip to History: Inauguration Aftermath

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Somewhere out there, the Frazier family strains to see there president take the oath of office on the Capitol steps. Again. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

The Chicago Sun-Times is chronicling the journey to Monday's inauguration with the Frazier Family of Marquette Park, and blogging about it. Catch our first story in the series here.

Mckinley Wright, 14, for whom this is the first time seeing the nation's 44th president inaugurated, is mesmerized, glued to the ceremony, straining intermittently to see the dots in the distance of the Capitol steps where this is all happening, then the jumbotron, where it's all very near.

Creative, he finds that if he watches through the zoom of Pamela's camera, he can bring this historic event closer.

Asia Wright, 16, in her own world, has processing of this second inauguration she has attended for this president, apparent in her distant gaze. She walks away from her family to find a clear opening in the crowd. There, she watches, but even more importantly, tilts her head down and listens, to President Obama's "We are made for this moment" speech.

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Countless digital memory cards were filled with images from the Inauguration Day coverage of Barack Obama for his second term.

Two of the cooler pieces of photographic coverage came from The New York Times and the Washington Post. The Post used a photo technology called Gigapan, which we've gushed over before from the 2009 inaugural, to allow viewers to burrow in to the inaugural crowd face-by-face - tagging along the way. The Post has optimized versions of the Gigapan image for you to check out on desktop computers as well as a mobile experience.

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The Times chose to focus on the viewing gallery over the entire crowd with a graphic build to tag the famous names and faces behind and beside the president during his speech. Click through to find the Chicago and Illinois contingent, including Rahm Emanuel and wife Amy Rule.

Road Trip to History: An Inauguration

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The Chicago Sun-Times is chronicling the journey to Monday's inauguration with the Frazier Family of Marquette Park, and blogging about it. Catch our first story in the series here.

At 11 a.m., sadness sets in, then anger. A rumble moves through the crowd. Just who was responsible for organizing this anyway? In their wisdom, they've placed only three stations at the general admission checkpoint. Three people entering at a time and being searched? What were they thinking?

Pamela keeps her chin up for the grandkids, as she tries to wrap her mind around the fact that this inauguration journey is about to end in disaster. How did this happen? The organizers had predicted the crowds would be significantly smaller this second time around, that the novelty factor had faded. It sure didn't look like it as you pushed through the crowds and scanned the same multitudes here today on the National Mall.

"Did they do this on purpose?" Pamela wonders, as she looks behind her at the folks who clearly will not witness this inauguration, despite traveling from far and wide. "Did they not want so many people out here?"

"This isn't right," another woman nearby complains, co-signed by a growing chorus of the frustrated.

Inaugural Parade: The float lineup

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The Hawaii State Float - Hawaii is the birthplace of President Obama. The float features a large volcano modeled after the famous Diamond Head Volcano and a tribute to the late Senator Daniel Inouye.

The Illinois State Float - Illinois is the birthplace of First Lady Michelle Obama. The float features American flags, the state flag and a panorama of the Capitol.

The Pennsylvania State Float - Pennsylvania is the birthplace of Vice President Joe Biden. The float includes a replica of the Liberty Bell and the Pennsylvania State Seal.

The Delaware State Float - Delaware is the home state of Vice President Joe Biden and Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden. The float includes a replica of State Capitol Bell Tower.

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Float - The float's design features an image of Dr. King and a representation of his quote "out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope."

The Civil Rights Movements Float - The Civil Rights float features images representing historic struggles of many of the civil rights movements in our country. The images represented include Immigration, Women's, LGBT, Civil and Labor Rights. The float also includes Martin Luther King's quote "The Arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice."

The Tuskegee Airmen Float - The float is a tribute to the brave young men who were the first African-American military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. The float features a model North American P-51 Mustang.

The Inaugural Theme, "Our People. Our Future." Float - The American people are the focus of this float. Riding on the float are the citizen co-chairs for the National Day of Service.

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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama walk down Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, during the Inaugural Parade after his ceremonial swearing-in on Capitol Hill during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. (AP Photo/The New York Times, Doug Mills, Pool)

WASHINGTON--First Lady Michelle Obama wore a striking outfit to Monday's Inaugural ceremonies, with her ensemble the work of several designers.

Mrs Obama is wearing a navy Thom Browne coat and dress, her spokesman Semonti Stephens said.

"The fabric was developed based on the style of a man's silk tie. The belt and gloves she is wearing are from J.Crew and her earrings are designed by Cathy Waterman. She is also wearing Reed Krakoff boots and cardigan," At the end of the Inaugural festivities, the outfit and accompanying accessories will go to the National Archives," she said.

More coverage on the fashion of the day here and 50 years of First Lady dresses from Meg Moore here.

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The South Shore Drill Team of Chicago perform during President Barack Obama's inaugural parade in Washington, Monday, Jan. 21, 2013, following the president's ceremonial swearing-in ceremony during the 57th Presidential Inauguration. ( AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)

VIDEO: Inaugural Salute

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Military salutes the President as he takes the platform for his swearing in ceremony.