Last year, Glenn Beck announced that he would be holding an event in Washington DC, at the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. This event, which he called “Restoring Honor” was designed to be a non-political rally. People were asked to bring their kids and leave their signs at home. Although Beck publicly wondered how many people would attend the event, now that the event is less than 24 hours away, it is obvious that people are coming to the event in droves.
Buses, Planes, and Automobiles
People are coming to the Washington DC area from all around the world to attend Glenn Beck’s event. Americans living abroad are coming from Europe. A photojournalist from France is coming to document the event. One person is traveling from as far away as Nigeria. Bus companies from all around the country are selling out seats travelling to the event.
Although the politicians in Washington DC are currently on vacation, the city is bustling. Flights traveling to the city are filled with people traveling to the event. Flight attendants travelling to DC have taken polls: even on Thursday, 30% of the people on one flight were going to the event; half of the people on another flight were going to the event. People have been calling in to Glenn Beck’s show from the road as they drive in on their automobiles. Hotels in the area have been sold out for a while.
Around the Reflecting Pool
Around the reflecting pool, people started showing up to the event on Thursday. Nobody is allowed to sleep at the National Mall, so families are staking out their spot in shifts: one person will stay at the mall for a while while other family members sleep. Beck’s permit estimates around 300,000 attendees, based on the number of buses registered for the event. Some media outlets estimate that about 500,000 people will be coming.
Glenn Beck’s 8/27 Event Sells Out Early
An event planned as a prelude to the 8/28 event entitled Divine Destiny sold out early. The free tickets to were supposed to be given out at 10 AM on August 27th, but so many people had lined up for tickets by 8 PM the previous night that there would be no seats left for anybody that arrived later. Organizers decided to pass out tickets to the event that night, rather than let the crowd grow and let the people wait needlessly overnight.
To put Glenn Beck’s event into perspective, more than 250,000 people attended Martin Luther King Jr’s march on Washington DC, also held on August 28th (in 1963). Estimates of the attendance of Barack Obama’s inauguration range from 800,000 to 1.8 million.
Glenn Beck Radio Program. 27 August, 2010.
Inauguration of Barack Obama, Wikipedia. 27 August 2010.
“MLK’s ‘I Have a Dream’ Speech”. The DC Traveler. 28 August 2008.
Restoring Honor status update. Facebook, 26 August 2010.