A look back at presidential inaugurations: Past performers, attendance numbers

U.S. President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address during the public ceremonial inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.
U.S. President Barack Obama gives his inauguration address during the public ceremonial inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol January 21, 2013 in Washington, DC.

Presidential inauguration ceremonies didn’t always mean booking A-list celebrity performers and garnering over a million attendees.

In fact, former president George W. Bush attracted an approximate total of 700,000 attendees for both of his swearing-in ceremonies combined.

» Donald Trump's inauguration: Here's a list of Democrats who are not attending

Nearly 900,000 people are expected to attend President-elect Donald Trump's swearing-in ceremony and inaugural parade on Friday, according to the D.C. Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

» Guide to the AJC’s inauguration coverage

And performers for Trump's inaugural ceremonies include "America's Got Talent" finalist Jackie Evancho, American country music artist Lee Greenwood, rock group 3 Doors Down, singer Toby Keith, YouTube stars The Piano Guys, DJ Ravidrums, The Frontmen of Country and Jon Voight.

» Donald Trump's inauguration: What time, what channel, live-stream, schedule of events

It's important to note that the exact number of attendees isn't so easy to count. For decades, the National Park Service provided official crowd estimates for gatherings on the National Mall, according to the Associated Press. But that changed after 1995. 

To come up with this compilation, we relied on news archives to give you the data.

» Photos: The Inauguration of Donald Trump

So, how do Trump’s attendance estimates and list of performers stack up against past presidential inaugurations?

Here’s a look back at the past 11:

Barack Obama, 2013

Attendance: Approximately 1 million attended Obama's second inauguration, according to CNN.

Notable performers: Beyoncé and Kelly Clarkson

Barack Obama, 2009

ajc.com

Attendance: 1.8 million, according to CNN

Notable performers: U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, Aretha Franklin, Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman

George W. Bush, 2005

ajc.com

Attendance: 400,000, according to the New York Times

Notable performers: Technical Sgt. Bradley Bennett, Denyce Graves, Susan Graham

George W. Bush, 2001

ajc.com

Attendance: 300,000, according to the New York Times

Notable performers: Staff Sgt. Alec T. Maly, Ricky Martin and Jessica Simpson

Bill Clinton, 1997

ajc.com

Attendance: "Hundreds of thousands" attended, according to the New York Times.

Notable performers: Santita Jackson and the Resurrection Choir

Bill Clinton, 1992

Supreme Court Justice William Reinquist gives oath at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. (Photo by Leif Skoogfors/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
Supreme Court Justice William Reinquist gives oath at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. (Photo by Leif Skoogfors/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

Credit: Leif Skoogfors

Credit: Leif Skoogfors

Attendance: 250,000, according to the New York Times

Notable performers: Marilyn Horne

George H.W. Bush, 1989

Portrait of the forty-first president of the United States George Bush, circa 1989. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Portrait of the forty-first president of the United States George Bush, circa 1989. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Credit: Hulton Archive

Credit: Hulton Archive

Attendance: "Tens of thousands" attended, according to the New York Times.

Notable performers: Staff Sgt. Alvy Powell

» Photos: George H. W. Bush through the years

Ronald Reagan, 1985

Attendance: 140,000 attended, according to the New York Times.

Notable performers: The U.S. Marine Band, Jesse Norman

» Photos: Remembering Ronald Reagan, 1911-2004

Ronald Reagan, 1981

ajc.com

Attendance: 10,000, according to the New York Times

Notable performers: Juanita Booker (Frank Sinatra and Ethel Merman performed at balls)

Jimmy Carter, 1977

Rosalyn Carter watches as Jimmy Carter shakes hands with Justice Warren Burger at the Jan. 20, 1977, presidential inauguration.
Rosalyn Carter watches as Jimmy Carter shakes hands with Justice Warren Burger at the Jan. 20, 1977, presidential inauguration.

Credit: AJC file

Credit: AJC file

Attendance: More than 250,000 attended, according to New York Daily News.

Notable performers: Cantor Issac Goodfriend, U.S. Marine Band

» Photos: Jimmy Carter through the years

Richard M. Nixon, 1973

ajc.com

Attendance: According to the New York Times, "thousands of persons" attended Nixon's second inauguration.

Notable performers: Ethel Ennis

President Richard M. Nixon, 1969

ajc.com

Attendance: 65,000 people attended, according to the Washington Post.

Notable performers: Mormon Tabernacle Choir, U.S. Marine Band

In Other News