On Friday, January 20, 2017, Donald J. Trump was sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. The day began with Trump attending service at St. John’s Episcopal Church, followed by tea with President Obama and both first ladies. Trump was sworn in around noon on the steps of the Capitol, followed by the inaugural parade, in which Trump and Vice President Pence made their way up Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. The evening ended with Trump, Pence, and their wives attending three inaugural balls.
It’s not surprising, after such a contentious election season, that Inauguration Day would also stir up plenty of controversy. Throughout the day, there were several protests around the nation’s capital city. Some of the protests became violent, and police made roughly 200 arrests.
Meanwhile, photos of the crowds at the swearing-in ceremony were shared across the Internet, as people compared last Friday’s National Mall attendance with the historically large crowds generated by Barack Obama’s first inauguration. President Trump claimed on Twitter that his Inauguration was the most highly-attended in history. New White House press secretary Sean Spicer attacked the press on Saturday, accusing them of intentionally downplaying crowd numbers.
Million Women March
Also on Saturday, millions of women and men on all seven continents of the world took part in demonstrations, marches, and rallies to voice their concerns about the new president. Over half a million women from all over the country converged on Washington, D.C. The crowd was so large that the initial plans for a march to the White House had to be changed because there were simply too many people to move safely. The rally featured public speakers such as Gloria Steinem, and performers such as Madonna and Alicia Keys. Protesters wore pink knit caps and carried signs promoting equal rights for women, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community, and denouncing President Trump’s treatment of women.
Meanwhile, “sister marches” took place in cities across all fifty states, often with equally large crowds. In Chicago, so many more demonstrators turned out that organizers were forced to cancel their march because the entire route was covered with people.
While it is impossible to accurately gauge the exact number of protesters who took part all over the country, the number is thought to be well into the millions, making it possibly the largest single-day protest to ever take place in U.S. history.