Crowds throng to Mall, ready to witness history

National Mall
Posted at 5:56 AM, Jan 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-21 05:56:00-05

WASHINGTON (AP)-- A heavy and steady stream of people is flooding the National Mall as the sun rises Monday, but there isn't the same early morning crush of humanity there was at this time four years ago for President Barack Obama's first inauguration.

With the main event hours away, people are having their pictures taken with a flag-draped Capitol building in the background.

Betsy Seeber of Doylestown, Pa.,, says, "I'm not a crowd person, and I was pretty astounded when they estimated there would only be 800,000."

It's cool and there's a steady breeze. Hand-warmers are being sold by street vendors three for five dollars. In 2009, when temperatures were in the 20s, vendors got $5 for each one.

Janice Boyd of Bentonville, Ark., says, "I'm cold, but we came prepared."