A day after the presidential inauguration of Donald Trump, millions nationwide and around the world marched in support of women's rights.
• Huge crowds converge on flagship Washington march.
• Hundreds of thousands at Los Angeles march alone
• Did you march? Tell us why.
• See the marches around the world.
Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington was originally named the Million Woman March. But some people noted the same name was used for a march which took place in Philadelphia in 1997 and focused attention on the experience of black women in America.
Even before that there was the Million Man March in 1995. Organized by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and former National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People head Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., the march focused on atonement and personal responsibility within the black community, especially among men. It was a contrast to civil rights marches in the past which had called for changes in society overall..
In a speech that lasted over two hours, Farrakhan called on participants never again to commit violence, use drugs, abuse women or children or otherwise degrade themselves or their communities.
The Nation of Islam estimated the crowd at 1.5 million to 2 million, but the National Park Service put the number closer to 400,000, based on aerial photographs. (The agency divided the Mall into grids of equal size, estimated the density of each and assigned a number of people per square foot.)
March leaders accused the Park Service of racism and threatened to sue. A Boston University professor stepped in to re-do the math, concluding that about 837,000 people attended. But his calculations had a margin of error of 20%, meaning the actual figure could be anywhere between 670,000 and 1 million.
The controversy was so great Congress barred the National Park Service from counting crowds.
Two years after the Million Man March, two grassroots activists organized the Million Woman March in Philadelphia for black women to come together and address the ills in their communities. They walked for two miles past symbolic settings, including the Liberty Bell and City Hall, spilling onto the sidewalks of Benjamin Franklin Parkway and up the steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum.
How many people attended was anyone’s guess.