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With the Capitol in the background, a worker, who asked not to be named, paints the center stand of the inaugural platform, at the west front of the Capitol in Washington, on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, as preparation continues for Barack Obama's inauguration on Jan. 20, 2009. (AP)

A worker paints the center stand of the inaugural platform at the west front of the Capitol on Dec. 4, 2008. (AP)

Presidential inaugurations are big in American democracy. A chance to celebrate. And the inauguration coming next month, of Barack Obama, may be the biggest ever.

Big — gigantic — on symbolism, as the nation’s first African-American stands before the Capitol to take the oath of presidential office.

But also just plain big — huge — in numbers. Maybe millions of Americans gathered in Washington, D.C. for maybe the biggest public gathering in the history of the continent.

That’s big, and a big challenge.

This hour, On Point: Planning for an epic inauguration.

You can join the conversation. Will you be in the crowd? What are your expectations for this Inauguration?

Guests:

Linda Douglass, chief spokesperson for the Presidential Inaugural Committee.

Nia-Malika Henderson, White House reporter for Politico. She reported yesterday about Obama’s plan to arrive in Washington by train.

Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Democratic Congresswoman representing the District of Columbia.

Kevin Johnson, Homeland Security corrrespondent for USA Today.

Earl Stafford, Virginia businessman who spent $1 million to rent out 300 rooms at the JW Marriott Hotel in Washington, D.C. He’ll open the hotel to wounded soldiers, poor and homeless people, and guests otherwise unable to attend the inauguration. Read the Washington Post story “The Benefactor of the Ball.”

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ONPOINT
TODAY
Mar 30, 2015
A stele and flowers laid in memory of the victims are placed in the area where the Germanwings jetliner crashed in the French Alps, in Le Vernet, France, Friday, March 27, 2015. The crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 into an Alpine mountain, which killed all 150 people aboard, has raised questions about the mental state of the co-pilot. (AP)

The pilot who crashed his plane in the Alps. What we know now. And what to do about pilots’ psychological health.

Mar 30, 2015
Sweet Briar College, an all-women's liberal arts college in Virginia, announced in early 2015 that it would unexpectedly close its doors at the end of the school year. (Courtesy Sweet Brian College)

Fareed Zakaria weighs the value of a liberal arts education in our technology-driven time.

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Rescue workers work on debris of the Germanwings jet at the crash site near Seyne-les-Alpes, France, Thursday, March 26, 2015. The co-pilot of the Germanwings jet barricaded himself in the cockpit and “intentionally” rammed the plane full speed into the French Alps, ignoring the captain’s frantic pounding on the cockpit door and the screams of terror from passengers, a prosecutor said Thursday. (AP)

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On Point Blog
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