In 2009, Thousands of People Stranded in a Tunnel Burst Out Into ‘Lean On Me’ and It was Great
The Purple Tunnel of Doom was the name ascribed to the event that left thousands of ticket holders to the first inauguration of Barack Obama stranded in a tunnel, eventually missing the ceremony entirely.
On January 20th, 2009, ‘purple ticket holders’ were directed into the Third Street tunnel in downtown Washington, D.C., but were not allowed to exit.
Ticket colors corresponded to assigned viewing areas and many were not admitted, despite having stood in line for hours.
One silver lining in the whole debacle was when the stranded crowd spontaneously erupted into a stirring rendition of ‘Lean On Me’. A brief reprieve for a disappointing day where so many were hoping to witness the historic event.