The turnstiles counted 134,254. Police estimates placed the figure at about 150,000, some 34,000 of them sitting on the grass. Another 20,000 or more stood outside the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum or were waved on by traffic officers. It was by far the largest crowd ever to turn out to hear Billy Graham in the United States.
It was the closing meeting of the evangelist’s three-week crusade in Southern California. Said he:
“There are almost enough people here tonight to have a march on Washington. And if they keep throwing the Bible out of the schools, we might do just that.” The size of the crowd prevented Graham from extending his usual type of invitation to receive Christ. Instead of asking inquirers to come forward he merely suggested that they stand in front of their seats and indicate commitment by signing the printed cards used to supply inquirers with counseling literature and to refer them to a church. Crusade officials said 3,856 cards were turned in, and 64 per cent were said to be first-time commitments.
Largest previous crowd to hear Graham in America was the estimated 116,000 at Soldier Field, Chicago, at the close of Graham’s 1962 crusade there. In 1959, in the final service of his campaign in Melbourne, Australia, a crowd estimated at between 135,000 and 150,000 was on hand.
In 1960, Graham spoke at a rally of the Baptist World Congress in Rio de Janeiro which drew a crowd estimated at over 180,000.
At the closing Los Angeles service Graham preached from one of his favorite Bible themes—the story of Belshazzar, the king who was “weighed in the balances and found wanting,” and whose kingdom was taken away and given to another. Warned Graham:
“There comes a day when God says, ‘It is enough.’ It is true that God is ...1
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