The Pentagon's annual visitor record was broken at 10:25 a.m. (EDT) today when Jianyi Yang signed in as the 130,861st person for the building tour. The old record was set in 1996. Yang, a staff member of the Peoples Republic of China Consulate of San Francisco, expressed surprise as he was ushered away in a VIP cart for a special tour of the world's largest office building.
In addition to his unique tour, Yang was presented with a Secretary of Defense coin and a Pentagon Tours coin. A certificate recognizing the record-setting event also was given to the Sichuan, China native.
The Pentagon began offering public tours in 1976 as part of the nation's Bicentennial celebration. The tours are provided by volunteers from the five branches of the armed forces' ceremonial units located in the national capital area. The free tours are conducted every half hour, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except on federal holidays. The building honored its two millionth visitor in July 1996.