A Moment of Light before the dark Days of McKinley’s Assassination

A Moment of Light before the dark Days of McKinley’s Assassination

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Before President McKinley was assassinated this article appeared in the Buffalo Courier Friday Morning, September 6, 1901:



Grand Ovations

From a platform improvised at the northwestern pylon of the Triumphant Causeway, President McKinley delivered one of his most masterly speeches since his inauguration in 1897. For an hour people had rived their eyes upon this structure. When they saw the carriage wheel into view the noise began. It increased in vehemence as the carriage halted and the President jumped out and with one hand holding his hat in salutation, extended the other for the arm of his wife. Up the steps went the President escorting his wife Mrs. McKinley.

In front of the stand and extending back into both sides of the Court of Fountains, umbrellas, handkerchiefs, papers, began to flutter and even the flags on the buildings, caught up by a fresh breeze started to wave with renewed glory.

John C. Milburn, president of the Pan-American Exposition stepped up to the front and spoke two words. For this occasion they were magical words. They were oil on the water, for when spoken they subsided the verbal storm. A great tall man himself, Mr. Millburnís presence at the railing of the platform drew attention. The words he spoke were:

ìThe Presidentî

†People held their breath.† Silence reigned President McKinley stood erect. Then greater than before the cheering broke out again. It was not an interrupting greeting. It came smooth, harmonious, but loud, and while the President was bowing. As soon as the Presidentís lips parted and he saised [sic] his hand as is pronouncing silent invocation silence reigned again.

The postcard photos in this slide show were included in the Wicks archive collection. I believe they are from the Pan Am Expo showing President McKinley, and possibly the President of the Pan-American Exposition, John C. Milburn before the assassination.

(All rights of visual materials reserved.)


About Stories, Old & New

My background is in Public Relations with a B.S. from Syracuse University. I would like to publish "Rabbitwild - A Shelter in the Wilderness", written by my Great Grandfather, William S. Wicks, a gifted early American Architect and Naturalist. Wicks, a member of the first group to purchase 100,000 acres of Adirondack Wilderness with the idea that it should remain a "forever wild" preserve, in fact designed and built "Rabbitwild" within the Adirondack League Club. And so, this blog isn't about me at all, but about remembering Wicks, his legacy, love and loyalty to natural design. By happenstance, he created the same appreciation in me for all that is beautiful, by nature.

One response »

  1. Pingback: Citizens Speaking Truth to Power 1899, Part II: Open Letter to President McKinley by Colored People of Massachusetts | History Is A State Of Mind

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