Monday, January 14, 2019

A different time...........................

     Thus did the fifty-four-year-old Ohioan begin the day that would see him become the twenty-fifth U. S. president.  If weather is augury, the day was auspicious.  "Not a cloud cast its shadow over any part of the inaugural proceedings," reported the New York Times.  For nearly a week the city had filled up with all manner of citizenry—political bigwigs, Republican loyalists, office seekers, ordinary folks hankering for a glimpse of history.  Railroad companies estimated that they had brought into the city some 225,000 visitors, and the Baltimore and Ohio line laid down fourteen miles of temporary track to handle excess rail cars. . . .

It was a burgeoning nation, full of zest and optimism, that bestowed the mantle of leadership upon William McKinley on that crisp March day.  Not even the 1893 Panic, which still dampened commerce, could seriously erode the American sense of opportunity.   The U. S. population had nearly doubled since 1870 to 75 million, with fully two-thirds of the increase coming from native births, the rest from immigration.  The industrial era was generating an economic bustle in America that was recognized throughout the world as a rare phenomenon.

-Robert W. Merry,  President McKinley:  Architect of the American Century

Ed. Note:  The year of McKinley's first inauguration was 1897.  One wonders if the the high percentage population growth was a post-Civil War "baby boom".

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