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Posts Tagged ‘Theodore Roosevelt’

National Parks: Early Views of Western Parks

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 13, 2009

Here are a few images of several Western National Parks dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, all courtesy of the Library of Congress’s Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Digital catalog numbers are listed at the bottom of this post.

Climbing in Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington

I don’t know what to make of this caption from the Library of Congress’s bibliographic record, or, more to the point, what to make of that Christmas tree amid all the splendor of the trees surrounding it: “Flathead Indians holding pre-Christmas family gatherings on the west side of Glacier National Park, in the dense forest of evergreen trees that skirt the Rocky Mountains.” Don’t the people look a bit underdressed for December in the Rocky Mountains?

Wawona tunnel tree, Upper Mariposa Grove, Yosemite, California

“The fallen monarch, surrounded by Co. F, 6th Cavalry U.S.A., Mariposa big tree grove, Yosemite Valley National Park, Calif.” 1900

Interior of H.E. Klamer’s curio store, Yellowstone, 1909

President Theodore Roosevelt at Liberty Cap, Yellowstone, 1903

“Desecration of our national parks–A scene that may be witnessed if the Yellowstone Park is leased to speculators.” This illustration by W.A. Rogers appeared in the Jan. 20, 1883 issue of Harper’s Weekly.

Library of Congress ID Numbers:

stagecoach: cph 3b43413

Rainier: LC-USZ62-100874

Xmas: LC-USZ62-8999

tree tunnel: LC-USZ62-97301

fallen tree: USZ62-63620

store: USZ62-92911

Roosevelt: ppmsca-18930

Harper’s: USZ62-122812


Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, National Park Service, Places, WPA | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on National Parks: Early Views of Western Parks

Another Day on the Assassination Vacation

Posted by Laurie Frost on August 1, 2009

When we left Sarah Vowell she was visiting the grave of James Garfield and on the way to William McKinley’s in Canton, Ohio, which she describes as “a gray granite nipple on a fresh green breast of grass.” The website for his home, now the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum, has copyright notices, but the mausoleum is a national historic landmark, and I found this on a National Park Service webpage.mckinley2

McKinley was in his second term of office when he was assassinated by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, in the Temple of Music, now, along with all but one of the event’s buildings, demolished. But pictures and movies remain. Vowell notes that the Library of Congress has some reels of film by Thomas Edison of the Exposition, and among these is a re-enactment of Czolgosz’s execution in the electric chair.  Here’s a link. (Did you know that the electric chair was first used at New York State’s Auburn Prison in 1890? This is the kind of thing Sarah Vowell knows.)

Beckitemscredit: NPS

For Vowell, the essence of the exposition’s spirit — and of the McKinley administration — is well illustrated by the logo for the event, the allegorical picture of blond North America and brunette South America:

Their handshake takes place in Central America on the future site of the Panama Canal. Miss South America smiles, unaware that two years later, the U.S. Navy would swoop in and hack her arm off at the elbow so that cargo ships could sail through the blood of her severed stump.

In the logo, most of the United States and Canada is blanketed in Miss North America’s billowy yellow dress. But one delicate foot pokes out of the southeastern edge, shaped like the state of Florida, as if she’s poised to step on Cuba.

When the Spanish reportedly blew up the battleship Maine, an initially reluctant McKinley — and an eager vice-president Theodore Roosevelt — found themselves at war in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay is a relic of this Spanish-American War). Vowell finds the optional wars of their time have quite a lot in common with those of ours; considering the Maine monument at the southwest entrance to Central Park is her occasion to recall these lessons unlearned.


credit: Library of Congress LC-B2-2694-9

Now back to McKinley’s assassination. He lived eight days, and since initially he appeared to be improving, Theodore Roosevelt saw no reason not to go hiking in a fairly remote area of the Adriondacks.3b21880r









Left: Lake Tear-in-the-Clouds, Adirondack Mountains, where Roosevelt ate lunch the day before he became president [credit: LC 11134-3].   Right:  Vowell, an eager urban walker but a miserable mountain hiker, says that the Tawhaus Lodge where Roosevelt’s family was staying looks well-maintained today, not that she is eager to hike back up there [credit: LC-D4-16785].

By morning September 13, 1901, it was obvious that the president was dying. A ranger reached the vice-president’s party that afternoon with the news. McKinley was dead by 2:30 the following morning, but it would be 3:30 in the afternoonof the 14th, after a rough night of hard riding down dark mountain roads, before Roosevelt took the oath of office in Buffalo.

In Buffalo, Vowell visits the home of Roosevelt’s buddy Ansley Wilcox, now known as the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, where the oath of office was administered in its library.

116259prcredit: LC-HABS NY,15-BUF,12-2

librarycredit: NPS


And here we have the memorial to McKinley in downtown Buffalo, New York, or, as Sarah Vowell calls it, “the-sorry-you-got-shafted shaft” [credit: LC-D4-70292].

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