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CHAPTER XXIX

DEDICATION OF THE FAIR BUILDINGS AT ST. LOUIS

CONTINUATION OF THE TRIP TO SAN FRANCISCO
UP IN THE FAR NORTH-WEST BACK IN WASH-
INGTON — THE POST-OFFICE SCANDALS -THE NEW
REPUBLIC OF PANAMA — A CANAL AT LAST – PROC-
LAMATION REGARDING THE WAR BETWEEN JAPAN
AND RUSSIA — OPENING OF THE GREAT FAIR

AFTER the refreshing tour of Yellowstone Park, President Roosevelt journeyed across Nebraska to Omaha, then across Iowa to Keokuk, and from the latter city to St. Louis.

As before, he delivered a number of addresses, and wherever he spoke great crowds came to see and to hear him. In these crowds were people of all political tendencies, but it made no difference if they were Republicans, Democrats, or Populists, all were equally glad to greet the President of the United States and the hero of San Juan Hill.

On this trip he frequently met some of the Rough Riders, and they invariably did

all in their power to make him feel at home. On the other hand he showed that he had not forgotten them.

“By George, I am glad to see you !” he would exclaim, catching an old comrade by the hand. And his tone of voice would show that he meant just what he said.

For a long time the people of St. Louis had been preparing for a grand fair, to be known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, to commemorate the purchasing from France of all that vast territory of the United States which lies between the Mississippi River and the Rocky Mountains and the Gulf of Mexico and British America. The purchase was made in 1803 for fifteen millions of dollars, and it was hoped to hold the exposition on the one hundredth anniversary, in 1903, but matters were delayed, and so the fair was postponed until 1904.

The dedication of the fair buildings at the Exposition Grounds was held on April 30, 1903, and was made a gala occasion by those interested. President Roosevelt was invited to speak, and also Ex-President Cleveland, and both made addresses of remarkable interest. Following the dedica

tion exercises a grand banquet was given at which the scene of good-fellowship was one not readily forgotten. The President wished the exposition well, and promised to do all in his power to make it a success.

Although the President had already travelled many miles, the greater part, of his western trip still lay before him.

From St. Louis he went to Kansas City and to Topeka, where the citizens were as anxious to meet him as anywhe He stopped at Sharon Springs over Sunday, and then went to Denver, and to various towns in Colorado and in New Mexico. While in New Mexico he became interested in the systems of irrigation there, and told the people what they might do if their systems of watering the ground were increased.

Having passed through the Grand Cañon, the second week in May found him in southern California. He visited Los Angeles, reviewing the annual floral parade, and many other points, and at Claremont addressed a great gathering of school children in a beautiful park filled with shrubs and flowers. The children were decidedly enthusiastic over the meeting, and when Mr. Roosevelt

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