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welfare of corporations which shrink from the light,” wrote Mr. Roosevelt. And in this statement every one who had the best interests of our nation at heart agreed. To accomplish great works great corporations are often necessary, but they must conduct business in such a fashion that they are not ashamed to show their methods to the public at large. At the opening of the year 1904 there were strong rumors of a war between Japan and Russia, over the occupation of Korea, and this war started early in February by a battle on the sea, wherein the Russian fleet lost several war-ships. This contest was followed by others of more or less importance, and it looked as if, sooner or later, other nations might become involved in the struggle. “We must keep our hands off,” said President Roosevelt, and at once issued a proclamation, calling on all good citizens to remain strictly neutral, and warning those who might take part that they could hope for no aid from the United States should they get into trouble personally or have any property confiscated. This proclamation was followed by some excellent work of our State Department, whereby it was agreed among the leading nations that the zone of fighting should be a limited one, —that is, that neither Japan nor Russia should be allowed to carry it beyond a certain defined territory.
For many weeks Congress had debated the Panama Canal treaty and the action of President Roosevelt regarding the new republic of Panama. On February 23, 1904, a vote was taken in the Senate, and the Panama Canal treaty was ratified in all particulars. Without delay some United States troops were despatched to Panama, to guard the strip of land ten miles wide through which the canal is to run, and preparations were made to push the work on the waterway without further delay.
On Saturday, April 30, the great World's Fair at St. Louis was formally opened to the public. It had cost over fifty millions of dollars and was designed to eclipse any fair held in the past. The opening was attended by two hundred thousand visitors, all of whom were more than pleased with everything to be seen.
It had been arranged that President Roosevelt should formally open the Exposition by means of telegraphic communications from the White House to the fair grounds. A key of ivory and gold was used for the purpose, and as soon as it was touched a salute of twenty-one guns roared forth in the Exposition's honor. Around the President were assembled the members of his Cabinet and representatives of many foreign nations. Before touching the key which was to set the machinery of the wonderful fair in motion, President Roosevelt spoke as follows: —
“I have received from the Exposition grounds the statement that the management of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition awaits the pressing of the button which is to transmit the electric energy which is to unfurl the flag and start the machinery of the Exposition.
“I wish now to greet all present, and especially the representatives of the foreign nations here represented, in the name of the American people, and to thank these representatives for the parts their several countries have taken in being represented in this centennial anniversary of