Source: Florists’ Exchange
Source type: journal
Document type: article
Document title: “McKinley Day”
Author(s): Clark, G. R.
Date of publication: 11 January 1913
Volume number: 35
Issue number: 2
|Clark, G. R. “McKinley Day.” Florists’ Exchange 11 Jan. 1913 v35n2: pp. 71-72.|
|McKinley Day; McKinley memorialization; William McKinley (presidential character).|
|George Dewey; Ulysses S. Grant; William McKinley.|
How fitting it is that one day of the 365 be
set aside to recognize our lamented President McKinley’s refined taste for the
beautiful in nature; inaugurating, through the popularity of Mr. McKinley’s
choice among the floral kingdom, the Carnation. It was simply because Mr. McKinley
loved the Carnation above any other flower that it was chosen in recognition
of his natal day, and not because of a sentiment in American hearts toward hero
worship—for the land of liberty and the land of the free is not a hero worshipping
nation. To recognize heroes for their worth is a commendable thing and we shall
ever revere such men as Grant, Dewey and scores of others; but it was more because
of the rounded character of this man that endeared him to the hearts of our
I remember very well the picture which appeared in one of the New York papers, showing Mr. McKinley seated in a reception room in the White House, with his fatherly hand upon the knee of one of the assistant editors of that paper, the latter having gone there at  the request of the president. The editor then proceeded to tell his readers the advice Mr. McKinley had given through him to the nation. This particular paper had been knocking the administration very seriously for being slow and backward in declaring war against Spain. The president’s advice to this paper was to hold itself steady and firm and not to overexcite the sentiment created by the explosion of the Maine, for war should be declared just as soon as the condition of preparedness on the part of the infantry and navy would guarantee the declaration. This was done, and we all know the results. Pres. McKinley’s fatherly advice only went to show the wisdom and forethought of the man who was administering the affairs of the Government and in whose hands we were safe.
The Czolgosz bullet, of course, was a direct cause in bringing out the sympathy and love of the entire nation; in fact, of the whole world. The kindly spirit Mr. McKinley manifested at the time went to prove the fortitude and patient consideration which characterized the man and ingratiated him all the deeper in the national sentiment. May his name be ever revered! He proved himself a hero and stands out among the presidents of our nation as one who had cardinal virtues accompanied with great wisdom and foresight in knowing how to handle the big affairs of a big nation, and who, further, was imbued with sentiments of the finer thoughts and feelings. His love for flowers has made the Carnation on the 29th of January the most sought after and the most widely used and worn flower of the floral kingdom. May this custom ever be maintained lest the youth forget the virtues of this noble son of our land, whose choice of song was sung, characteristic of manhood’s praise. Then let his choice of a flower express to foreigners and the rising generation that a great and beloved man has lived and that his memory is dear to us all.
Let schoolmaster and teacher speak forth of his characteristic virtues as an influence in character building among our young men.