Source: Kindergarten Review
Source type: journal
Document type: article
Document title: “Celebration of McKinley’s Birthday”
Author(s): Noerr, Catherine R.
Date of publication: March 1902
Volume number: 12
Issue number: 7
|Noerr, Catherine R. “Celebration of McKinley’s Birthday.” Kindergarten Review Mar. 1902 v12n7: p. 442.|
|Kindergarten Normal Institute (Washington, DC); McKinley Memorial Day; McKinley memorialization; McKinley memorial (Canton, OH).|
|Friedrich Froebel; Henry Wadsworth Longfellow; Ida McKinley; William McKinley; Louise Pollock [identified as Mrs. Pollock below]; Susan Pollock [identified as Miss Pollock below]; John L. Stoddard.|
Celebration of McKinley’s Birthday
At ten o’clock on the morning of January 29,
1902, the teachers and children of the Washington City Froebel Kindergarten
Normal Institute gathered in their pleasant kindergarten room, taking their
places on the circle. In the center of the circle, on the floor, stood a large
vase of laurel, its shining green leaves in rich contrast with the softly descending
snow of the outside landscape. Beside the vase was a pretty japanned box, which
was to hold the love offerings of the children,—the silver ten cent pieces which
each one had brought for McKinley Memorial Day.
First we said Good Morning to each other; then we said in unison,—
“I thank Thee, Lord, for quiet rest,
And for Thy care of me;
“Oh! let me through this day be blest,
And kept from harm by Thee.”
On asking “What day is this?” the response came
from all, “McKinley’s birthday.” “Shall we frame his picture in black, or in
white?” Unanimously, “In white.” “Yes, because this is his first heavenly birthday,—he
is not sad any more. Here is a calendar that tells us about every day; let us
read what it says about to-day, January 29:—
“I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him and honor him.” Psalm 91 : 15.
Miss Pollock then said, “Let us all rise now, and march in a circle around the laurel branches and each one put his shining ten cent piece in the box as we pass it. What shall we sing as we march?” “The Postman! The Postman!” came in chorus. “Why, certainly! for this offering of love is to go by mail directly to dear Mrs. McKinley, who knows all about this school and kindergarten, and teachers’ training class, for she has had them all come to the White House to see her, and has given them flowers both at the time of the visit and on Froebel’s birthday; and she knew and loved Mrs. Pollock.”
Then came the marching and the dropping of the silver pieces into the japanned box, while the children sang their merry song of The Postman:—
“Who’s that coming down the street,
“With jaunty cap and suit so neat?
“The postman ’t is; and what has he?
“Maybe, letters for you and me.”
As all took their seats again Miss Pollock said,
“Who would like to see what is going to be done with this money at Canton, Ohio?
We will all see!” Then the beautiful pictures of the World’s Fair at Chicago
were brought and one was given to every child to look at. The children understood
and appreciated that money contributed by friends everywhere is to be used for
building a noble memorial to Mr. McKinley. When they had looked at the beauty
of the White City as depicted by John L. Stoddard, they were told that they
might go to the tables and build with their blocks a memorial arch for the birthday.
This they did, working enthusiastically and earnestly, until before each one
arose his conception. One small man of four years made his arch by using all
of the blocks of the Sixth Gift on the flat or plane,—“pictured it,” as he said;
while all the other children built theirs in an upright position.
It is worthy of mention that every child who was necessarily absent on account of the storm sent his offering by messenger or note,—mamma, nurse, and postman doing their part toward this. In conclusion, a thought from Longfellow’s Hyperion was given to the training class:—
“We behold all round about us one vast union, in which no man can labor for himself without laboring at the same time for others.”