Publication information
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Source: Boston Daily Globe
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Buying Souvenir Buttons”
Author(s): anonymous
City of publication: Boston, Massachusetts
Date of publication: 18 September 1901
Volume number: 60
Issue number: 80
Pagination: 6

“Buying Souvenir Buttons.” Boston Daily Globe 18 Sept. 1901 v60n80: p. 6.
full text
William McKinley (death: public response: Boston, MA); William McKinley (mourning: flowers, tokens of grief, etc.); McKinley assassination (popular culture).
Named persons
Ida McKinley; William McKinley.


Buying Souvenir Buttons


Bostonians of All Stations in Life Anxious to Secure a Memento of President McKinley.

     “Here ye are, mister, souvenir buttons of the dead President!”
     On every corner of Boston’s busy thoroughfares can be heard, if they cannot be seen, urchins of about every nationality, imploring the patriotic citizen to purchase a mourning emblem which would denote more clearly than facial expressions, the great grief which is felt by every liberty-loving person within the bounds of puritanical Boston.
     Boys of foreign parentage are perhaps the most conspicuous in the retailing of souvenirs expressing the sympathy which is manifest throughout the country at the death of the beloved chief executive. Then there are men of more mature age who seek a livelihood during these troublesome days by hawking their wares.
     There are but two kinds of mourning buttons to be sold by the ingenious fakir. One is a small button with a portrait of the martyred President surrounded by a deep border of black. This is in purely button form. The other is more on the photograph scale. The picture in itself is of a brownish hue and depending from the bottom float two miniature streamers, one vari-colored and the other of a deep crepe. The latter are more eagerly sought for by grief-stricken Bostonians than are the others, the slight difference in price not being considered.
     Portraits and imitation etchings of the fe[a]tures of the President are more numerous than are the buttons for sale. First, there is a large profile view. This is as popular with souvenir buyers as any other and is eagerly sought for all along the line. The many other pictures command various prices, and one of the most popular is a picture of the beloved face, surrounded with deep mourning, with the now famous last words of President McKinley.
     Down in the Italian quarter these little souvenirs are to be found on every co[r]ner. And there is a plentiful sale there, too. Not only do Boston’s staid merchants stop and purchase from the dirt-begrimmed [sic] salesmen, but the horny-handed son of toil is equally as anxious to procure some memento of the departed President. Engravings of Mr and Mrs McKinley, with their home at Canton, in the background, are pushed forth and readily snapped up.
     Small badges of white and black crepe bear the dying words of William McKinley, “Goodby, goodby all. It is God’s will. His will be done.” These words are emblazoned in gilt letters, and the narrow ribbons upon which they are printed are highly prized by all purchasers.
     Many novelties are also introduced by the decorators throughout the city. The smaller shopkeepers who cannot afford the [e]xpense of showy decorations have many appropriate designs.



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