Assassination News from a Ticker
Mr. Walter Armbruster has a unique
souvenir of the tragedy which shocked the nation last Friday afternoon.
Mr. Armbruster was in Chicago at the time the news was flashed over
the wire of the attempted assassination of President McKinley. About
3 o’clock in the afternoon he was in the Great Northern hotel watching
the “ticker,” which is a telegraphic instrument that transcribes
messages as received over the wire, upon an endless paper ribbon.
These tickers are the same kind of instruments used on the board
of trade. A few men were standing by the instrument in the Great
Northern listening to reports of the ball games by innings in the
eastern cities. Suddenly, in the midst of the sporting news, the
following words were ticked slowly on the tape: “President McKinley
shot twice in stomach by stranger, who was caught.”
The operator at the instrument jumped
from his chair and shouted, “My God! Look at that!” All of the other
men who had been watching the ribbon were startled by the intelligence
which it conveyed, and in a few minutes an immense crowd had gathered
in the corridor in the vicinity of the ticker. It was not long afterward
when the newspapers issued extras and the details of the tragedy
soon became known. Mr. Armbruster secured as a souvenir the piece
of paper ribbon on which these fateful words were recorded, and
will keep it as a memento of the day.