PRESIDENT M’KINLEY MOURNED BY ALL NORFOLK PEOPLE.
The Sad News of the Passing Away of the Nation’s Chief Executive
Received in Sorrowful Silence—Scenes on the Streets and Around the
Bulletin Boards—Fire Bells Tolled.
When the startling news of the attempted
assassination of President McKinley was received in this city one
week ago yesterday Norfolk people were at first shocked by the terrible
deed of the assassin. Everyone seemed anxious constantly about the
Chief Executive’s condition, and not until the attending physicians
stated that Mr. McKinley would recover was the anxiety of thousands
of people in this city relieved. For several days the people were
buoyed up by hopes of the President’s speedy recovery, and not until
it was almost certain that Mr. McKinley would recover did the people
express in words their anger and the act of the dastardly assassin
was denounced. The morning papers yesterday told the people for
the first time that a change had taken place, and the President’s
condition was serious. This news caused much alarm, and when business
men began to arrive at their offices bulletins commenced coming
in rapidly and the hopes of thousands of people were soon shattered
and a shadow of gloom quickly overspread the city.
All day long busy people loitered
around the bulletin boards and business was almost suspended. In
hushed tones, the condition of Mr. McKinley was discussed and each
message from Buffalo was scanned with intense interest by the eager
watchers whose only wish was that their Chief Executive would recover.
The banker, the newsboy, the laborer, and in fact every one discussed
the news in tones that showed their feelings more plainly than words
All during the morning and until late
in the afternoon the watchers continued until the last sad message
was received, which told them that William McKinley was no more.
A PATHETIC SCENE.
Never before has such a pathetic
scene been witnessed in Main street, where the news was first made
known to Norfolk people on the bulletin boards, and a few seconds
later the tolling of bells told the people in a way that was heartrending
that another good man had passed away as a result of an assassin’s
dastardly work. Many people could not control their feelings, and
did not attempt to do so, as almost everyone seemed dazed by the
terrible blow that had struck the nation and deprived the American
people of their President.
All over the city the grief of the
people was universal. All classes mourned the loss of a man who
had during the years he has presided over the destinies of his country
been just to all and to whose call to arms many Virginians responded.
In the hotel lobbies the sad news was discussed in hushed tones,
and everywhere it seemed as if even the street urchins were mourning
the loss of their President, as every one silently showed their
grief and sorrow in a manner that was painful.
In the clubs, and in fact everywhere
there was an assemblage of people, the memory of the nation’s dead
Chief Executive was revered, and nothing but praise in hushed tones
of the many good deeds of Mr. McKinley could be heard.
The crowds continues to stay around
the bulletin boards until an early hour this morning, when the sad
news was received at —— o’clock.
SCENES ON THE STREETS.
The scenes on the streets last evening
were simply indescribable around The Landmark’s bulletin board.
For hours stood hundreds of men, while across the street in front
of the theatre were many ladies who were deeply interested in the
President’s welfare, but on account of the late hour they were compelled
to leave before the sad news was received in this city at an early
hour this morning. All over the city people stood around in groups,
and for the first time in quite a while large crowds of people were
down town after 1 o’clock in the morning.
THOUSANDS OF INQUIRIES.
During the day yesterday and last
evening the telephones in the newspaper offices were kept continuously
ringing, and it is a strange fact that many of the anxious inquirers
were ladies, who seemed deeply interested in the President’s condition.
After midnight the calls gradually began to diminish and only once
in a while would the tinkle of the bells disturb the “man on watch”
at the ’phones in the morning newspaper offices.
The city was thoroughly bulletined
by the newspapers, and this somewhat relieved the congestion in
Main street, but the street cars had quite a hard time picking their
way through the crowds that stood for hours in Main street.
FIRE BELLS TOLLED.
As soon as the news of the death
of President McKinley was received in this city it was immediately
transmitted to fire headquarters, and the big bell in the tower
of the jail was tolled and this is how the Norfolk people learned
that Mr. McKinley was dead.