Source: Toledo Bee
Source type: newspaper
Document type: article
Document title: “Great Precautions Were Taken”
Author(s): Warner, Mason
City of publication: Toledo, Ohio
Date of publication: 7 September 1901
Volume number: 26
Issue number: none
|Warner, Mason. “Great Precautions Were Taken.” Toledo Bee 7 Sept. 1901 v26: p. 4.|
|Pan-American Exposition (President’s Day); William McKinley (at Pan-American Exposition); William McKinley (protection).|
Great Precautions Were Taken
The President Was Surrounded by Secret Service Operatives and
Detectives—Bee Reporter’s Attention Directed to Sleuths.
The writer left the Pan-American exposition grounds
at 11 o’clock Thursday night.
“President’s Day,” as yesterday was styled, was one of the great days of the exposition.
The attendance was near the 100,000 mark, and exerywhere [sic] the nation’s chief executive went he received an enthusiastic ovation from the assembled multitudes.
That coming events cast their shadows before may seem a trite saying at this time—but nevertheless the possible assassination of the president was more than once referred to yesterday.
Unusual and plainly evident precautions taken to prevent it carried with them a suggestion of the act.
When McKinley entered the Lincoln Park entrance to the exposition grounds yesterday his carriage was followed by another containing a secret service operative and a well known Buffalo officer.
Another carriage containing detectives followed the conveyance of the cabinet officers.
A mounted military escort was also a feature of the president’s party.
Mingling with the exposition crowd one frequently heard the question, “Who are those men in the carriage back of McKinley?”
The fact that they were detectives passed from mouth to mouth as the precession [sic] moved forward.
The grounds were so crowded that the progress of the party was necessarily slow.
Whenever it was stopped for any length of time those constituting the body guard [sic] of the president would alight and walk to and fro remaining close to Mr. McKinley.
“What do you suppose these people would do if some crank were to take a shot at the president?”
“Oh, I suppose people would go crazy with excitement for an hour or two. We would have another period of mourning and the Exposition company would have an added attraction in the shape of a monument with an inscription, ‘Here Fell President McKinley.’”
That was one fragment of many similar conversations overheard on the esplanade as the president and his escort passed along.
While people discussed possible assassination, of course none took the matter seriously.
In fact there was a general sentiment that “the body guard [sic] business” was a little overdone.
Those in charge of arranging the escort were criticised right and left for the extraordinary precautions that were taken.
Frequent references were made to the way monarchs, czars, emperors and kings travel.
But it appears that all the precautions were necessary, and ineffectual at that.