WASHINGTON (AP) — Theodore Roosevelt loved a parade and on March 4, 1905, Washington gave him one as spirited as the man himself.
Roosevelt became president in September 1901 with the assassination of William McKinley. Now, an election victory behind him, he would serve in his own right. An estimated 30,000 marched, among them Roosevelt's beloved Rough Riders from the Spanish-American War, in an exuberant inaugural procession that placed the beaming president up front.
The Associated Press has been going back into history to finds its stories on some of the most notable inauguration days. Here is an excerpt from AP's story on the parade, as it appeared on the front page of The Racine (Wis.) Daily Journal that day:
WASHINGTON, March 4 — President Roosevelt led his inaugural parade in quick marching time from the capitol to the White House. No president in recent years has been as prompt in moving from one end of the avenue to the other. The troops marched in ideal weather, the sky being clear, the sun warm, and a fair breeze blowing. The president lost no time in formalities. He descended the steps which were put in place in front of the inaugural stand and took his carriage without re-entering the capitol. The inaugural march began at 1:20 o'clock and as the president's carriage, followed by that of Vice President Fairbanks and those of the members of the cabinet, proceeded through the capitol grounds, the vast throng hastily placed itself on either side of the line of march and cheered without ceasing.
PRESIDENT KEPT BUSY BOWING
The procession moved slowly and Mr. Roosevelt in acknowledging the salutes from either side rose to his feet repeatedly and with his silk hat in his hand bowed to right and left. The buildings facing the capitol grounds through which the procession passed, were occupied to their full capacity with cheering people, who waved flags and handkerchiefs. No incident marred in the slightest degree the inaugural procession as it left the scene of the inaugural address and proceeded down past the peace monument and took its way toward the White House on the broad avenue.
The procession formed immediately behind the carriages of the presidential party and in the order previously arranged, marched from the capitol. Many times along the line of march the president arose in his carriage and lifted his hat. A broad smile lit up his face and it was easy to see the cheers of the admiring throngs greatly pleased him.
The military grand divisions of the procession came after the rough riders.
WEST POINTERS AND "MIDDIES"
Major General James F. Wade was chief marshal and with a splendidly uniformed staff representing each staff corps of the army led the division. Foremost in the line were the pets of the army and navy, the West Point cadets and the "middies" from Annapolis with the District of Columbia national guard, which has come to be looked upon as almost a part of the regular army organization. The cadets headed by Brigadier General Frederick Grant and under their own superintendent, Brigadier General Mills, acquitted themselves splendidly. There was a diversity about their organization which made it very attractive, for it represented infantry, field artillery, new mountain battery platoons and the cavalry which makes West Point famous throughout the world.
MARCHED LIKE CLOCK WORK
The boys marched like veterans and although many of them had friends and relatives and sweethearts along the line of march, they never turned their eyes to the right or left, but marched like clockwork.
The midshipmen surprised everybody. Sailors are not supposed to be good foot soldiers, yet beyond question the two battalions from Annapolis, 700 strong, gave the West Pointers the hardest contest they had ever had for first place in a parade. The boys ... marched with a precision that was wonderful and were cheered at almost every step. ...
Also on the front page in Racine: Roosevelt is given a ring containing a lock of Abraham Lincoln's hair, cut after he was shot and before he died. The government anticipates a $28.5 million surplus. Two special trains from Cleveland that were "making a good run" to Washington collide the night before, killing seven passengers.
NEXT: Woodrow Wilson.