President McKinley celebrates his 57th birthday
The Evening Times of Washington, D.C., reported on President McKinley’s birthday schedule:
“President McKinley is today receiving the congratulations of his friends upon the 57th anniversary of his birth. No special preparations had been made to celebrate the event and the President is attending to his official duties as usual. Still there is a warmth in the greetings of visitors and felicitous references to his health and happiness entirely wanting on other days.
“The President began to be reminded of the anniversary of his birth several days ago. He received a delegation from California, through which he was invited to participate in the banquet of the Bohemians of America. Since then, reminders of one sort and another have been constantly appearing in the shape of letters from officials and friends in foreign countries and messages from European rulers, sent beforehand to ensure delivery at the proper time.
“At breakfast this morning, Mr. McKinley was warmly greeted by Mr. and Mrs. George A. Morse, who are guests at the White House. When he arrived at his desk, notes, letters, telegrams, and mementoes were found in scores, having been arranged for his inspection by the secretaries. The President looked them over hurriedly and was made to feel a little of the pleasure which is occasionally intermingled with the endless labors of his position.
“Among the first to call and offer their congratulations was Mr. E.A. Hitchcock, Secretary of the Interior. He was followed during the day by Secretaries Root, Gage, and Hay, and Attorney General Griggs. Senators Lodge, Shoup, Perkins, and Elkins each called with friends and each felicitated Mr. McKinley in the most cordial way. Representative Dolliver, Hamilton, Jenkins and Ferris also called, and later in the day the White House lobby was full of the President’s friends in Washington, waiting to extend their greetings to him. After 12 o’clock President McKinley’s room had much the appearance of a general reception. During the day Admiral Dewey, General Miles and other military and naval officers called.
“In the afternoon the President received an official call from the Secretary of State. It is understood that the Anglo-Boer war was under discussion. The recent defeat of General Buller, which, it appears, was known as European capitals last Thursday, has revived various schemes for intervening diplomatically to stop the struggle, and what appears to be the useless waste of life.
“This Government is in close touch not only with England, but with other governments on the Continent, and it is intimated that Secretary Hay went to the White House with a budget of dispatches containing one or more from every capital in Europe. These were examined with great deliberation by the President and his Secretary, the interview being protracted nearly an hour.
“The President was born in Niles on January 29, 1843, and hence is 57 years old. He enlisted in the Union army as a private June 11, 1861, and served throughout the Civil War with distinction, being mustered out of service in 1865 with the rank of major. Mr. McKinley then studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1867 and began practice in Canton. He was elected to Congress in 1876 and was for a number of years Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives. In that capacity he was author of the famous tariff law.
“Mr. McKinley was Governor of Ohio in 1893 and 1894. He was elected President of the United States in November, 1896, and inaugurated March 4, 1897.”