As part of this year's centennial commemoration of the Pan-American Exposition, The News has offered a look back at the concerns of the times through editorials and Everybody's Column letters. The items in this final installment first appeared in these pages in September 1901.
PRESIDENT McKINLEY SHOT DOWN: The most lamentable news that has been printed in many a day went out to the people of Buffalo late yesterday afternoon, when newspaper extras and issues announced that President McKinley had been shot by an assassin at the Pan-American Exposition. The President, who never harmed a creature, whose life was a life of prominence, of duty highly conceived and unflinchingly performed, who stood for what is upright and noble in personal character and in national life, laid low in a moment by a coward who had shaken his hand in a friendly grasp of hospitality and honor.
. . . There is still a hope the president may survive. The prayers of a great people are passed out for his recovery. But the injury is extremely grave and the worst may happen. . . .
BUFFALO TWICE GLAD: Buffalo is glad to see the distinguished men of the country -- the President's associates in the government and the strong men who counsel with him in critical times. But the news that Vice-President Roosevelt and members of the Cabinet are going away is cause for greater rejoicing for it means that they are satisfied President McKinley is better and that he will get well.
WILLIAM McKINLEY IS DEAD: The work of the assassin is complete. President McKinley is dead. . . .
PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT: Theodore Roosevelt comes to the Presidential office amid public lamentations for his associate and predecessor, foully murdered. It is with sad hearts that Americans turn from the coffin of McKinley to receive the solemn vow of Roosevelt to support the Constitution and enforce the laws. . . .
IS OUR SURGERY SO GREAT?: Surrounded almost from the moment of the assassin's shot by the best medical and surgical skill the country could produce, President McKinley's treatment, both under the knife and later, has been lauded as representing the acme of modern healing science. But in view of later developments, chief of which is the autopsy yesterday afternoon, it is probable that there will be at least a revision of that opinion.
. . . For, notwithstanding its guarded terms, the official report of the examination declares that the surgeons who performed the operation at the Exposition Hospital utterly failed to find the most necessarily fatal injury inflicted by the assassin's bullet and did not know that the upper part of the kidney was torn and that death was practically inevitable!
GROVER CLEVELAND ON ANARCHY: Princeton University honored the memory of President McKinley with services in Alexander Hall on the day of his burial. The principal speaker was ex-President Cleveland, who, in a simple and earnest address, spoke of the noble qualities of the dead leader of the republic. Mr. Cleveland has rarely risen to an occasion so well as to this. There was none of the labored profundity so common to his later addresses. . . .
THE EXPOSITION REOPENED: Life and brightness succeed the gloom of national sorrow at the Exposition today. The Exposition was silent as a tomb yesterday. Today all its manifold attractions are displayed once more and that splendid enterprise takes up the business of its existence.
In the cool days of the fall the Exposition is more than ever attractive. The time is short now for seeing all there is to see. . . .