“Assassin of Wilson”, post-script

New York Times, September 14
President Gets Greatest Ovation on Reaching Coast
Tumultuous Seattle Crowd Almost Overpower Police in their Demonstration
Tribute to Him as Leader
Sullen I.W.W.’s Conpicuous in Throng with Hatbands Urging Deb’s Release
Two Speeches During the Day
Sets Forth America’s Duty in Tacoma Address — Climax in Arena at Seattle

Reaching the Pacific Coast today at this city, President Wilson received a tumultuous ovation which found a climax in a great meeting tonight at the Arena.
The immense demonstration during his visit here when he revviewed the new Pacific fleet off the waterfront followed a splendid reception in Tacoma in the forenoon, where 30,000 persons greeted him in the Stadium and he later spoke to a large audience at the armory.
It is doubtful if in the history even of recent political campaigns a more remarkable demonstration has been witnessed than that of which the President was the centre in Seattle.  The spirit of the crowd at times seemed to be akin to fanaticism.  The throngw which jammed the principal streets and overflowed into the side streets that run off the main arteries of the city at a considerable grade joined in a continuous and riotous uproar.
At times it appeared as if the crowd would overcome the polic, soldiers, and large force of Secret Service men in their efforts to reach the President’s automobile during the afternoon parade and the shorter trip to the Arena in the evening.
The police at times were forced to use harsh methods to check the spirit, and they fought the throng with shoulders squared, feet firmly planted, and clubs drawn.  Men who sought to get by the guards were often thrown back by force and on the threat of being club.  A score of Secret Service men, each a giant in strength and determination, surrounded the President’s automobile or stood on the running boards, their eyes ever watchful, their bodies a force of protection.  More than once the Secret Service men were forced to leap into the throng which had passed the police lines, and hurled back men who had approached within a short distance of the President.
At the height of the demonstration in the afternoon parade, when the shouts of the crowd could be heard many blocks, a spectacular touch was lent to the scene when a huge shower of confetti was loosed from the roofs of buildings along Second Avenue.  For minutes it appeared that the parade was passing through a heavy snowstorm.

The demonstration had at some points a sinister note, for there were present in the crowd thousands of members of the Industrial Workers of the World, which is tsrong (sic) in Seattle.  As a hatband of each member of this organization wore a ribbon bearing the words “Release Political Prisoners.”  They have been agitating for the release of Eugene Debs and other radicals convicted of seditious utterances.
Not a few of the men who wore these hatbands had themselves defied the law and served sentences.  They were found in greatest number in the Woodly district, a section of the city through which the President first passed soon after leaving his train.  They were for the most part men of foreign extraction, sullen of face, and undemonstrative.  For several blocks along Second Avenue they held positions on the curb.  Some had literature which they distributed among the crowd.  As a rule these men and the women with them did not join the throngs that attempted to storm the President’s automobile.
There were no fewer than 5,000 IWWs living in Seattle, and more than that number in addition flocked in from the lumber camps and mines.  Many were dressed roughly and had no coats or neckties.  They did not attempt any anti-Wilson demonstration.  It would probably be incorrect to picture them as bitterly antagonistic to the President, but they wished him to know their strength in this section.  Not a few of their leaders boasted that such was their purpose.
During the entire demonstration the President stood in his automobile waving his silk hat.  Mrs. Wilson, who sat beside him was partly hidden by the great bouquets of flowers, presented to her when the train arrived.  The President’s tall figure stood out in bold relief.  He seemed not to pay the least attention to the radicals on every side, but only heeded the enthusiastic throng cheering him.

The article is actually available here, if you desire to read about the carnage that followed after Wilson passed the peaceful radicals of the IWW.

I do believe, if memory serves right, Howard Zinn in his book (and by “his book”, I’m referring to the book that is conjured up when one refers to a singular Howard Zinn book) alludes to this incident.  A bit better than the scraping he had to do to find World War 2 dissent.  I’ll have to look it up.

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