May 20, 1901
Vice President Theodore Roosevelt opened the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. The Exposition was similar to a world's fair. This particular Exposition celebrated the unity and harmony among the nations of north, south and central America following the Spanish-American War in 1898. (Ironically the Exposition had been delayed because of the war.) This was also a great opportunity as a showcase for new technology. Buffalo, located only 20 miles from Niagara Falls, was one of the first cities in North America to have electricity (generated by the Falls). By 1901, Buffalo had electric street lights and trolley cars, and even had electricity in some of its public and office buildings. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was asked to open the Exposition at the last minute. President William McKinley and his wife Ida were originally scheduled to be at the opening ceremonies, but Mrs. McKinley became ill shortly beforehand and Roosevelt was asked to go instead.