Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Days: April

Beachey and Smith
Beachey and Smith together.

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It was all “sunshine and flowers” in early April, as the Exposition entered her second full month of operation. April 3rd saw the dedication of the Press Building. The Press Club of San Francisco buried a ceremonial jinx in the front lawn and the Secretary of State, William Jennings Bryan, called from Washington to express his congratulations. The Somoans and Somalis from the Zone were requested to perform “death dances” around the grave of the jinx. Later that day saw the passing of the torch from the late Lincoln Beachey to Art Smith. Following the unfortunate accident, which led to Beachey’s death, the Exposition decided that omitting aerial displays would be an injustice to any display of the world’s greatest achievements. Art Smith was chosen to succeed him and made his first performance- dropping vouchers to the ill-fated Zone’s attractions-on April 3rd.

 

Fittingly, the Army and Navy Enlisted Men’s Clubhouse was dedicated on Army and Navy Enlisted Men’s Clubhouse Day, April 8th. All enlisted men had been granted free entry to the Exposition for the year. While attending, they could spend their time here playing billiards, read, send and receive correspondence, and relax. The California Army and Navy Y.M.C.A. operated the clubhouse. The dedication commenced with a parade to the site of the clubhouse, followed by speeches and the playing of the Star Spangled Banner by the Coast Artillery Band.

 
Night Illumination at the PPIE
Buildings illuminated.

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There could have been no Exposition without the hard work of the many people who built it. They received their recognition on April 10th, Builders Day. April 13th contained Illumination Night, a celebration of the Department of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering. A special presentation of illumination marked the occasion.

April 15th became known as Jason Day-named after the collier Jason, a bulk cargo ship used by the military. From November of 1914, she traveled to many ports in Europe receiving artwork to be displayed at the Exposition. She took the Panama Canal and arrived in San Francisco on April 11th of the Exposition year.

 
Fire Underwriters Day
Fire Underwriters day parade.

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The earthquake of 1906 was a catastrophe for the city of San Francisco and brought the infant exposition to a sudden halt. Though, it was this event that would become a galvanizing force for the proponents of the Exposition. The “city that knows how” bounced back from devastation to host the World nine years later. The celebration began on Saturday April 17th-one day before the ninth anniversary-with a grand parade of 20,000 and went on for nearly a week. The days included: Insurance Day, Fire Underwriters Day, and Fraternal Day, which was the final day of the Anniversary week, April 22nd. Coincident with the nine years commemorations were Patriots Day on April 19th and the Knights Templar’s 57th Annual Conclave of the Grand Commandery, which commenced on April 21st.

Visitors in late April included Madame Maria Montessori and 36 members of Congress on their way to Hawaii. Never known to waste a moment of the Exposition, the planners arranged for numerous days, everyday. Amongst them were: Shakespeare Day, Baked Potato Day, World Social Progress Day, San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Day, Ship Owners Day, Raisin Day, and Business Men’s League of St. Louis Day.

 

Last updated: July 15, 2015

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