Monday, June 14, 2010

President William Taft Speaks in Springfield's Court Square

Running for the Republican nomination and ultimately re-election as United States President, incumbent William Howard Taft visited Springfield during the height of a contentious primary campaign waged against his political rival, Theodore Roosevelt, giving a speech at Court Square on April 25, 1912, before a crowd of 20,000.

Taft went on to win the nomination, spurring Roosevelt (who had already served as President for the 7 1/2 years prior to Taft) to form the Progressive Party. The Republican Party thus split resulted in the first election of a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson, to the highest elected office in the land in 20 years.

Photo source: Library of Congress; American Memory Collection;; Believed taken April 25, 1912 (possible alternate date: 1909).

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