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President McKinley taking the oath /

President McKinley taking the oath /



"This film records President McKinley taking the oath of office. The first camera position shows the seating arrangements prepared for the spectators and witnesses on the steps of the Capitol. At the time the film was taken, there were many empty seats. The second camera position shows the inaugural party during the swearing-in ceremonies. All that can be seen is the black draped balcony and, in the distance, two people standing facing one another, as if they were part of the administration of the oath. The film ends as the newly inaugurated president begins his speech"--Early motion pictures.
"PRESIDENT McKINLEY TAKING THE OATH OF OFFICE. This picture opens by showing the Diplomatic Corps, accompanied by Admiral Dewey and General Nelson A. Miles, coming down the carpeted stone steps of the Capitol and going to their seats in front of the stand where the President speaks. Next come the members of the President's Cabinet, and they are followed closely by President McKinley, preceded by Sergeant-at-Arms Ransdell of the Senate, bare headed and one armed, and also accompanied by the joint committee of Congress, composed of Senator Mark Hanna, of Ohio; Senator Spooner, of Wisconsin; Senator James K. Jones, of Arkansas; Representatives Cannon, of Illinois; Dalzell, of Pennsylvania, and McRae, of Arkansas. The President then steps promptly to the front of the stand amid the cheers of the immense crowd who stand with heads reverently uncovered, filling the entire foreground of our picture. As the tumult ceases, Chief Justice Melville W. Fuller, in the black silk robes of his high office, steps forward and holding in his outstretched hand a small Bible, administers the oath of office. The oath taken, the President presses his lips to the Bible and with manuscript in hand, immediately begins his speech. Length 50 feet. [$]7.50. Note. Again the valuable and exclusive privileges granted us by the United States Government allowed us to place our camera within fifteen feet of the President when he took the oath of office. We regret that we were unable to secure a longer film than listed above, but the rain began falling in torrents with almost the first words of the President's speech, which of course prohibited our taking a greater length of film, but notwithstanding the fact that it began sprinkling before the President took the oath of office, the fifty feet of film which we did secure is good"--Edison films catalog, July, 1901, p. 8.





Thomas A. Edison, Inc.
Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress)
Niver (Kemp) Collection (Library of Congress)




Library of Congress

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