The Memoirs of William Jennings Bryan

By Mary Baird Bryan; William Jennings Bryan | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XI
LIFE IN WASHINGTON

[From my Journal]

April 1, 1913.

MONDAY morning I rose early and went to our rooms in the New Willard. We had the best rooms in the house, but quite by accident. We had taken much more modest ones, but the man who had engaged the so-called "Presidential suite" became ill and the management turned it over to us.

Then began the stream of callers, friends from all parts of the country. I stood all day, shaking hands. In the afternoon we reviewed the suffrage parade from our balcony, a really great demonstration. I was interested to see men marching, particularly members of the House and Senate. The crowd on the Avenue was wonderful; said to be the greatest parade ever known in Washington. As one looked up the Avenue from the New Willard, the street seemed a solid mass of people for blocks. I do not wonder the parade could scarcely get through and that the poor policemen are now being investigated.

The morning of the inauguration was cloudy; we all feared it might storm, but as the day advanced the skies brightened, although the sun was overcast all day, which was more pleasant for the onlookers than bright sunlight. When we left the hotel the reviewing stands along the Avenue were filling rapidly. The streets were being cleared for the passage of the carriage of President Taft and President-elect Wilson, and their escort, and we had some difficulty in getting to the door of the Senate. Our daughter Grace could not get a seat with me and was assigned to another which proved to be in the row with the Wilsons. This gave her an opportunity to meet them. The ladies of

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