Ohio History Journal

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Ohio Valley Hist

Ohio Valley Hist. Ass'n, Fifth Annual Meeting.         35


nized the cheering by standing upon his automobile and waving

his hat. Grant street, Fifth avenue and Wood street were lined

with thousands.

The moment the automobile bearing the President appeared

in Water street, it was the signal for the beginning of one of

the greatest ovations ever extended a nation's chief executive

in this day. Every boat tooted whistles, as did locomotives and

factories. The spectators cheered.   People on the surrounding

hillsides took up the cry. Factory whistles for miles along the

rivers were blown.

When Mr. Taft stepped from his automobile to board the

Virginia the cheering was renewed. Again, when he stepped

aboard the New Orleans, it was taken up with renewed vigor.

The cheering and the blowing of whistles lasted for fully 17


As the ovation subsided somewhat, Mrs. Longworth christ-

ened the unique vessel and the cheering was again taken up.

Finally Mayor William    A. Magee walked to the front of the

New Orleans and introduced Mr. Taft. While only a small por-

tion of the large crowd could hear him, those who could not

maintained silence.


President Taft's remarks on the "New Orleans."

We are met to celebrate the opening of steamboat commerce upon

the Ohio River; not only that commerce of 100 years past, but also of

that greater commerce soon to come in which Pittsburgh is to enjoy the

greater part. In order to justify the expenditure of public moneys in

river improvement there ought to be enough of traffic to warrant the

expenditure. In reference to the improvement of the Ohio there is ample

commerce to satisfy this requirement, and the tonnage justifies the appro-

priations made and forthcoming to make the river more suitable. Con-

gress has designated $63,000,000, and intimated that it will authorize

the expenditure at the rate of $12,000,000 a year for that purpose.

But the interest of this great gathering in the improvement and

throughout the country suggests to me that it is most fitting that the

name of Roosevelt will ever be associated with the beginning of this

new commerce as it was connected with the start of the old and figured

prominently. It was the broad action of a Roosevelt which made the

Panama Canal possible. It is not possible for me to talk and be heard

by a square mile of people, and hence I will not detain you in positions