July 31, 1777: 19-year-old Lafayette is commissioned Major General

Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, better known as the Marquis de Lafayette, was born into one of the wealthiest families in France. When he was only two years old his father was killed by a cannon ball while fighting the English during the Seven Years War. Lafayette inherited an intense dislike for the English and an immense fortune and when he came of age he started training to join the elite Musketeers of the Guard.

France was full of “enlightenment” in those days, and the young marquis, who had joined a “société de pensée,” was much taken by the notion lafayetteof Liberté and the American struggle for freedom from British rule. With encouragement from Silas Deane, the American agent in Paris, Lafayette sailed to South Carolina in 1777 to join the fight for American independence. He made his way to Philadelphia and graciously offered his services (unpaid) to the Continental Congress.

On July 31st he was commissioned Major General in the Continental Army. Many in Congress regarded this commission as merely honorary, but Benjamin Franklin wrote to George Washington recommending Lafayette to become his aide-de-camp, hoping it would influence France to commit more aid. Lafayette expected he would be appointed a full-fledged commander who would control of a division, but Washington reluctantly informed him that command of a division would not be possible as he was of foreign birth. However Washington said that he would be happy to hold him in confidence as “friend and father” and the two men formed a bond that would last a lifetime.

In September 1777, at the Battle of the Brandywine, Washington did not wish to see the young Frenchman exposed to harm, but Lafayette pushed hard to be involved in the fight. When things were not going well on the right flank, Washington sent him into the battle. Lafayette took a bullet in the leg but kept on fighting. He went on to spend the following dismal winter drilling the troops at Valley Forge and fought valiantly at the Battle of Monmouth the following June and forever gained Washington’s trust and affection.

gw lafayette sharplesLafayette returned to France in 1779 and secured additional French support for the American cause. When the French forces he procured arrived off Yorktown 1781, the ultimate victory of the Revolution was finally ensured.

After Yorktown, Lafayette returned to France to rejoin his family, where in 1779 his wife Adrienne bore him a son. He named the boy George Washington de La Fayette after the only father figure he ever knew.

July 30, 1956: Congress Declares “In God We Trust” to be our National Motto

In the mid-fifties, when the United States was locked in a cold war with the atheist Soviet Union, it seemed a good time to refortify the country’s relationship with the Almighty and affirm the national motto to be “In God We Trust”. The motto had been used at least since the War of 1812, when Francis Scott Key had penned the Star Spangled Banner with its fourth stanza’s line “And this be our motto: ‘In God is our Trust.'”

in-God-we-trustDuring the Civil War, when religious sentiment was strong and Unionists strove to establish the moral high ground over the secessionists, Congress passed legislation authorizing the placement of the motto on coinage. It was authorized to be on coins, but not mandated.

Teddy Roosevelt thought that it would be appropriate to inscribe the motto on national monuments, temples of justice, or legislative halls, where it would “tend to arouse and inspire a lofty emotion in those who look thereon.” But he didn’t think it belonged on coins. When T.R. became President, Augustus Saint-Gaudens was commissioned to design a $20 gold coin, a coin that is considered by many numismatists to be the most beautiful of all US coins. However, when it was first struck, it was noticeably lacking “In God We Trust “.
TR explained in a letter to the New York Times:

“My own feeling in the matter is due to my very firm conviction that to put such a motto on coins, or to use it in any kindred manner, not only does no good, but does positive harm, and is in effect irreverence, which comes dangerously close to sacrilege. A beautiful and solemn sentence such as the one in question should be treated and uttered only with that fine reverence which necessarily implies a certain exaltation of spirit.

“Any use which tends to cheapen it, and, above all, any use which tends to secure its being treated in a spirit of levity, is from every standpoint profoundly to be regretted.

“But it seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by its use on coins, just as it would be to cheapen its use on postage stamps or on advertisements… In all my life I have never heard any human being speak reverently of this motto on the coins or show any sign of its having appealed to any high emotion in him, but I have literally, hundreds of times, heard it used as an occasion of and incitement to the sneering ridicule which it is, above all things, undesirable that so beautiful and exalted a phrase should excite.”

Despite TR’s letter, Congress quickly intervened to mandate that the motto be printed on all coins.

July 29, 1914: The Grand Opening of the Cape Cod Canal

Cape Cod, from its “fist” at Provincetown to its “elbow” off Chatham, presents almost 50 miles of coastline directly exposed to the North Atlantic, without a harbor. It has been said that if the hulls of all the vessels wrecked along the Nauset shore were placed end to end they would form a solid bulwark along the entire coast. Off the south coast Pollock Rip, Great Round Shoals, Cross Rip and Nantucket Shoals converge in the “Graveyard of the Atlantic”.

cape cod

When the pilgrims arrived at Cape Cod, they soon discovered how to avoid the local hazards. The Scusset River flowed into Massachussetts Bay near the “shoulder” of the Cape, and came within a mile of the Manomet River, which flowed into Buzzards Bay. They established a post to trade with the Dutch in New Amsterdam and with local Wampanoag tribal members, and it didn’t take long for the locals to start planning how to expand this portage into an enduring link across the isthmus.

During the Revolutionary War George Washington, looking for ways to give greater security to the American fleet, commissioned Thomas Machin, an Engineer with the Continental Army, to investigate the feasibility of a canal at the Pilgrim’s crossing. His report, recommending that a Canal be built, survives as the first known Cape Cod Canal survey.

Through the nineteenth century, the passage around Cape Cod continued to be an unavoidable peril for those travelling between New England and the Mid-Atlantic States – up to 500 ships a day took the passage. Numerous surveys for a canal were conducted by various individuals and groups. Some were granted charters and a few actually began construction. But, they either ran out of money or were overwhelmed by the enormity of the project. Meanwhile, the toll of shipwrecks along the outer banks continued to mount. By the late 1880s, shipwrecks occurred at the rate of one every two weeks.

In 1904, August Belmont II became interested in the Canal project. He purchased and reorganized the Boston, Cape Cod and New York Canal Company, which had held a charter since 1899, and enlisted the services of Civil Engineer William Barclay Parsons. On June 22, 1909, he ceremoniously lifted the first shovelful of earth at Bournedale, promising “not to desert the task until the last shovelful has been dug”.

Schooners soon arrived from Maine with granite for construction of a breakwater, which they dropped into place on the east end of the Canal. Two dredges in Buzzards Bay began to work on the westerly approach. By 1910 the Canal project was fully underway; a fleet of twenty-six dredges dug from both bays towards the middle. The Buzzards Bay Railroad Bridge was completed in September of 1910, and the old Bourne and Sagamore highway bridges were completed in 1911 and 1913.

With additional dredging equipment now on site, the Canal project progressed steadily. By April 1914, only one dam separated the waters of Cape Cod Bay from Buzzards Bay. To celebrate the progress, Belmont ceremoniously blended bottles of water from both bays before opening the final sluiceway.

On July 29, 1914, the Cape Cod Canal ceremoniously opened as a privately operated toll waterway. A festive Parade of Ships included the excursion steamer ROSE STANDISH, the destroyer MCDOUGALL carrying Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Belmont’s eighty-one foot yacht, the SCOUT.

Mr. Belmont achieved his objective: The Cape Cod Canal opened seventeen days before the Panama Canal.

July 28, 1866: Vinnie Ream receives a Commission from Congress

Charles Sumner couldn’t believe what some of his fellow Senators were proposing. It was starting to feel more painful than the beating of a gutta-percha cane by an ignorant South Carolina congressman.

Sumner hailed from Boston, the Athens of America, and had studied the classics at Harvard and travelled the continent. He had visited Florence and Rome and admired Hiram Powers “Greek Slave” and Horatio Greenough’s “Washington” and he had bought Thomas Crawford’s first work and helped him win the commission for the statue of Freedom on the Capitol dome. He knew what made a great sculptor. So who was this girl?

Ream, Vinnie; SHS#015057, CD172Vinnie Ream was only 18. She had been born in a log cabin in Wisconsin, and worked in the Dead Letter office at the Post Office. Somehow she had been introduced to Clark Mills, who had sculpted the equestrian statue of Andrew Jackson in Nashville. Mills had taken a shine to Vinnie, and when he saw her drawing one day, he half in jest gave her a lump of clay and said “Do a portrait of me”. Vinnie showed such natural talent that before long several men asked her to do busts of them. When Mills visited the White House to take a life mask of President Lincoln, she tagged along, and in 1864, President Lincoln agreed to model for her in the mornings.

So, while Vinnie hadn’t had a lot of experience dealing with the politicians in Washington, she did have an innate ability, she was from the “Wisconsin School of Art”, she knew Lincoln first hand, and she had a lot of fans who thought she might be the right person to commemorate our martyred leader.

Now she had been called to appear before the Senate Committee on the Library, and she was so nervous that she asked General Sherman to accompany her to the proceedings. When Vinnie walked in with Sherman, a number of Senators began applauding and waving their handkerchiefs. “Look, they’re giving an ovation to General Sherman,” Vinnie said. “No Vinnie,” came the reply, “They are giving you an ovation.”

Senator Charles Sumner glared disapprovingly at the demonstration. When Ben Wade moved to take up the resolution to commission the statue, Sumner grumbled, “ I hope that will not be taken up.”

Several Senators responded, “Oh, let us vote.”

Sumner couldn’t believe his colleagues.” ‘Oh, let us vote’ … ‘For a statue’ – an impossible statue, I say; one which cannot be made”

The question passed the committee and the full senate resumed debate the next morning.

Sumner wasn’t about to let the Capitol grounds be sullied by this girl. “I am bound to express my opinion that this candidate is not competent to produce the work which you propose to order. You might as well place her on the staff of General Grant, or put General Grant aside and place her on horseback in his stead. She cannot do it. She might as well contract to furnish an epic poem, or the draft of a bankrupt bill. . . “

Sumner launched into an erudite examination of the art of the Capitol, from the portraits of Washington by Peale and Stuart, the pictures by Trumbull in the Rotunda, the “Landing of the Pilgrims” by Weir, the portrait of LaFayette by Ary Scheffer. Turning to sculpture, he reviewed the “Columbus” by Persico , Greenough’s “Settler struggling with the Savage” as well as his statue of Washington half nude in his toga – also the works of Crawford – the pediment over the great door and the statue of Liberty which looks down from the top of the dome, the bronze doors by Rogers . . .”

Senator James Nesmith was from the new state of Oregon. “Mr. President . . . My mind has never been perverted by the extensive reading which the Senator from Massachusetts has had, or by that vast amount of lore in which he is so accomplished, but I claim to be equally as good a judge as he is of any mere matter of art which is an imitation of a natural object.

“He objects to this young artist–this young scion of the West, from the same land from which Lincoln came–a young person who manifests intuitive genius, and who is able to copy the works of nature without having perused the immense tomes and the grand volumes of which the Senator may boast–a person who was born and raised in the wilds of the West, and who is able to copy its great works.

“Sir, the Senator might have raised the same objection to Mr. Lincoln, that he was not qualified for the Presidency because his reading had not been as extensive as that of the Senator, or because he had lived among rude and uncultivated society. . .

“If this young lady and the works which she has produced had been brought to his notice by some near-sighted, frog-eating Frenchman, with a pair of green spectacles on his nose, the Senator would have said that she was deserving of commendation. If she could have spoken three or four different languages that nobody else could have understood, or, perhaps, that neither she nor the Senator could’ understand, he would vote her $50,000. (laughter)

“Here is a young girl of poor parentage, struggling with misfortune, her father a mere clerk in a department here; and by a casualty, on being’ introduced into a studio, she manifests great taste and great powers of art, and in the short experience which she has had she has developed wonderful powers in that line. But the Senator from Massachusetts, with all his learning’ and’ all his foreign tastes, is unable to appreciate anything of that sort. . . I can tell the height of a mountain, the length of a river, or the meanderings of a trail as well as he can, and I say that my judgment on those subjects is equal to his.”

That afternoon Congress authorized a contract with Miss Vinnie Ream for a life-size statue of the late President, Abraham Lincoln, to be executed by her at a price not exceeding $10,000; one half payable on completion of the model in plaster, and the remaining half on completion of the statue in marble,

July 25, 1846: Henry David Thoreau runs into the tax collector

In the summer of 1845 Henry David Thoreau built a small house on land owned by his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson by the shore of Walden Pond. The house was in “a pretty pasture and woodlot” about a mile and a half from his family home in Concord. He lived in the woods but visited town from time to time.

On July 25, 1846, Thoreau ran into the local tax collector, Sam Staples, who asked him to pay six years of delinquent poll taxes. Thoreau refused to pay the tax because he could not support the Mexican-American War and slavery, so Staples politely escorted him to the Concord jail. The next day Thoreau was freed, against his wishes, when someone else, possibly his aunt, paid his taxes.thoreau

“I have paid no poll tax for six years. I was put into a jail once on this account, for one night; and, as I stood considering the walls of solid stone, two or three feet thick, the door of wood and iron, a foot thick, and the iron grating which strained the light, I could not help being struck with the foolishness of that institution which treated me as if I were mere flesh and blood and bones, to be locked up. I wondered that it should have concluded at length that this was the best use it could put me to, and had never thought to avail itself of my services in some way. I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through before they could get to be as free as I was. I did not for a moment feel confined, and the walls seemed a great waste of stone and mortar. I felt as if I alone of all my townsmen had paid my tax. They plainly did not know how to treat me, but behaved like persons who are underbred. In every threat and in every compliment there was a blunder; for they thought that my chief desire was to stand the other side of that stone wall. I could not but smile to see how industriously they locked the door on my meditations, which followed them out again without let or hindrance, and they were really all that was dangerous. As they could not reach me, they had resolved to punish my body; just as boys, if they cannot come at some person against whom they have a spite, will abuse his dog. I saw that the State was half-witted, that it was timid as a lone woman with her silver spoons, and that it did not know its friends from its foes, and I lost all my remaining respect for it, and pitied it.”

July 24, 1974: Supreme Court decides United States vs. Nixon

In the summer of 1973, the Senate Select Committee wanted to know what President Nixon knew about the Watergate break-ins, and when he knew it.

They couldn’t interrogate the President directly, but they could interrogate the White House staff. They finally got around to Alexander Butterfield, his deputy chief of staff who managed the president’s West Wing schedule. Butterfield was invited to an interview on Friday, July 13. Before he went, he had a heart-to-heart with his wife, Charlotte; “I didn’t want to lie,” Butterfield recalled, “I never entertained the thought of lying.” But he knew a big secret.

He and Charlotte agreed that Butterfield would volunteer nothing; he’d only answer a direct question. “If the investigators asked me an indirect or fuzzy question,” Butterfield said, “I was justified in giving an indirect, fuzzy answer.” After a few hours of questions, Butterfield felt he was in the clear. Then the inquiries turned to the president’s Dictaphone, which Nixon used to dictate letters for his secretary, Rosemary Woods, to type the next day.

“Were there ever any recording devices other than the Dictaphone system you mentioned?”

Butterfield froze. He hesitated, took a deep breath and answered, “Yes.” He knew that a voice-activated taping system recorded conversations in the Oval Office because he had ordered the Secret Service to install it. Only a handful of other people knew of its existence.

Within a week Nixon had the taping system disconnected, and claiming executive privilege refused to turn over the recordings to the Watergate committee or the special prosecutor, Archibald Cox. Cox issued a subpoena for the tapes as evidence. The President refused to comply but on October 19, Nixon offered a compromise: Senator John C. Stennis would review the tapes for the special prosecutor’s office. Since Stennis was famously hard-of-hearing, Cox refused the compromise.

The following day Nixon ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire Cox. Richardson refused, and resigned in protest. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. He also refused and resigned. That evening Nixon ordered the Solicitor General, Robert Bork, to be brought to the White House by limousine and sworn in as Acting Attorney General. Bork fired Cox.

The White House continued to stonewall. They released edited transcripts of some tapes. A new Special Prosecutor, Leon Jaworski, was appointed. In April 1974, Jaworski obtained a subpoena ordering Nixon to release tapes related to specific meetings between the President and persons under indictment. Nixon turned over edited transcripts of forty-three conversations, but his attorney James D. St. Clair, requested Judge John Sirica of the U.S. District Court to quash the subpoena, stating “The President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment.”

Sirica denied the motion and ordered the President to turn the tapes over by May 31. Both Nixon and Jaworski appealed directly to the Supreme Court which heard arguments on July 8.


Less than three weeks later. Chief Justice Burger delivered the decision. After ruling that Jaworski had proven a “sufficient likelihood that each of the tapes contains conversations relevant to the offenses charged in the indictment,” the Court went to the main issue of executive privilege.

The Supreme Court of the United States of America unanimously rejected Nixon’s claim to an “absolute, unqualified Presidential privilege of immunity from judicial process under all circumstances.”

President Richard M. Nixon resigned fifteen days later.

July 23, 1947: Harry Truman’s Diary Entry

Had the usual hectic day, though not so bad as some I’ve had.

Lectured eleven junior Democratic Congressmen on foreign policy. Had four Republicans not long ago-nice young men, to whom I gave the same treatment. If I could only get all the young ones together, the military & foreign policy would become the law of the land.

Talked to young Franklin for almost thirty minutes on Jews, New York, California, his daddy’s papers and political matters generally. Said he & his mamma were not with Henry Wallace! Truman-

Went to Jim Forestal’s house to a party for Bob Patterson. It was a nice one. A couple of Senators-Vandenburg & Gurney, the Cabinet, Gen[eral] Eisenhower & three Navy Captains. Don’t know [why] Leahy, Nimitz & House members were not there. Sam Rayburn was present-only House member there.

How we’ll miss Mrs. Patterson! as well as the Sec[retary] of War. Looks as if we’ve lost a grand, honest man & wife of the same caliber and have gained a good man and a baby talking, henna haired lady. She went to school with Claire Booth Luce-too bad I’d say. Cabinet women are a problem. I’ll write a book on it some day

July 22, 1893: Katharine Lee Bates views America, the Beautiful!

We stood at last on that Gate-of-Heaven summit….and gazed in wordless rapture over the far expanse of mountain ranges and the sea-like sweep of plain.”


Katie Bates was on the crest of the wave. She was thirty-three years old, and headed out west on a sort of a honeymoon. After graduating from Wellesley College, and after teaching briefly at Natick High School and then at Dana Hall, she was back at Wellesley as a professor of English, and had fallen head over heels into a “Boston Marriage” with Katharine Coman, professor of economics and history.

Both women were enthusiastic about the West (Coman would write on the Economic Beginnings of the Far West), and were excited when they were invited to teach a summer session at Colorado College. The two Katharines boarded a train and headed west. They passed through Massachusetts and New York, stopped briefly at Niagara Falls, then it was off to Chicago for stopover at the Coman family home and a tour of the World’s Columbian Exposition. From Chicago, they boarded another train, bound for their summer classes, passing fields of wheat as they traveled west through Kansas and on to Colorado Springs.

At Colorado College for three weeks, the two instructors toured the area in their free time. One of the perks of being a visiting professor was a carriage ride up Pikes Peak. On July 22 a group from the college set out for the mountain climb. They hired a prairie wagon with a sign “Pikes Peak or Bust!” When they reached the Halfway House they had to leave the horse-drawn wagon and climb the final six miles on burros. It was exhausting, climbing at 14,000 feet, but they finally reached the summit.

“We stood at last on that Gate-of-Heaven summit….and gazed in wordless rapture over the far expanse of mountain ranges and the sea-like sweep of plain…When I saw the view, I felt great joy. All the wonder of America seemed displayed there, with the sea-like expanse ..”.

She returned to her room in the Antler’s Hotel that night, and started to write the poem that eventually became our national hymn, America, the Beautiful. That evening she remarked to her friends that countries such as England had failed because, while they may have been “great”, they had not been “good” and that “unless we are willing to crown our greatness with goodness, and our bounty with brotherhood, our beloved America may go the same way.”




July 21, 1861: No Picnic – The First Battle of Bull Run

On the morning of July 21, 1861, a throng of sightseers, including Senators and Congressmen, rode out from Washington to Centreville, Virginia, to watch the Union Army rout the upstart rebels and march on to Richmond.

“They came in all manner of ways, some in stylish carriages, others in city hacks, and still others in buggies, on horseback and even on foot. bullrun3Apparently everything in the shape of vehicles in and around Washington had been pressed into service for the occasion. It was Sunday and everybody seemed to have taken a general holiday; that is all the male population, for I saw none of the other sex there, except a few huckster women who had driven out in carts loaded with pies and other edibles. All manner of people were represented in this crowd, from the most grave and noble senators to hotel waiters.”

“On the hill beside me there was a crowd of civilians on horseback, and in all sorts of vehicles, with a few of the fairer, if not gentler sex …. The spectators were all excited, and a lady with an opera glass who was near me was quite beside herself when an unusually heavy discharge roused the current of her blood —‘That is splendid, Oh my! Is not that first rate? I guess we will be in Richmond tomorrow.’ ”

bull run deadNear the battlefield, a group of senators were eating lunch. They heard a loud noise and looked around to see the road filled with soldiers, horses, and wagons–all headed in the wrong direction. “Turn back, turn back, we’re whipped,” Union soldiers cried as they ran past the spectators.

Startled, Michigan Senator Zachariah Chandler tried to block the road to stop the retreat. Senator Ben Wade of Ohio, sensing a disastrous defeat, picked up a discarded rifle and threatened to shoot any soldier who ran. While Senator Henry Wilson distributed sandwiches, a Confederate shell destroyed his buggy, forcing him to escape on a stray mule. Iowa Senator James Grimes barely avoided capture and vowed never to go near another battlefield.

One notable exception was Congressman Ely who strayed too close to the battle and became a prisoner of the 8th South Carolina Infantry. Alone among all the politicians clamoring, “On to Richmond!” Ely was successful; he spent the next five months residing at Libby Prison.

Source: Civil War Trust

July 18, 1863: The 54th Massachusetts Storms Fort Wagner

54.3President Lincoln argued that the War was to preserve the Union, not to end slavery, but the news from Fort Sumter set off a rush by black men ready to march for freedom. The marching wouldn’t be easy – federal law prohibited men of color from joining the army.

Questions were raised – Wasn’t this a “white man’s” war? Would black troops prompt the Border States to secede?  Finally, after twenty months of struggle, the Emancipation Proclamation decreed that African-American men could join the armed services. The black men were ready to march.

Governor Andrew of Massachusetts issued the call for a regiment of black soldiers. Two weeks later more than 1,000 men, from Massachusetts and New York, Indiana and Ohio, from slave states and the Caribbean had volunteered to serve. Fathers and sons enlisted together; Charles and Lewis Douglass, sons of Frederick Douglass, joined. The Governor appointed Robert Gould Shaw, a young white officer, in command. Shaw had dropped out of Harvard to join the Union Army and had been injured in battle at Antietam. He was 25 years old.

On May 28th 1863, as spectators lined the streets, the 54th Massachusetts presented its colors and paraded through 54.2Boston. The regiment then departed for the coast of South Carolina.

The 54th Regiment landed at Hilton Head on June 3. The next week, they took part in a destructive raid on a town in Georgia. Shaw was furious: his troops had come south to fight for freedom and justice, not to destroy undefended towns. He wrote to General Strong and asked that the 54th might lead the next Union charge on the battlefield.

On July 16, the regiment saw its first action on James Island, losing forty-five men.

On July 18, 1863, the 54th Massachusetts prepared to storm Fort Wagner which guarded the Port of Charleston. At dusk, Shaw gathered his men on a strip of sand outside Wagner’s walls. “I want you to prove yourselves,” he said. “The eyes of thousands will look on what you do tonight.”

As night fell, Shaw led his men over the walls of the fort. 1,700 Confederate soldiers waited inside, ready for battle. Two hundred and eighty one of the 600 charging soldiers were killed, wounded or captured. Shaw was shot in the chest leading the charge over the wall and died instantly.

The Confederates dumped the bodies in an unmarked trench and cabled Union leaders: “we have buried [Shaw] with his niggers.” Shaw’s parents replied that there could be “no holier place” to be buried than “surrounded by…brave and devoted soldiers.”

Shaw Memorial

It took Augustus Saint-Gaudens 14 years to complete his memorial depicting Robert Gould Shaw and the men of the 54th Massachusetts Regiment. The soldiers march across a bronze frieze while an angel, holding an olive branch and a bouquet of poppies, floats above.

On Memorial Day 1897, the monument was unveiled on Boston Common, as 65 veterans of the 54th Regiment marched in to the same spot where they had marched off to war 34 years before, and laid a large wreath of Lilies of the Valley.

Saint-Gaudens watched, deeply moved:

“Many of them were bent and crippled, many with white heads, some with bouquets…  They seemed as if returning from the war, the troops of bronze marching in the opposite direction, the direction in which they had left for the front, and the young men there represented now showing these veterans the vigor and hope of youth. It was a consecration.”

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