1911 : President William Howard Taft Visits Kalamazoo College and Western State Normal School

September 21, 2018 all-day

Photo of President Taft and Other Dignitaries in Kalamazoo

On Sept. 21, 1911, then-President William Howard Taft visited Kalamazoo. He gave speeches at Kalamazoo College and Western State Normal School, and closed the visit with a major speech on settling international disputes through arbitration.

Former U.S. President William Howard Taft visited Kalamazoo again in 1921, to speak to the Kalamazoo College student societies on the subject of the League of Nations. He was photographed with other dignitaries, at the Kalamazoo train station, during his visit. The text at the bottom of the photograph reads “Ex-President Taft with reception committee on his recent visit to Kalamazoo, seated in a 6-54 Sport Model Roamer. The famous ‘Taft smile’ is in evidence.” From a Kalamazoo Gazette caption printed with the same photograph after the visit: “Kalamazoo Took Pride in the Roamer–All visiting dignitaries, including President William Howard Taft, were driven through the streets in the Kalamazoo-manufactured Roamer, ‘America’s Smartest Car.’ Left to right: Howard Hall, Eugene H. Beechum, Merrill Dalton, Dallas Boudeman, C. H. Wright, Dr. H. L. Stetson, and William Howard Taft. Dalton, a local automobile sales representative, Beechum, and Barley, Roamer Company president, are still living.” The photographer is not identified.

Source: Historical Society of Michigan

Kalamazoo College Digital Archive Cache

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