October 10, 1912: Superior shuts down as Teddy Roosevelt comes to town to campaign

On this day across the bay in 1912, the arrival of former president—and current presidential candidate—Teddy Roosevelt causes nearly all normal activity in Superior to come to a halt. The Duluth News Tribune reported that “Schools, offices, and factories closed so that all can see the former president. As the presidential candidate of the Progressive or “Bull Moose” Party, Roosevelt was in Superior to give a speech at the city’s Grand Opera House. There he attacked Democratic nominee Woodrow Wilson as the enemy of organized labor before taking a car to Duluth. He also attacked Wilson the next day in the Zenith City, where the Duluth News Tribune reported that “Never before in Duluth has any one seeking political honors received such a reception as was afforded Colonel Roosevelt yesterday. he was cheered whenever seen, and many persons remained at the Spalding Hotel, where he established headquarters, all the afternoon just to catch sight of him and to be able to say, ‘I saw Teddy.’ As was usually the case with visiting V.I.P.s, the former president was taken on a tour of the Boulevard, today’s Skyline Parkway, during which he was heard to exclaim he was “delighted” several times. Roosevelt gave speeches at Duluth’s Auditorium and Third Regiment Armory, where crowds filled both buildings beyond their capacities. The crowd at the Auditorium—many who had travelled from Iron Range towns to hear the ex-president talk—greeted Roosevelt with a standing ovation that lasted “nearly five-minutes.” The News Tribune reported that “People were packed in like sardines. Several women, on the verge of collapsing owing to the closeness of the atmosphere, were compelled to fight their way out and many others were unable to endure the physical torture of standing on their feet for three hours. The next month, Wilson won the election.

 

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