October 1, 1900: William Jennings Bryan campaigns in Duluth

On this day in Duluth in 1900, Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan addressed a crowd of 5,000 at the Third Regiment Armory. While the Duluth Herald described the crowd as “the largest the Armory has ever held,” the Duluth News Tribune pointed out that Bryan had attracted a larger crowd at the Duluth Street Railway Company’s barns four years earlier, when he ran unsuccessfully against William McKinley. Bryan had arrived in the Zenith City the previous day on his private train car, The Rambler, pulled by a Northern Pacific locomotive. While in Duluth he was a guest at the home of Duluth Senator Charles O. Baldwin, and since he arrived on a Sunday, together they attended services at Pilgrim Congregational Church before enjoying a carriage ride on the Boulevard, today’s Skyline Parkway. Before addressing the Armory crowd on October first, he gave speeches to 4,000 people in Superior and another large gathering in West Duluth. Once again Bryan lost the election to William McKinley. He was later Woodrow Wilson’s Secretary of State for a time and famously attacked Darwin’s Theory of Evolution in the 1925 Scopes “Monkey” Trial (he died in his sleep five days after the trial ended).

William Jennings Bryan. (Image: Public Domain)