Monday, April 27, 2015

Ulysses S. Grant

The Significance of President Grant
Today is the birthday of President Ulysses S. Grant, a great hero of the 19th century (despite what anyone today may say about his administration). When Grant died in the summer of 1885 his funeral procession in New York City became one of the largest public events in American history.
Robert McNamara
19th Century History Expert
President Grant's New York Funeral
The death of Ulysses S. Grant came 20 years after the end of the Civil War, and the passing of the general and former president seemed to mark the passing of an era. Public funeral observances in New York City drew more than a million people, and underscored how Grant, in his own time, was considered not only a war hero but a great president.
Ulysses S. Grant
At the beginning of the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant, a West Point graduate trapped in an endlessly frustrating civilian life, found his purpose. By war's end he was America's greatest military hero. And though his two presidential terms have often been maligned, he was regarded as a very effective president.


Saturday, December 20, was a splendid holiday for the school-children of Philadelphia. All through the week they had been reading of the receptions given to General Grant in honor of his return from his journey around the world, and now they were to take part in a welcome of their own.
There was, in the first place, a grand street procession of boys, to the number of nearly four thousand—quite an army, in fact—who marched in four great divisions, each headed by a band. The boys were well drilled, and stepped gayly to the music, with soldier-like bearing and precision. As the General rode between their lines he was greeted with enthusiastic cheers. No doubt he was as much gratified by this boyish welcome as by the grand military display that attended his entry into the city.
After reviewing the lads, General Grant was escorted to the Academy of Music, where almost as many school-girls as there were boys in the procession were assembled to give him a reception of a gentler kind. It must have been a pretty sight—more than three thousand lassies, all in their teens, and all in their best attire. As soon as he appeared, two thousand sweet voices joined in the grand melody of "Hail to the Chief!" which was sung with enthusiasm and fine effect. The General acknowledged the courtesy in a short address. Several other speeches were made, interspersed with patriotic songs.
Of all the festivities of the week, the one General Grant will probably remember with most pleasure will be the reception given him by the boys and girls of the public schools.
Engraved portrait of Ulysses S. Grant - Hulton Archive/Getty Images