Theodore Roosevelt Dedicates San Francisco's Dewey Monument

Early Motion Pictures

Item 5 of 5

Panorama, Union Square, San Francisco

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United States : American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1903.


H32394 U.S. Copyright Office

Copyright: American Mutoscope and Biograph Company; 4Jun1903; H32394.

Duration: 3:11 at 15 fps.

Camera, H.J. Miles.

Photographed: May 14, 1903. Location: Union Square, San Francisco, California.

This film shows the crowd gathered in San Francisco for the dedication of the Dewey Monument in Union Square, on Thursday, May 14, 1903, from 9:00am to 9:20am. The Monument, which is still in place, commemorates the victory of Admiral George Dewey and the American fleet over Spanish forces at Manila Bay, the Philippines, on May 1, 1898, during the Spanish-American War. The monument is also a tribute to the sailors of the US Navy. Ground was broken for the monument by President McKinley, Roosevelt's predecessor, on May 12, 1901. The dedication of the monument was President Roosevelt's last official act before leaving San Francisco. Union Square was - and is - the center of San Francisco's retail district, and is located two blocks north of Market Street. Originally a tall sand dune, the square was set aside as a public park in 1850. It got its name from the pro-Union rallies held there on the eve of the Civil War. The camera was located on the roof a building at the southeast corner of Stockton Street and Union Square Avenue (today's Maiden Lane). Looking north on Stockton, the camera pans left along Post Street, and across Union Square to Powell Street and the St. Francis Hotel to the west. The pan continues south to Geary Street and on to the Stockton Street intersection, then sweeps back north to Stockton Street before drifting back into the square.

The following is a scene-by-scene description of the film: [26721] The opening view is north up Stockton Street toward the eastern slope of Nob Hill. The large building along Post Street is the Pacific Union Club, now located on Nob Hill. [26969] In Union Square to the left of the flagpole is the foliage "Arch of Triumph" through which the arriving and departing President passed. Behind it across Post Street is the Savoy Hotel. [27353] The Dewey Monument is at center and the official dais below it to the left. The crowd is gathered for the ceremony. In the background rises the Saint Francis Hotel, which opened in 1904. The spire at right rear is the steeple of the First Congregational Church at Post and Mason streets. A new church was built on the site after 1906. Note men hanging from the tall pole in the square, at right. [27474] After a cut, the pan continues to the left. [27595] The view is west, along Geary Street. Note the large Cordes Furniture Company Building (later Breuners Furniture) [27748]. The wall advertisement reads "Furniture, Carpets, Draperies, Rugs, Mattings, Linoleums -- Your Credit is Good." [27936] At the end of the southern pan, the distant, unfinished steel frame of the Flood Building on Market Street can be seen. To the right is the rear of Delmonico's Restaurant, which hides most of the Alcazar Theater. Note the ice van at the corner of Geary and Stockton streets. After a cut in the continuity of the film, the ceremony has concluded and the crowd is seen surging toward Post Street to watch the departure of the President [28533]. The camera follows the crowd to Post and Stockton streets, then pans back into the square as crowds continue to gather along Post Street.

Received: 6/4/03; paper pos; copyright deposit Paper Print Collection.

Roosevelt, Theodore,--1858-1919.
Presidents--Journeys--California--San Francisco.
Streets--California--San Francisco.
Parades--California--San Francisco.
Pedestrians--California--San Francisco.
Plazas--California--San Francisco.
Commercial buildings--California--San Francisco.
San Francisco (Calif.)

Miles, H.J., camera.
American Mutoscope and Biograph Company.
Paper Print Collection (Library of Congress) DLC
Panorama of Union Square, San Francisco.

1 roll (220 ft) : si., b&w ; 35 mm. paper pos.

LC 2125 (paper pos)