1901 Scarce Pan-american Exposition Program Geronimo Bicycle Races Freaks Indian
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1901 Scarce Pan-american Exposition Program Geronimo Bicycle Races Freaks Indian:
Bicycle races, Geronimo,
and "Flight of 10,000 Homing Pigeons":
Scarce illustrated program from the 1901 Pan-American
Expositions, documenting scores of events and participants Official Daily Program of the Pan-American Exposition: Midway Day Souvenir Edition, August 3, 1901. Pictorial softcover, 9 x 6 in., 32 pages, illustrated throughout. Light handling wear (small chip to back cover and tiny chip to front cover), and a few corner creases, otherwise complete, clean, tight, and about near fine.
An invaluable pictorial and descriptive record of this world's fair, held in Buffalo, New York, largely remembered to history as the site of President William McKinley's assassination.
The present item provides a fascinating, vivid window into the fair's attractions, including both long-term exhibitions and events particular to Midway Day. A small sampling of the attractions documented in the program ("ill." indicates that at least one photo or illustration is also included): "A Trip to the Moon on Frederick Thompson's Airship Luna" (ill.); Aerio-Cycle [a Ferris wheel] (ill.); "Bonner, the Horse with the Human Brain" (ill.); Chiquita, "The Doll Lady," the smallest person in the world (ill.); Cora Beckwith, "the greatest lady swimmer in the world" (ill.); the Cardiff Giant; Dreamland, "mirror maze with weird and startling illusion effects" (ill.); Johnstown Flood, "scenographic reproduction of the greatest flood disaster in the history of the country" (ill.); preview of Bicycle Races, International and Professional (ill.); lists of special days; lists of future musical events; and more.
Among the other "attractions" are several related to ethnic and racial groups, many reflecting the widespread racist attitudes of the day. Of particular interest are a number of events and exhibitions related to Native American customs and traditions, including a parade with members of the Indian Congress ("Geo. W. Gaines on horseback; Winona, the Sioux Girl, champion rifle shot of the world" [ill.]; Indian Congress Brass Band; Colorado Frank; Calamity Jane; Geronimo [ill.] and Band of Apaches; Warriors; 250 horses and 500 Indians...."); "Ghost Dance of the Seneca Indians" (ill.); performances by the Carlisle Indian School Band ("representing upward of 25 tribes"); etc. Likewise, various African-American entertainers are presented in a largely exaggerated, stereotypical light, as evidenced by the description of the "Old Plantation" float (racist slurs censored per policy): " 'Oh Dat Watermelon'--mammoth watermelon, with seeds formed by the woolly heads of 40 p*ckaninnies; 150 Negro cakewalkers, c*on shouters, cotton pickers, p*ckaninnies and black m*mmys warbling old plantation melodies and patting rag time with bare feet; Old Laughing Ben, the 'Irresistiblest N*gger yet.' "
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