William Jennings Bryan speaking at Independence Day Celebration, courtesy San Francisco Public Library.

On this day – July 5

On this day in 1915, former United States Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan gave a pro-peace speech at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The event was attended by more than 120,000 people. The fair, described Bryan’s speech: “He had resigned from President Wilson’s cabinet a little while before, and occupied the position of a sort of itinerant political clergyman, preaching peace in the midst of war and war’s alarms, bravely holding aloft the ensign of human brotherhood when close to fifteen million men in Europe were trying to starve, blast, bayonet, and gas one another to death…” (Ackley, 2014)