Framework

Capturing the world through photography, video and multimedia

President Woodrow Wilson steps from his train at the Santa Fe station during a stop in Los Angeles on Sept. 19, 1919. His train continued to San Diego, returning the next day for a parade and speech in Los Angeles. This photo was published in the Sept. 20, 1919, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

President Wilson greets constituents during his stop at Santa Fe station. This photo was published in the Sept. 20, 1919, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

President Wilson takes a short walk during his train stop in Los Angeles. On his right is the president's personal physician, Adm. Cary Travers Grayson. Wilson suffered a stroke soon after his tour ended. This photo was published in the Sept. 20, 1919, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

Edith Wilson, wife of President Wilson, leaves the president's train after its return to Los Angeles on Sept. 20, 1919. She took on a significant role after the president's debilitating stroke, suffered not long after this photo was taken. This picture was published in the Sept. 21, 1919, Los Angeles Times.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

A parade for President Wilson on Sept. 20, 1919, turns the corner of 1st Street and Broadway, directly in front of the Los Angeles Times building. Wilson's car is not in this image.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

The parade drew thousands.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

President Wilson and wife Edith are in the rear of the car in this image, the full frame as made by Times staff photographer George Watson.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

President Wilson and First Lady Edith Wilson. This is a cropped version of the previous frame in this gallery.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: George Watson / Los Angeles Times

Wilson stands and waves as the parade moves along Broadway.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

President Wilson acknowledges the crowd.

PHOTOGRAPH BY: Los Angeles Times

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President Wilson visits L.A.

Sep. 19, 1919:  President Woodrow Wilson’s train stops in Los Angeles, during an exhausting whirlwind speaking tour, before proceeding to San Diego — then returns the next day.

Wilson was seeking public support for the United States’ entrance into the League of Nations. The treaty was stalled in the U.S. Senate.

About 1,000 people assembled at the Santa Fe passenger station for a glimpse of the president. The Los Angeles Times reported the next day:

As the train pulled in a squad of police and detectives drove back the crowd, and half a hundred secret service men, dropping from all exits in the train, stepped into their places like clock-like precision, forming a protective barrier between the President and the people.

Newspaper men and photographers, half a hundred strong, flocked to the rear platform of the observation car and called to President Wilson, who responded very graciously. His appearance was the signal for the whole crowd to rush the police lines and make their way to the car steps, where the President was given three rousing cheers.

On Sept. 20, President Wilson returned to Los Angeles. The Times estimated that 200,000 spectators were on hand for Wilson’s parade through downtown Los Angeles.

That evening, President Wilson was “expounding the principles of the League of Nations” to about 7,000 at the Shrine Auditorium. The Times estimated that about 50,000 were turned away.

The next day, Wilson boarded his train and took his public speaking tour back East. Within days, he suffered a stoke, and  the remainder of the tour was canceled. The United States never joined the League of Nations.

Nine images are posted in the above photo gallery. About half are by former Los Angeles Times staff photographer George Watson. The other photo credits are unknown.

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