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President Taft has bully time on visit

Oct. 11, 1909: Thousands of people lined the streets to greet President William Howard Taft as he spent a day visiting Los Angeles, The Times reported.

The president, who weighed “300 pounds and more,” arrived on the Mayflower, his private rail car, the newspaper said.

“Mr. Taft had a bully time in Los Angeles. He seemed to be the only one who wasn’t much impressed with the solemnity of the occasion. He didn’t have the air that some celebrities contrive to give of a ruler visiting his subjects,” The Times declared.

“When people cheered at him from the windows of the office buildings, he waved his hat back at them like an enthusiastic boy; yanked the shiny silk tile off and fairly whooped it round his head. Without losing his dignity, he was delightfully, lovably informal.”

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