Having seen the president disembark from his train yesterday, Leon understood that his chances of being close enough to the president were slim. Once again the newspaper gave him all the information he needed.
Hundreds of eager fans had gathered around Milbourn House on Delaware Street hoping to catch a glimpse of the President as he departed for the exposition. Thousands more lined Lincoln Parkway all the way to the exposition. It had been announced the president would arrive that morning and give a planned speech.
Remembering the strong security and the excitable crowd, Leon Czolgosz decided to forgo being in the right place at the right time and instead just go directly to the exposition center and take a position where he knew the president would arrive at some point this morning.
Leon Czolgosz had arrived early, long before the president had left Milbourn House. He easily found the flag draped podium and made his way there. Few people had yet gathered, but Leon was ready. As the cool morning hours began to warm, Leon could hear the crowd outside the stadium begin to cheer. Everything had been going in slow motion up to then. Now suddenly John Milbourn had stepped up to the lecture and announced to the crowd “Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States.” And there he was, almost right in front of him but 20 feet higher.
Again Leon had misjudged. If he could take his shot the chances would be that he would miss. The angle wasn’t right, he was too close, but would he have a better chance? His mind raced through the different scenarios. His hand clutching at the revolver in his pocket. A woman next to him decided to get a better view, jostling Leon and she moved. Leon looked at her in disgust and muttered something no one heard. And then, it was over. The president had already folded his speech and put it in his frock coat pocket– waved at the crowd and stepped back and was out of sight.
Another fruitless day. Leon was frustrated knowing that the rest of the president’s day would be spent in events around the fair. There would be no further opportunity today. Leon made his way back to the hotel, ordered a whiskey and went to his room.
Later that day, the president would pose for a photograph along with a number of dignitaries. It would be the last posed photograph that would be taken of him.
From right to left: Colonel John H. Bingham (the tall gentlemen) of the Government Board, just behind the colonel and the president is George Cortelyou, next is the president, just to his right is the Mexican Ambassador, Manuel Azpíroz, and next to the ambassador is Mrs. John Miller Horton, Chairwoman of the Entertainment Committee. In between the ambassador and Mrs. Horton and just behind them is John G. Milburn, President of the Exposition.