President-Elect Taft visits New Orleans (February 11-12, 1909)

President-Elect William Howard Taft spent two days in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, 1909, on his way back from a ten-day trip to Panama, where plans for canal construction were underway. While in town, Taft was paraded down Canal Street, made a speech at City Hall (where this photograph was taken), attended the Elves of Oberon ball one night and a sumptuous banquet the next, played golf at the New Orleans Country Club, spoke to a crowd of African-American citizens at Pelican Park, and visited the veterans at the Confederate Soldier's home. The President would visit again that year, on Halloween.