Image zoom controls Zoom in Zoom out Reset
Cover of Harper’s Weekly magazine featuring the U.S. Capitol.

Harper’s Weekly, Inauguration Number March 4, 1901

On March 4, 1901, the day of President William McKinley’s second inauguration, Harper’s Weekly published a commemorative issue with articles on the ceremonies and celebrations. The cover highlights the themes that dominated McKinley’s first presidential term—foreign policy and industrial development. The corners feature four heraldic shields representing the lands involved in the conflicts of 1898: the Philippines, Cuba, “Porto Rico,” and “Hawaii,” with the omission of Guam. 

Triumphantly, a stylized bald eagle encircles its wings around the U.S. Capitol. Its talons clench four red arrows, symbols of warfare, and the four represented islands. The Capitol is lit by a blazing yellow background, a symbolic consecration of Washington, D.C.’s central role in national and international affairs. Silhouettes of industrial factories and smoking chimneys decorate the bottom of the composition. The resulting iconography of imperial and industrial might introduces a new global role for the United States.

Unidentified artist
39.2 × 27 cm (15 7/16 × 10 5/8 in.)
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives