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Willaim Jennings Bryan and the "Cross of Gold" Speech


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William Jennings Bryan (March 19, 1860 – July 26, 1925) was an American orator and politician from Nebraska. Beginning in 1896, he emerged as a dominant force in the Democratic Party, standing three times as the party's nominee for President of the United States.   At the 1896 Democratic National Convention, Bryan delivered his "Cross of Gold speech" which attacked the gold standard and the eastern moneyed interests and crusaded for inflationary policies.  The Cross of Gold speech has become known as one of the greatest political speeches of all time.


The Gennett’s, aka Gennett Records & Starr Piano Company, Richmond, Indiana, were apparently supporters of the Bryan campaign.


On November 15, 1896, the year the speech was delivered at the convention, Alice Gennett dispatched a letter to William J. Bryan.  It wasn’t until September 24, 1897, that she received a reply from Mary B. Bryan:




Many years later, July 3, 1923, William J. Bryan recorded a portion of that famous speech for Gennett Records; albeit, missing the “fire and brimstone” from years earlier:




Speech Closing:





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