The climax of jubilation finally came and went. Would the rest of the year be an anticlimax? Perhaps, but it also might provide some time for further reflection and attention to some omissions. Despite the bestselling 1876, remarkably little was said or remembered about America's Centennial celebration. The occasion a century ago was exuberant, boisterous and, above all, confident. Amid the Philadelphia Exhibition's 13 acres of new, awe-inspiring machinery, President Grant pulled a lever to release the first jet of steam and tens of thousands of Americans oohed and aahed: wool was combed, water was pumped, newspapers were printed,...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!