Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 18, Number 01, Spring, 2006 Page: 38
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RACr TRACK, STATr FAIR PARK. DALLAS TrXAS l3
Horse racing was the major attraction at the State Fair during its early years. In 1909 the State Legislature
banned betting, but the famous pacer "Dan Patch" ran in an exhibition race during the fair.
a bullet into the president's chest at close range.
No one wanted a similar occurrence in Dallas.
Taft was scheduled to arrive at the fairgrounds
by train. Because a portion of the track
ran through the middle of Parry Avenue, a wire
had been strung along the street, separating it
from the sidewalk. The specific job of the
Guard was to keep the expected crowds behind
the wire and well away from the presidential
train as it passed by on its way to the fairgrounds
On Friday, Manley's mother-in-law visited
while he was readying his uniform and accoutrements.
The woman would later remember
that when someone asked the young guardsman
why he was sharpening his bayonet, he
replied off-handedly that he intended to "kill
On the Saturday ofTaft's visit, a young Dallas
County clerk, Louis "Pete" Reichenstein, looked
forward to finishing work at noon and spending
an afternoon at Fair Park's racetrack with his
friend and fellow county employee,J.W Cooper.
When 12 o'clock finally arrived, Reichenstein
left the courthouse and met Cooper outside the
Oriental Hotel, where the two men caught a
streetcar heading east.7
According to Cooper, he and Reichenstein
passed the afternoon as planned, watching the
races and enjoying a few beers in the saloon
beneath the grandstand. Around 5 P.M. they
decided to go home. Unlike thousands of their
fellow citizens, the two young men were uninterested
in hearing the President speak.8
Cooper later recalled that after leaving the
racetrack saloon he and Reichenstein decided to
3 8 LEGACIES Spring 2006
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Dallas Heritage Village. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 18, Number 01, Spring, 2006, periodical, 2006; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35088/m1/40/: accessed February 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.