The Buffalo News

Grateful to Mark Sommer for his wonderful review, ‘Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City’ a colorful look at 1901 Pan-Am

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times.

The Pan-American Exposition looms large in Buffalo’s story, but until now there wasn’t a book-length history to tell the story of the international showcase marred by the tragic assassination of President William McKinley.

Western New York native Margaret Creighton’s wonderfully informative, evocative and illuminating “The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World’s Fair” more than fills that void.

Creighton’s flowing narrative, punctuated with descriptive details, forgotten figures and resonant issues, splashes technicolor on what could have been a conventional black-and-white canvas.

Read the rest of the review here: 


The New York Times

Thanks to the intrepid Eve Kahn for her feature article on my book and the Pan American Exposition: Echoes of an Exposition, and an Assassination.

BUFFALO — THE Pan-American Exposition of 1901 was meant to celebrate America’s ingenuity and dominance over the Western Hemisphere — you know, when America was “great again.” Eight million people paid about 50 cents each to see buildings edged in light bulbs, sprawled across 350 acres at the suburban northern edge of this city. They also flocked to the nearby Niagara Falls to watch daredevils try to survive the rapids.

And then there was the assassination of the nation’s 25th president, William McKinley, at one of the fair’s gilded plaster palaces, the domed Temple of Music.

To study the expo’s twists of fate and surviving traces, I spent three days following around experts assembled by Margaret Creighton, a Bates College professor and the author of a new book, “The Electrifying Fall of Rainbow City: Spectacle and Assassination at the 1901 World’s Fair” (W. W. Norton). Ms. Creighton and I met with scholars who are excavating artifacts and scouring archives connected to the 1901 events, and she offered insights into the fair’s amusements and philosophical framework, not the least of which were its undeniably racist overtones.

Read the rest of the article here: 

An Electrifying Visit

Thanks to the booming city of Buffalo for a warm welcome back over Thanksgiving week. Buckets of flowers go to Mark Sommer of the Buffalo News, Leslie Zemsky and Larkin Square, the folks at Barnes & Noble, Talking Leaves, The Buffalo History Museum, The Buffalo and Erie County Public Library.

Anne Neville of The Buffalo News  describes the fading memories of the McKinley Assassination:


Buffalo, New York:

Monday, November 21, 2016, 5:30 pm:
Larkin Square, Larkinville

Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 12 noon:
Buffalo and Erie County Public Library

Wednesday, November 23, 2016, afternoon:
Talking Leaves Bookstore

Saturday, November 26, 2016:
Buffalo History Museum