St. James Park used to be a safe haven. Bicycle races would
finish in the park, presidents and presidential hopefuls would
pontificate from soap boxes, kidnappers were hanged from trees,
and miscreants tarred & feathered before being chained to
the McKinley bronze cannon. A real family gathering place.
Clyde Arbuckle describes a park activity in the 1930's,
"During the depression days of the
1930's, leather-lunged, hat passing radicals harangued the curious
and gullible on the economic ills of the nation. Bible waving,
hell-fire and brimstone evangelists shouted fundamentalist condemnation
of sinners from park bench pulpits. In pre-jury commission days,
court bailiffs collared park loafers and bums for immediate jury
duty across the street."