Mayor George Baker
Mayor George Baker
Seven thousand citizens gathered at the Municipal Auditorium Saturday night and listened to Eamon De Valera, president of the Irish Republic, lay the cause of the Emerald Isle before them.
The stage was hung with large American flags, while over the speaker’s desk was draped the green, orange and white of the Irish Republic. De Valera stood silently facing the audience, which had risen at his entrance while the Auditorium rang with cheers for several minutes.
Two hundred and fifty Portland policemen were gathered about the building, giving the meeting a sinister aspect.
Portland’s mayor furnished the principal amusement. Sleuth-like, he made his way in true melodramatic style to the rear of the stage, peeked through a hole in the curtain, and seeing perfect order was being maintained, left.
Thousands of those who gathered at the Auditorium were indignant at the pussyfooted actions of Mayor Baker. The detail of police, Irish leaders maintained, were simply thrown about the building to give the meeting a sinister look. No threats of breaking up the gathering were
made by the American Legion. No disorder whatever occurred.
Nov. 20, 1919