|Hardly all parades and demonstrations were opposed to the status quo. Like today, numerous festivities commemorated civic holidays and were meant to dramatize the strength and cohesiveness of society. And some were shows of power by those representing and defending the current order against the kinds of challenges and criticisms forwarded by groups like the socialists and self-declared heirs and advocates of revolution.
In this image, crowds gather along Michigan Avenue to view the Illinois National Guard parading past the Inter-State Exposition Building, where the "Grand Anniversary" was held in March 1879. The federal troops sent to quell the strike activity in 1877 had marched to this same building upon their arrival. They were greeted by Lieutenant Colonel Frederick D. Grant, son of the former president. In Strikers, Communists, Tramps and Detectives, Allan Pinkerton declared that although these soldiers were trained to fight Indians, they were "quite as ready to meet communists as to follow Sitting Bull."
The photograph is undated, but the precise occasion it depicts must fall between the late 1870s, when the national guard was organized, and 1892, when the Exposition Building was razed.