- The first modern Olympic games are held in Athens. 13 nations (including the U.S.) competed. Most athletes are from Greece, Germany and France.
- In July, Democrat presidential candidate Willam Jennings Bryan delivers his rousing "Cross of Gold" speech, but it is not enough to win the election: Republican William McKinley, representing Progressives, is elected.
- Plessy v. Ferguson in the Supreme Court introduces "separate but equal" concept and upholds racial segregation in the U.S.
- Utah is admitted as the 45th state after the Mormons, who were the majority of residents, renounced the practice of bigamy.
- A group of 12 industrial stocks were chosen to establish the Dow Jones Industrial Average to calculate the value of the companies (now 30 of largest public owned) in current trading.
- Perry and Hutchinson begin offering "Green Stamps" to U. S. retailers. Fanny Farmer publishes her first cookbook.
- The first volume of Theodore Roosevelt's The Winning of the West is published. Notable fiction of this year: The Country of Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett, Tom Sawyer, Detective, by Mark Twain.
The former School for the Blind becomes Salem's first hospital in 1896
Glen Oaks Orphanage becomes the Salem Hospital in 1899
The second photograph is of the Glen Oaks Orphanage that was offered by the Oregon Children's Aid Society in 1899 as a new home for the Salem Hospital. It was on ten acres on Center Street, then called Asylum Street, adjacent to the state hospital.
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Neither of these buildings exists today. Ferry Street is now interrupted west of 12th Street by the Willamette University campus. The location of the 1892 photograph of School for Blind, our first hospital, was to the rear of the present Gatke Building. The Center Street location of the former orphanage has also had new development as the Oregon State Hospital expanded to the east. In 2010 the area is being rebuilt with demolition of buildings and landscape, and with alterations to Center Street itself.
In 1916 Salem Deaconess Hospital was founded and the former Capital Hotel at 665 Winter Street was acquired for a new hospital facility. The current Salem Hospital continues to expand along both sides of that street and incorporating Capitol Street between Bellevue and Mission Streets.
- Our Capital Journal newspaper joins the Associated Press network.
- The First Church of Christ Scientist is officially organized as meetings continue at a hall at the corner of Court and Liberty Streets.
|The Wiggins- Crawford House on Court Street|
- A house built at 1759 Court Street will later be associated with the Wiggins-Crawford family. The Wiggins son Fred ran a farm implement store and sold the first automobile in Salem. He married Myra Albert, daughter of John Albert and Mary Holman, and granddaughter of Joseph Holman, pioneer settler. The house went to a Wiggins niece, Mary Follrick Crawford, who lived there with her family in 1972. The house is a significant contribution to the Court-Chemeketa Historic District in the NEN neighborhood. It is featured on the SHINE walking tour.
- Amos Long builds a house at 774 Winter Street. Historically, it is known as the Moon House and been designated as a Local Landmark. In 1997, during the expansion of the North Capitol Mall, it was preserved by being purchased from the State of Oregon and moved to D Street in the NESCA neighborhood.
- On Owens Street, the Italianate/Eastlake Scovell House may have been built as early as 1889. In this year of 1896 Alexander Daue buys the property and lives here with his wife Ida Mae Turner Daue until their new home was built. The family owned the property until 1945; during that time it was probably the residence of Earl Daue and his wife Dorothy. It is now a Local Landmark in the SCAN neighborhood.
In May, Salem's W.C.T.U. took up a new work. Children not in attendance at Sunday School in any of the city's churches were gathered up and brought to the the W.C.T.U. headquarters where Mrs Snelling served as their superintendent.
In December, Salem's new curfew ordinance became effective. No person under 17 would be permitted on streets or in public places after 8 p.m. from September to February. After February, curfew time was extended one hour. A bell in the First Methodist Church would ring at 7:45 p.m. in the winter and 8:45 in the summer months.
In August, Miss Brown drove from the Red Hills south of town into Salem. En route a masked man stepped from the brush, grabbed the bridle of her horse and demanded that Miss Brown surrender her purse and watch. She reached into her pocket, drew a revolver and threatened to blow out the brains of her assailant if he did not desist and vanish. The story said he did both and expeditiously.
In the next month, Miss B. F., daughter of Mrs. J. A. J., a Salem widow, swore out a warrant in Justice H. A. Johnson's court charging B. D. with seduction committed last December. B. D. , known as a hard-working young man with a good reputation, was arrested and lodged in jail since he could not post bail for $200. This morning, on motion of Charles Park, district attorney, the prosecution was dismissed and the pair was married by the justice before whom the case was brought.
(See Ben Maxwell's Salem, Oregon, edited by Scott McArthur, 2006.)