In 1901, months before President William McKinley was assassinated, McKinley visited the city of San José, California to give a speech in front of the former San José City Hall building, in an area now known as the Saint James Park. During this trip President McKinley became the first United States President to visit the state of California after the acquisition of that land through the Mexican-American War.
In 1902, a year after President William McKinley’s speech, a statue of the former President was erected by the residents of Santa Clara, within the Saint James Park. The foundation, beneath the statue, states the following:
“The Constitution is a sacred instrument and a sacred trust is given to us to see to it that it’s preservation in all its virtue and its vigor is passed on to the generations yet to come”.
In 1960, a few days before Election Day, former President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, visited the Saint James Park during his trip to California.