Christmas Tree, Union Square, circa 1910
Since 1880, a magnificent tree has adorned the Square in an annual tradition credited to Emperor Norton, the City's first great eccentric and credited as the first person to envision bridges across the bay, not mention a man who created his own currency.
The Square's name originated from pro-Union rallies held on the eve of the Civil War. Built on a sand dune, the Square became a public park in 1850.
Dewey Monument, Union Square viewing North c1905Union Square, the center of the City in pioneer days, was deeded for permanent public use on January 3, 1850 during the administration of John White Geary, San Francisco's first mayor and postmaster. The 97-foot Corinthian column is topped by a figure representing Victory.
Dedication of Dewey Monument, May 14 1903
President Roosevelt dedicated the Monument in Union Square to honor the victory of Admiral George Dewey and the American fleet over Spanish forces at Manila Bay, the Philippines in 1898, during the Spanish-American War. The Monument is also a tribute to the U. S. Navy sailors.
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