There was a penny drive by schoolchildren to help finance...

Alfred Lord Tennyson contributed this:

Fate that once denied him,
And envy that once decried him,
And malice that belied him,
Now cenotaph his fame.

And Walt Whitman was present.

And after that there was the Toaster.
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Verum audaces non gerunt indusia alba. - Ipsi dixit MCMLXXII