The last day of his campaign was greater than anything Detroit had ever seen. On Sunday, November 5, 1916, Billy finished his time in Detroit with four meetings. He spoke to at least 50,000 people who could get within the sound of his voice. One reporter wrote about the meeting in this way:
“The various services were so filled with sensational and dramatic incidents that it is difficult to select one outstanding sensation. Possibly the greatest demonstration of the day came at the end of the early afternoon sermon when Billy preached on ‘Booze’ or ‘the Trail of the Serpent.’ He asked those who would pledge themselves to vote Michigan dry on Tuesday to stand. Men leaped to their feet with a shout on their lips that made the great building tremble. Hats went into the air and in the very riot of sound at times could be heard, rising above the roar; the people screamed the words, ‘We will.’
“When a semblance of order was restored, Billy, towering up near the roof of the building as he mount- ed the pulpit desk cried out, ‘When you have made this fair peninsular state dry, I will come back and lead a ratification parade down Woodward Avenue.’
“Then the enormous crowd seemed to take leave of its senses entirely. Men screamed and cheered, waved their hats and coats, danced on the benches, and slapped each other on the backs in the wildest enthusiasm ever witnessed in Detroit. The volume of their noise made the very ground vibrate as if an earthquake had rolled over the field that has been the scene of so many demonstrations of victory in the sphere of athletics. Many fainted in the excitement and were helped to the hospital department for resuscitation. It was such a spasm of wild and uncontrollable emotion as is witnessed once in a lifetime. Some were hysterical through excitement, while others wept from joy. Men fell into each other’s arms, and stranger embraced stranger. They were made brothers, as it were, through a common sentiment that gripped every heart in that seething throng.”
Papers of William Ashley Sunday and Helen Sunday. Microfilm of the Billy Graham Center Archives. Scrapbook of the Detroit Meetings Reel 29.