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William McKinley - 25th President of the United States


Portrait of William McKinley (National Archives)
Portrait of William McKinley (National Archives)


William McKinley was the 25th (1897-1901) President of the United States. He was born in Niles, Ohio, January 29, 1843, He attended the public schools, Poland Academy, and Allegheny College. Following graduation he taught school, then enlisted in the Union Army on June 23, 1861, as a private in the Twenty-third Regiment, Ohio Volunteer Infantry, and was mustered out as captain and brevet major of the same regiment in September 1865.

Following the war, McKinley studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1867. He commenced practice in Canton, Ohio. He was prosecuting attorney of Stark County, Ohio, 1869-1871, and was elected as a Republican to the Forty-fifth, Forty-sixth, and Forty-seventh Congresses (March 4, 1877-March 3, 1883). He was chairman of the Committee on Revision of the Laws (Forty-seventh Congress). He presented his credentials as a Member-elect to the Forty-eighth Congress and served from March 4, 1883, until May 27, 1884, when he was succeeded by Jonathan H. Wallace, who successfully contested his election. McKinley was again elected to the Forty-ninth, Fiftieth, and Fifty-first Congresses (March 4, 1885-March 3, 1891). He was chairman of the Committee on Ways and Means (Fifty-first Congress).

McKinley was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1890 to the Fifty-second Congress. He was a delegate to the Republican National Conventions in 1884, 1888, and 1892. He was elected Governor of Ohio in 1891, reelected in 1893, and served until January 13, 1896. He was elected President of the United States in 1896.

McKinley led the country into the Spanish-American War, bringing the former colonies of Spain in the Philippines and Caribbean Sea under American control. Despite some vocal domestic opposition, his administration ushered America into a policy of international imperialism.

He was re-elected in 1900.

McKinley was shot by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, on September 6, 1901 while attending the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, and died from his wounds there on September 14, 1901. He is one of the four presidents to be assassinated. Internment is in the McKinley Monument (adjacent to West Lawn Cemetery), Canton, Ohio.

 

 
Photographs and Documents of President William McKinley



Message of President William McKinley nominating Theodore Roosevelt to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 04/06/1896 (National Archives)
Message of President William McKinley nominating Theodore Roosevelt (The future President) to be Assistant Secretary of the Navy, 04/06/1896 (National Archives)





Telegram from John H. Purnell to President McKinley, 02/15/1898 ? - 02/15/1898 (National Archives)
This telegram from a private citizen alledges that a mine was used to sink the USS MAINE. Telegram from John H. Purnell to President McKinley, - 02/15/1898 (National Archives)





Letter to President William McKinley from Annie Oakley in which she offers the services of a company of fifty lady American sharpshooters who would provide their own arms and ammunition, to the government should war break out with Spain., 04/05/1898 (National Archives)
Letter to President William McKinley from Annie Oakley in which she offers the services of a company of fifty lady American sharpshooters who would provide their own arms and ammunition, to the U.S. government should war break out with Spain. 04/05/1898 (National Archives)





Message of President William McKinley nominating George Dewey to be Admiral of the Navy, 03/03/1899 (National Archives)
Message of President William McKinley nominating George Dewey to be Admiral of the Navy, 03/03/1899 (National Archives)

George Dewey became an American hero after being appointed to command of the United States Asiatic Squadron a few weeks before the start of the Spanish American War. On April 27, 1898, Dewey sailed out from China with orders to attack the Spanish at Manila Bay. He arrived at the mouth of the bay late the night of April 30, and the following morning attacked at first light. Within 6 hours on May 1 he had sunk or captured the entire Spanish Pacific fleet under Admiral Patricio Montojo y Pasaron and silenced the shore batteries at Manila, without the loss of a single life on the American side. News of the victory in the Battle of Manila Bay made Dewey a great hero in the United States, and Dewey was promoted to rear admiral. Dewey's swift easy victory no doubt did much to encourage the William McKinley administration in its decision to place the Philippines under American control.


 
Quick Facts about President William McKinley

Rank: 25th (1897-1901)
Followed: Grover Cleveland
Succeeded by: Theodore Roosevelt 
Date of Birth January 29, 1843
Place of Birth: Niles, Ohio
Date of Death: September 14, 1901
Place of Death: Buffalo, New York
First Lady: Ida Saxton
Occupation: lawyer
Political Party: Republican
Vice President: Garret A. Hobart (1897-1899
                Theodore Roosevelt (1901)


 
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