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President McKinley Assassination

William McKinley

President McKinley Assassination: William McKinley was the 25th American President who served in office from March 4, 1897 to September 14, 1901. This article provides facts about the Assassination of President William McKinley and of his murderer, Leon Czolgosz.

Definition and Summary of the President McKinley Assassination
Summary and definition:
The assassination of President McKinley occurred on September 6, 1901 inside the Temple of Music exhibition at the Pan-American World's Fair in Buffalo, New York. The name of his assassin was steelworker Leon Frank Czolgosz (1873-1901) an anarchist from Cleveland, Ohio.

The President's wounds became gangrenous and he died eight days after he was shot on September 14, 1901.

Facts about President McKinley Assassination
The following fact sheet contains interesting facts and information on President McKinley Assassination.

William McKinley (1843 - 1901) was the third of four Presidents of the United States who have been assassinated. The names of the other assassinated presidents were Abraham Lincoln (1809 - 1865),  James Garfield (1831 - 1881) and John F. Kennedy (1917 - 1963)

When was he shot? The President was shot on September 6, 1901

When did the President die? The President was a brave and determined man who fought hard for his life but his wounds became gangrenous and he died on September 14, 1901, eight days after being shot

Where did the assassination take place? The President was shot inside the Temple of Music exhibition at the Pan-American World's Fair in Buffalo, New York

What was the name of the assassin? Leon Czolgosz (May 5, 1873 October 29, 1901) was born in Alpena, Michigan in the United States, the son of Polish Catholic immigrants.

Who was Leon Czolgosz? Leon Czolgosz was a steelworker who had become embittered when he lost his job during the depression that followed the Panic of 1893. He became an anarchist, an extreme radical, and his political views led him to kill the president.

What was the Pan-American Exposition? It was a World's Fair, organized by the Pan-American Exposition Company, and held in Buffalo, New York, United States, from May 1 through November 2, 1901.

What was the Temple of Music? The Temple of Music, where the President was shot, was a concert hall and auditorium built for the Pan-American Exposition. The advent of the electric power system in the US allowed designers to light the Exposition and many of the buildings were covered with thousands of light bulbs. President William McKinley was shot on September 5, 1901 by Leon Czolgosz whilst greeting the public at the Temple of Music on the day that had been designated as "President's Day".

The Pan-American Exposition World's Fair was an important and exciting event. On September 5, 1901, the day before the shooting, President McKinley delivered a speech on tariffs and foreign trade at the exposition.

The next day on September 5, 1901, the president spent the day at a reception at Niagara Falls and arrived at the Temple of Music at the World's Fair at 4pm, happy to meet and greet the public.

The cheerful president was guarded by United States Secret Service detectives, but the venue left him fully exposed to the hundreds of people eager to see him.

A man dressed in black with a bandage swathing his hand approached the president. The man raised his hand, as if to greet him, and fired two shots through the bandage which concealed a gun - a .32 caliber Iver Johnson "Safety Automatic" revolver.

One bullet struck him on the upper part of the breast bone, glancing and not penetrating but the second bullet penetrated his abdomen.

There was a terrible commotion, screaming, crying and shouting as people realized what had happened. Three men leapt on the assassin, two were secret service guards and the third man was an African American who had just shaken hands with the President.

The wounded president was taken to the Exposition Hospital. During the operation that followed, one bullet was extracted but the other could not be found

The Temple of Music was cleared and Leon Czolgosz was taken to Police Headquarters - he was nearly lynched by the furious crowd.

After questioning, Leon Czolgosz signed a full confession. He admitted that he was an anarchist but denied that anyone else had been involved in an assassination conspiracy

President McKinley initially appeared to be recover, but he took a turn for the worse on September 13, 1901 as his wounds became gangrenous - his wound had not been thoroughly cleaned. He died early the next morning and was succeeded by Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt.

Czolgosz was indicted with one count of first-degree murder. He was convicted on September 24, 1901 after the jury deliberated for only one hour. He was given the death penalty.

Leon Czolgosz showed no remorse for the assassination and stated "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people - the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."

Leon Czolgosz was executed by electrocution in the electric chair in the state of New York on 20th October, 1901. He was electrocuted by three jolts, each of 1800 volts, in Auburn Prison

The clothes and letters of the murderer were burned and sulfuric acid was poured into Leon Czolgosz's coffin so that his body would be completely disfigured. He was buried on prison grounds.

The body of President William McKinley was taken by train to Washington where he lay in state. Over 100,000 people paid their respects passing the open casket.

He was initially laid to rest vault at West Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Ohio.

His body was then transferred to the large marble monument at the McKinley National Memorial in Canton, Ohio. The dedication ceremony was on September 30, 1907

US American History
1881-1913: Maturation Era

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