William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio, January 29, 1843 to William and Nancy (Allison) McKinley. He attended the public schools, Poland Academy , and Allegheny College. Following graduation he taught school. On June 23, 1861, at the start of the American Civil War, enlisted in the Union Army, 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, being 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). In 1890, he authored the unpopular McKinley Tariff.
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. Standing for election with his running mate Andrew L. Harris, McKinley was elected Governor of Ohio in 1891, and reelected in 1893, serving until January 13, 1896.
In 1898, McKinley launched the trust-busting era when he appointed several Senators (and his former Lt. Governor Andrew L. Harris) to the U.S. Industrial Commission. Later, the Industrial Commission's report to Theodore Roosevelt would lay the groundwork for Roosevelt's attacks on trusts and 'malefactors of great wealth'.
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 the U.S. into the "New Imperialism" of the era.
He was re-elected in 1900, again beating Bryan.
McKinley was shot by an anarchist, Leon F. 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 the third of the four U.S. presidents that have been assassinated. Interment is in the McKinley Monument (adjacent to West Lawn Cemetery), Canton, Ohio. President Theodore Roosevelt, Ohio Governor Andrew L. Harris and other speakers saluted the fallen President at the McKinley Memorial.
McKinley's portrait appeared on the U.S. $500 bill from 1928 to 1946.
|Vice President||Garret A. Hobart||1896–1901|
|Secretary of State||John Sherman||1897–1898|
|William R. Day||1898|
|Secretary of the Treasury||Lyman J. Gage||1897–1901|
|Secretary of War||Russell A. Alger||1897–1899|
|Attorney General||Joseph McKenna||1897–1898|
|John W. Griggs||1898–1901|
|Philander C. Knox||1901|
|Postmaster General||James A. Gary||1897–1898|
|Charles E. Smith||1898–1901|
|Secretary of the Navy||John D. Long||1897–1901|
|Secretary of the Interior||Cornelius N. Bliss||1897–1899|
|Ethan A. Hitchcock||1899–1901|
|Secretary of Agriculture||James Wilson||1897–1901|
Supreme Court appointments
McKinley appointed the following Justices to the Supreme Court of the United States:
Significant events during presidency
- U.S. presidential election, 1896
- U.S. presidential election, 1900
- History of the United States (1865-1918)
- First Inaugural Address
- Second Inaugural Address
- IPL POTUS -- William McKinley
- Encyclopedia Americana: William McKinley
- William McKinley Presidential Library and Memorial
- A Loose Bandage (Beck Reilly) is an alternative 20th century following the failed assassination of William McKinley.
|President of the United States
James E. Campbell
|Governor of Ohio
Asa S. Bushnell
|Republican Party Presidential candidate
1896 (won) - 1900 (won)
|Presidents of the United States of America|
|Washington | J. Adams | Jefferson | Madison | Monroe | J.Q. Adams | Jackson | Van Buren | W.H. Harrison | Tyler | Polk | Taylor | Fillmore | Pierce | Buchanan | Lincoln | A. Johnson | Grant | Hayes | Garfield | Arthur | Cleveland | B. Harrison | Cleveland | McKinley | T. Roosevelt | Taft | Wilson | Harding | Coolidge | Hoover | F.D. Roosevelt | Truman | Eisenhower | Kennedy | L.B. Johnson | Nixon | Ford | Carter | Reagan | G.H.W. Bush | Clinton | G.W. Bush|