|William McKinley, 25th president, Republican,
was born on Jan. 29, 1843, in Niles, OH, the son of William
and Nancy Allison McKinley.
McKinley briefly attended Allegheny College. When the
Civil War broke out in 1861, he enlisted and served for the
He rose to captain and in 1865 was made brevet
After studying law in Albany, NY, he opened (1867) a law
office in Canton, OH.
He served twice in the U.S. House of Representatives
(1877-83; 1885-91) and led the fight there for the McKinley
Tariff, which was passed in 1890. However, he was not
reelected to the House as a result.
He served two terms (1892-96) as governor of Ohio.
In 1896 he was elected president as a proponent of a
protective tariff and sound money (gold standard), over
William Jennings Bryan, the Democrat and a proponent of free
McKinley was reluctant to intervene in Cuba, but the loss
of the battleship Maine at Havana crystallized
opinion. He demanded Spainís withdrawal from Cuba; Spain
made some concessions, but Congress announced a state of war
as of Apr. 21, 1898.
He was reelected in the 1900 campaign, defeating
Bryanís anti-imperialist arguments with the promise of a
"full dinner pail." McKinley was respected for his
conciliatory nature and for his conservative stance on
On Sept. 6, 1901, while welcoming citizens at the
Pan-American Exposition, in Buffalo, NY, he was shot by Leon
Czolgosz, an anarchist. He died Sept. 14.