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William Mckinley Assassination

William McKinley, Born January 29, 1843 and was the 25th President of the United States Of America. He became US President in 1897 and served in the union army during the civil war, which was the Yankees. He also studied and practiced law in Ohio and became an active member of the Republican Party which was one of the United States’ two main political parties, formed to support protective tariffs and industrial expansion. In the period of 1877-1891, William McKinley served seven terms in the house of representatives which is the lower house of a legislative body and also served two terms as Ohio state governor in the years 1891-95.

In 1896, the Republican Party nominated McKinley, as its presidential candidate. He successfully conducted what became known as ‘Front Porch’ from his home in Canton, Ohio and over 250,00 travelled there to hear him speak and collect a campaign button, ribbon or umbrella or one of the other items of campaign memorabilia that he gave away. President McKinley gained and earned over half of the 14 million popular votes cast.

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“I have never been in doubt since I was old enough to think intelligently that I would someday be made president…”

Anarchism was a political movement aiming to replace government power with voluntary cooperation among a society’s individuals and groups. Anarchists in the late 19th and early 20th century frequently used assassination in their attempts to achieve their aims and anarchist Leon Czolgosz came to buffalo, New York with a deadly and catastrophic mission that could take anarchism Sky High.

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He believed that the government was evil and he planned to stamp out that evil, beginning with the beloved president McKinley. It was the first year of the new century and it was a perfect time to reflect on the nation’s rise in world power and to discuss the future. The Pan American Exposition was a world’s fair that celebrated America’s industrial progress and achievement and it had enticed many visitors from around the world. In Cleveland Ohio, on May 6th Emma Goldman who was an anarchist gave a speech and she outlined the principles and methods of anarchism and in this speech she stated.

“We desire complete liberty and this can never be achieved as long as there is an existing government”

Toward the end of her speech, she stated that most Anarchists are not violent and she also added that she totally believed in their motives and hiding away unnoticed the entire time was Leon Czolgosz who was the most supportive of anyone in the audience.

McKinley began his second term in office in March 1901 and in September was guest of honour at the pan American exposition in Buffalo, New York. McKinley attended the exposition to deliver the keynote address on the US role in the world century. One of the expositions was Thomas Edison’s new invention, which was the X-ray machine.

On September 5th, 1901 Leon Czolgosz entered the exposition and as he blended in with the crowd and surveyed the security, ground layout and crowds an enormous crowd was gathered to see President McKinley and so Leon Czolgosz pushed his way through until he was close enough to hear McKinley’s speech. Leon pushed his way through the crowd and determined to get close enough so he could shoot the president and then a security guard blocked his chance and the president was escorted away.

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The next day, the president stood in the receiving line for a public reception at the Temple of Music. Leon Czolgosz walked towards him with a handkerchief wrapped around the revolver he carried and when he was close enough to the president he fired two shots, one that was deflected by a button and another hit the president’s stomach.

“ My wife, be careful Cortelyou (Personal secretary to McKinley) how you tell her, oh be careful”

When news spread of the attack many people in attendance at the exposition began a riot as some shoved their way into the temple trying to see if the rumour was true and Leon Czolgosz confessed to the murder and said.

“I am a disciple of Emma Goldman. I killed the President because I have done my duty as I did not feel that one man should have all the power while others have none”

Emergency surgery failed to find the bullet and doctors feared the possible side effects of Edison’s X-ray machine and so did not use it to try and find the bullet. McKinley was discharged and sent to the exposition president’s home to recuperate. His condition got worse and he died on 14th September 1901 as he died from gangrene poisoning and infection. The United States grieved the assassination of a third president and after lying in state for days he was eventually buried near his home in Canton, Ohio.

Leon Czolgosz court hearing he expressed his admiration for the views that he had heard well-known anarchist Emma Goldman put forward in a speech she gave on May 6th, 1901.

“There was no-one else but me. No-one else told me to do it and no-one paid me to do it”

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Leon was sentenced to death and days later on 7th October 1901 he was electrocuted for a minute before he died and shortly after police arrested Emma Goldman, whose speeches had inspired Czolgosz to action. She suffered physical abuse and two weeks imprisonment and the local synagogue banned her father from attendance.

The Anti-Anarchist frenzy continued into the 1920s and to which these views led the execution of Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti who were two Italian immigrants charged for bank robbery and murder in 1920 as the charges against them were never correctly proven, This was the fact that Anarchism was not valued as it had taken away the people’s beloved president.

McKinley’s assassination was a turning point in the secret service’s protection policies and this was another example of lack of security around presidents. The assassination also decimated anarchist groups most importantly, shortly after Teddy Roosevelt Became president.

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