January 28 – Happy birthday, William McKinley

January 29, 2018

William McKinley photographed between 1873 and 1890, by Washington, D.C. photographer C. M. Bell. McKinley served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, 1876 to 1891; this was probably taken close to the start of his time in Congress. Library of Congress image.

William McKinley photographed between 1873 and 1890, by Washington, D.C. photographer C. M. Bell. McKinley served in the U.S. House of Representatives from Ohio, 1876 to 1891; this was probably taken close to the start of his time in Congress. Library of Congress image.

President William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, served from March 4, 1897 until his assassination in September 1901, six months into his second term. McKinley was born on January 29, 1843, in Niles, Ohio. McKinley would have been 175 years old today, and probably very cranky. 

President during the Spanish-American War of 1898, in which the U.S. took Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam from Spain, and presiding over the annexation of Hawaii in 1898, McKinley is best known for being the third president to die from assassination, in 1901. He was succeeded by his vice president, Theodore Roosevelt.

This photo, published in 1902 after McKinley's death, was probably taken during the campaign of 1900. Library of Congress caption:

This photo, published in 1902 after McKinley’s death, was probably taken during the campaign of 1900. Library of Congress caption: “Photograph shows William McKinley, standing on platform, between Gov. Jos. E. Johnston and Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, Alabama.”

Frequently overlooked as a non-entity as president, historians in the past 20 years tend to upgrade their judgments of McKinley’s political acumen and achievements as president.

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