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September 14, 1901: President McKinley assassinated

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Photo of Leo Czolgosz On September 6, 1899, President William McKinley was shot while on a speaking tour in Buffalo, New York. As McKinley stood in a receiving line at the Temple of Music, a Polish born anarchist named Leon Czolgosz shot the President twice. Although one bullet bounced off a button, the second hit McKinley in the stomach. After Czolgosz fired, the crowd tackled the assassin and McKinley was reported to have said, "Don't hurt him" and called the assassin "some poor misguided fellow." Eight days later, President McKinley died from infection and gangrene.

After McKinley's death, Vice-President Theodore Roosevelt assumed the presidency. McKinley was buried on September 19, 1899, and the United States observed an official five minutes of silence at 3:30 in the afternoon. Leo Czolgosz was later executed for the assassination.


Dyal, Donald H.. Historical Dictionary of the Spanish American War. Greenwood Press: Westport, CT, 1996.

Gould, Lewis L. The Presidency of William McKinley. University Press of Kansas, 1980.

Gould, Lewis L. The Spanish-American War and President McKinley. University Press of Kansas: 1982.

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