U. S. President and
Resolute Leader in the Spanish-American War.
William McKinley, 25th President of the United
States, was one of the most resolute of the
nationís leaders in dealing with its myriad
problems. His administration came at a critical
time when America was beginning to assume a
leader-ship role in world affairs. How well he
did his job is reflected in his re-election by a
was born at Niles, Ohio, on January 29, 1843.
His ancestors arrived in the early 1700s from
Perthshire by way of Ulster. He attended
Allegheny College in Pennsylvania but left
because of illness at home and never returned.
■ He taught
school and enlisted in the Union Army when the
Civil War broke out. McKinley served as aide de
camp to Col. Rutherford B. Hayes, repeatedly
distinguished himself in battle, and was
mustered out as a colonel.
■ He was
elected to Congress and later became Governor of
Ohio. Success culminated in his election to the
Presidency in 1896. He puzzled economists by his
fetish for increasing tariffs. He later
moderated his views.
■ During the
McKinley administration, the American people
were outraged by the cruel treatment of Cubans
and other Latins by their Spanish overlords.
When the USS Maine blew up in Havana harbor
during a visit, pro-war Americans screamed foul
play and demanded action. McKinley remained calm
and counseled peace, but war ensued. In the
turmoil that followed Spainís defeat, he took
control of the Spanish colonies.
■ In 1900,
at the peak of his popularity, a group of
anarchists conspired to kill the President and
other Western leaders. On September 6, 1901,
Leon Czolgosz shot President McKinley at the Pan
American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He
died on September 14.
Wayne Rethford, President Emeritus
Illinois Saint Andrew Society
Scottish-American History Club
2800 Des Plaines Avenue
North Riverside, IL 60546