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William McKinley

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 resounding majority. McKinley 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