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Interpreting the Evidence

Governor's Proclamation, Assassination of President William McKinley, 1901

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Suggested Teaching Instructions

Governor's proclamation on the assassination of President William McKinley
New York State Library, NYSL_Proclamation_McKinley

Historical Context
 William McKinley was elected to the presidency in 1896. He defeated his Democratic rival, William Jennings Bryan, with a large majority of the popular vote. McKinley began his presidency just as the nation was beginning to recover from the economic depression of 1893. Although President McKinley supported high tariffs and allowed trusts to dominate American business, he is best known for his foreign affairs regarding the Spanish-American War and American Imperialism of the late 19th century.

President McKinley was shot outside the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York on September 6. He died from his wounds on September 14 ushering in the presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.

Compelling Question
How does a President's death impact a nation?

Check for Understanding
Write a paragraph summarizing the impact of Mckinley's death on the nation.

Historical Challenges
Research the death of another president who died while in office. What were the circumstances surrounding his death? How did the nation react to his death? Who became president after his death?

Interdisciplinary Connections
English Language Art: Write an obituary for President McKinley.
Science: How did doctors treat gunshot wounds in 1901? What complications could President McKinley have faced after his initial injury? How did doctors treat those complications?

Library of Congress. President McKinley and the Pan-American Exposition of 1901. Web. 29 June 2010.
White House. Presidents. Web. 30 June 2010.