Sept. 6 – President William McKinley is shot

GabeAmerican History(BR), Bell Ringers

On Sept. 6th, 1901, President William McKinley was shot at the World’s Fair in Buffalo, New York.

McKinley had been shaking hands with people when an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz fired two shots into the president’s chest. Eight days later, McKinley died from the injury, leaving Theodore Roosevelt as the 26th President of the United States.

McKinley was one of many consecutive pro-business Republicans to serve as president. Under his presidency, the United States annexed Hawaii and gained the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam as a result of its victory in the Spanish-American War.

Following McKinley’s death, the Secret Service grew in importance as the official protector of the president. Previously a branch of the Treasury Department that investigated counterfeiting, the Secret Service would also assume the role of protective bodyguards to the president.

Today, the Secret Service employs more than 7,000 employees, and the president always has a Secret Service detail protecting him while out in public.

  1. Are there any circumstances in which the president shouldn’t require the protection of the Secret Service?
  2. Should the president have the authority to dismiss security concerns? Who should hold that responsibility?
  3. How does an assassination weaken a democracy?

Image Citation:

30, Aug. 2018, President McKinley’s assassination [Digital image].  Retrieved from <>.