At a glance

Representatives with the William McKinley Memorial Library and Museum in Niles provided information on the nation’s 25th president as part of Sunday afternoon’s open house at the Arms Family Museum on Youngstown’s North Side. Some facts about him:

McKinley spent his childhood in Niles and Poland, and his father was in the iron business in the Mahoning Valley.

During the Civil War, he served in the Army with the hope of ending slavery and saving the Union.

In 1876, McKinley, who had attended law school in Albany, N.Y., defended a group of coalminers accused of rioting who were later acquitted.

After serving two terms as Ohio’s governor, McKinley ran for president on a platform that supported a strong government role in developing the nation’s economy. Early in his presidency, he signed the Dingley Act, which raised taxes on imported goods.

In February 1898, the U.S.S. Maine warship blew up in Havana, Cuba, killing 266 sailors and acting as a precursor for Congress to declare war against Spain, leading to the Spanish-American War, which lasted about 10 weeks.

After a treaty McKinley had ratified ended the war, he ran for a second term, with Theodore Roosevelt as his vice presidential running mate.

In September 1901, the president was assassinated during an appearance in Buffalo, N.Y.

Source: Ohio History Connection

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