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Back in the Day: death of US president McKinley

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Back in the Day: death of US president McKinley


September 14, 1901. The 25th US president, William McKinley, dies of his wounds eight days after being shot by anarchist Leon Czolgosz. McKinley was hit by two shots, to the shoulder and the abdomen, as he visited the Pan-American exhibition in Buffalo, New York. The assassination came at the start of McKinley’s second term of office after an election campaign dominated by promises of a return to prosperity after the economic Panic of 1893. In his first term, McKinley had presided over the Spanish-American war, which resulted in a decisive US victory and the transfer of control of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Guam from Spain to the US. McKinley was the third of four US presidents to be assassinated, after Lincoln and James Abram Garfield and before John F. Kennedy. It was after the attack on McKinley that Congress made the secret service responsible for future presidents’ physical safety. Czolgosz stood trial and was sentenced to death ten days after the assassination; he died in the electric chair on October 29, 1901. His last words were “I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime.”

Also on September 14: Creation of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC (1960); Lebanese president-elect Bachir Gemayel is assassinated in a bomb attack (1982), Princess Grace of Monaco dies after a car accident the previous day (1982).

Born on September 14: Kostas Karamanlis (1956), Dmitry Medvedev (1965), Charlie Winston (1978), Ayo (1980), Amy Winehouse (1983).

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