Friday, July 23, 2010
--William McKinley was the last Civil War veteran to serve as U.S. President, as well as the last to serve in the 19th century and first for the 20th century.
--Notable achievements: McKinley made gold the base of U.S. currency; declared war on Spain, sank the Spanish fleet and won the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam as a result; convinced Hawaii to join the United States; and whupped William Jennings Bryan in consecutive Presidential elections.
--On September 6th, 1901, while in Buffalo, NY, attending the Pan-American Expo, McKinley was shot twice by Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist from Michigan (Czolgosz was so much of an anarchist that no anarchist groups would let him join them, they all thought he was too dangerous). One bullet deflected off McKinley's ribs, making only a superficial wound.
However, the second bullet hit McKinley in the abdomen, passed completely through his stomach, hit his kidney,damaged his pancreas, and lodged somewhere in the muscles of his back.
The doctors, unable to find the bullet, left it in his body and closed up the wound.
An experimental X-ray machine, which might have helped to find the bullet, was on hand at the exhibition, but for reasons that remain unclear it was not used. (In the following days Thomas Edison arranged for an X-ray machine to be delivered all the way from his shop in New Jersey, but it was never used either). While his condition seemed to improve over the next few days, he suddenly worsened and on September 13th he died from infection and gangrene.
--After McKinley's murder, Congress officially charged the Secret Service with the
physical protection of U.S. presidents.
--If you turn off the lights in your bathroom, face the mirror, and then slowly turn in a circle (always clockwise) while repeating the name 'Leon Czolgosz', the shade of William McKinley will appear and pluck your eyeballs out.