On This Day, Sept. 14, 1901 – William McKinley Dies of Gunshot Wound

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1901 – U.S. President William McKinley died of gunshot wounds inflicted by an assassin. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt, at age 42, succeeded him.

On September 6, 1901, while standing in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, McKinley was approached by Leon Czolgosz, a Polish-American anarchist carrying a concealed .32 revolver in a handkerchief. Drawing his weapon, Czolgosz shot McKinley twice at close range. One bullet deflected off a suit button, but the other entered his stomach, passed through the kidneys, and lodged in his back. When he was operated on, doctors failed to find the bullet, and gangrene soon spread throughout his body. McKinley died eight days later. Czolgosz was convicted of murder and executed soon after the shooting.

As president, McKinley became known–controversially–as a protector of big businesses, which enjoyed unprecedented growth during his administration. He advocated the protective tariff as a way of shielding U.S. business and labor from foreign competition, and he successfully argued for using the gold standard of currency.

Above all, however, McKinley’s presidency was dominated by his foreign policy. In April 1898, he was pushed by Congress and American public opinion to intervene in Cuba’s struggle for independence from Spanish colonial rule. In the first American war against a foreign power since 1812, the United States handily defeated Spain in just three months, freeing Cuba–although the island became a U.S. protectorate–and annexing Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. For the first time, the United States had become a colonialist power.


 

1807 – Former U.S. Vice President Aaron Burr was acquitted of a misdemeanor charge. Two weeks earlier Burr had been found innocent of treason.

1812 – Moscow was set on fire by Russians after Napoleon Bonaparte’s troops invaded.

1814 – Francis Scott Key wrote the “Star-Spangled Banner,” a poem originally known as “Defense of Fort McHenry,” after witnessing the British bombardment of Fort McHenry, MD, during the War of 1812. The song became the official U.S. national anthem on March 3, 1931.

1866 – George K. Anderson patented the typewriter ribbon.

1899 – In New York City, Henry Bliss became the first automobile fatality.

1915 – Carl G. Muench received a patent for Insulit, the first sound-absorbing material to be used in buildings.

1938 – The VS-300 made its first flight. The craft was based on the helicopter technology patented by Igor Sikorsky.

1940 – The Selective Service Act was passed by the Congress providing the first peacetime draft in the United States.

1948 – In New York, a groundbreaking ceremony took place at the site of the United Nations’ world headquarters.

1959Luna II, a Soviet space probe, became the first man-made object on the moon when it crashed on the surface.

1960 – The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded. The core members were Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.

1963 – Mary Ann Fischer gave birth to America’s first surviving quintuplets.

1969 – Genesis played their first gig for money in Surrey, England, at a cottage owned by a Sunday school teacher.

1975 – Pope Paul VI declared Mother Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton the first U.S.-born saint.

1978 – “Mork & Mindy” premiered on ABC-TV.

1983 – The House of Representatives voted 416-0 in a resolution condemning the Soviet Union for the shooting down of a Korean jet on September 1.

1984 – Joe Kittinger became the first person to fly a balloon solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

1989 – Joseph T. Wesbecker shot and killed eight people and wounded twelve others at a printing plant in Louisville, KY. Wesbecker, 47 years old, was on disability for mental illness. He took his own life after the incident.

1994 – It was announced that the season was over for the National Baseball League on the 34th day of the players strike. The final days of the regular season were canceled.

1998 – Israel announced that they had successfully tested its Arrow-2 missile defense system. The system successfully destroyed a simulated target.

1999 – Disney World closed down for the first time in its 28-year history. The closure was due to Hurricane Floyd heading for Florida.

 

Source: History.com; On-This-Day.com