|His Last speech on Sept. 5 1901
The visit was singularly free from all party bickering, and no petty personality, such as frequently obtrudes, dared show itself. The exposition had not been getting the crowds that were wanted and had looked forward to President's Day to pull it a good ways from the financial hole it was in. That day, September 5th, had been a good one. It had broken the record for attendance, and the speech of the President, long considered and marking an epoch in the history of the Republican party and in the political career of Mr. McKinley himself, had been well received, just as his diplomatic foresight had hoped it would. The public reception in the afternoon, with its half hour of deadening strain, was before, but the President always welcomed such opportunities for meeting the mass of the people. He liked the contact and believed that the close sight they got of the Executive's person was a simple gratification due them. Besides, it was a part of his political policy to meet and greet the public on friendly terms.
His hand clasp was known as the most cordial at such receptions that any public man had shown in Washington in a generation. He was peculiarly positive in his clasp, giving the other fully as much of sincerity as was given—usually more, because curiosity prompts much of the attendance at these functions and curiosity is an impersonal thing at best, and sometimes an inhuman one. He fairly pulled the line along at the rate of 125 persons every minute. He tried always to utter some kindly word and usually gave a smile, so that he made a very personal affair of the meeting.
The Milburn home is in a locality almost deserted at that early hour. An assassin might have shot him down thus with ease, but there would have been no scene then, merely the motive for a drama. Delaware Avenue, in the morning of such a day, is ecstatically oppressive with its beauty, and no doubt the President lingered over it fondly, without the crowds, the jostle, the crush. He was gone twenty minutes, then he went to breakfast and then to the exposition.
THE TEMPLE OF MUSIC
|Temple of Music Where Public Reception Took Place
The President arrived at the Temple of Music a few minutes before 4 o'clock. Mrs. McKinley had left him down town. Everything was in readiness. The newspapers had not been prodigal in heralding—they were too crowded with other things—though the noon editions bore the conspicuous announcement on their front pages that the President would hold a public reception, to last about half an hour, beginning at 4 o'clock, in the Temple of Music. The number of admissions to the exposition had been comparatively small, for the reaction from a great day is always a great slump. Over a hundred thousand had passed the gates on President's Day, but at 3 o'clock of the following afternoon there were less than sixty thousand persons on the grounds. Perhaps a third of these expected to attend the reception in the Temple. Idlers, partisans in the lower ranks, the distant worshipers of greatness, and, most of all, the intensely curious, formed the crowd—probably 99 per cent from the lower and lower middle classes of society. Gentility had had its reception on the day preceding; this was a time for the common people, from the very ranks of which the President had come and whose idolatrous support had given him his immense prestige.
As the Presidential party, preceded and followed by platoons of mounted police and hedged about by secret service officers, drove from the station through a quarter-mile avenue of blue-coated exposition guards, the desultory crowds that lined the way threw out haphazard cheers. The applause at the Temple was not perfunctory. There were enough people there to create enthusiasm and the spirit of welcome was amply present. The President inspired a personal regard, always magnetic in such a crowd as greeted him there, and as he bowed in measured though sincere politeness, the sweaty noise came up to him in soothing greeting—a greeting upon which his appetite had long fed, and which he craved with much the same insistence that prompted it.
|Believed to be one of the Last Photos of McKinley before he was shot
The entire occurrences of the two days—the beauty of the exposition, his wife's continued health, the presence of his friends, the favorable reception of his momentous speech, received, as he had hoped it would be, without a full realization of its import, the propitious weather and the strenuous applause—had by that time impregnated him with negative content and positive buoyance. He entered the Temple by a rear door, saw the arrangements were complete (he did not inspect them minutely, for he surrendered such details to others, and had always been lax in guarding his person), bowed to the guards and reporters present, walked up the aisle to the appointed station and said, pleasantly, that the place was cool.
|John G. Milburn
President of the Pan American Exposition
|The Herculean James Parker
at 6ft. 6in Assisted in securing
|Crowds waiting for news on the president during surgery
|Ambulance for the Pan Am.
|Crowds gather outside the Temple of Music
|THE MILBURN HOME IN BUFFALO
Hospitality extended to President and Mrs. McKinley for their occupancy
while in Buffalo.
|Miss Catherine Simmons & Miss May D. Barnes
Attending Nurses to Surgeons & President
|Mrs. Duncan and Miss Alice McKinley
Sisters of the President with Escorts.
|Abner McKinley Brother of the President
Reading a Special Bulletin
|Senator Mark Hanna
The Presidents Steadfast Friend,
Hastening to his side after the shooting.
|The Presidents Body Lying in State in City Hall, Buffalo
Just before the opening of the doors to the hundred thousand mourners who
filed past the bier on Sunday afternoon, September 15, 1901
|Head of the Funeral Procession Leaving
the Milburn House
|The Ansley Wilcox Residence, Delaware Ave. Buffalo
Where Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took the Oath of Office & Became President
The entirety of this story was taken and edited from the book;
” The True Story of the Assassination of President McKinley at Buffalo."
It was written in 1901 by Richard H. Barry who was present during the historic events, beginning with the President's visit to Buffalo and ending with the last ceremonies at Canton.