Monday, February 20, 2012

His name is in Glee, his face is on the $500 bill and he was assassinated. We need to know what we are looking at and its meaning. History should always be revisited so we can learn from the past and try to never repeat the mistakes of life. Knowing about the Presidents that lived before our lifetimes is important.
He was born 169 years ago in Ohio. He is William McKinley who served as a commissary sergeant in the Civil War. He bravely served his country by literally serving Union soldiers coffee and meals in the battles very similar to our present day Politicians he served in later wars but never shot a gun.
After the War, he rose in the Republican ranks to become the Governor of Ohio, He won his party’s Presidential nomination in 1896. Nothing new, lots of Presidents were Governors of States. He beat the Democrat William Jennings Bryant at the polls. What was different is that his Inauguration Ceremony was the first to be filmed by Thomas Edison.
As President, McKinley led the U.S. to victory in the Spanish American War. He won re election in 1900 with New York’s Govenor Theo. Roosevelt as Vice President. We all know as a result Roosevelt became one of out most famous Presidents. What we manage to forget because by this time we fell asleep in class, is that during a visit to the Pan American Exposition, in Buffalo in 1901,a kind of worlds fair, is that McKinley was shot by an anerkist. A man who thought he could overthrow the government.
Despite early reports that he would survive,the President died from his wounds 8 days later. Thomas Edison’s camera’s were there again at Canton, Ohio but this time to document the Funeral Procession, As a result, we have unfortunately seen other Presidents funerals assisinations documented on film later in history as well.
McKinley was overshadowed by the flamboyant Roosevelt who succeeded him. Roosevelt was known for the famous Rough Riders and was an avid Trophy Big Game Hunter. However, McKinley is hardly forgotten; there are signs of his presence everywhere.
There is a mountain named after him in Alaska that is the tallest in the land. His portrait is in the center of the $500 bill. And in his most recent honor, the fictional Ohio High School of Glee, the TV series, has his name and a date of 1854 gracing the entrance to the school. Yes our new generation needs to know a few things about the names and people that we somehow see regularly.

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