Jan. 29, 1843 - Sept. 14, 1901
Marriage: Ida Saxton
Military service: During the Civil War, he rose from private to brevet major and saw action at Antietam.
Term: March 4, 1897 - Sept. 14, 1901
Vice presidents: Garret Augustus Hobart, 1897-99, died in office; Theodore Roosevelt, March-Sept. 1901
Highlights of presidency: The U.S. entered the Spanish-American War when the U.S. battleship Maine exploded and sank in Havana Harbor, thought to have been because of Spanish mines used to fight the Cuban independence movement. By the end of the war, the U.S. possessed Puerto Rico, Guam and the Philippines. And Cuba virtually became a U.S. protectorate until 1934. Reversing the policy of his predecessor, McKinley annexed Hawaii as a U.S. possession. The gold standard became law in 1900.
Did you know? McKinley was the first presidential candidate to campaign over a telephone. He always wore a red carnation in his lapel for good luck. McKinley served as a member of the U.S. House, 1877-83 and 1885-91 and governor of Ohio 1892-96. He kept a parrot named Washington Post in the White House that whistled, "Yankee Doodle." McKinley was shot by an anarchist while at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo. He saw the shooter being beaten to the ground and yelled, "Don't let them hurt him!" He was the first president to ride in an automobilean electric ambulance that took him to the hospital after he was shot. He died eight days later.