Black and white portrait of a man encircled by black border with yellowed text over yellowed background.
This button is to commemorate the 25th president, William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901); the image is the official presidential portrait. President McKinley was assassinated by anarchist Leon Czolgosz during his second term.
McKinley served from March 4, 1897 until his death on September 14, 1901, six months into the second term. His presidency was noted for victory in the Spanish-American War, economic prosperity, and maintaining the gold standard by rejecting inflationary proposals. McKinley was the last president to serve in the Civil War as a Union solider. After the war he settled in Canton, Ohio where he practiced law. McKinely was elected into congress in 1870 and became an expert in protective tariff for the Republican Party. His presidency was marked by economic growth due to policies that protected manufacturers and factory workers, a practice that ensured domestic production and employment.
In foreign policy, McKinley attempted to persuade Spain into granting independence to Cuba. However when Spain refused, a series of events occurred which caused a public outcry against Spain. The main incident was the destruction of US Navy Ship USS Maine when it was stationed in Havana, Cuba, and Spanish soldiers were held responsible for the act. The US declared war against Spain in response, and “remember the Maine” was a popular slogan during the war. The Spanish-American War was possibly a ploy to annex territories held by Spain. After the War, the United States was given Guam, Philippines, and Puerto Rico. Cuba was granted independence but under the control of US Army.
McKinley was greatly respected and viewed positively during his presidency. He was remembered for economic growth and territorial gains. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th president after McKinely’s passing.