William McKinley


Who killed William McKinley?

Leon F. Csolgosz shot President McKinley on September 6, 1901, in Buffalo, New York, at a concert hall named The Temple of Music. McKinley was attending the Pan-American Conference there. Csolgosz was a self-avowed anarchist who believed that McKinley represented an oppressive government that exploited the working class. McKinley died eight days later on September 14, 1901.

Csolgosz was not a formal member of the Anarchist party but he attended several lectures and speeches by the group. He particularly enjoyed a speech by noted anarchist Emma Goldman. Historians believe that Csolgosz was inspired by the assassination of the King Umberto I of Italy by Gaetano Bresci.

Csolgosz stood trial later that month. A jury convicted him and recommended a sentence of death. He was executed on October 29, 1901. His last words reportedly were: “I killed the president because he was the enemy of the good people—the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime.”


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