Wednesday, October 2, 2019
The Assassination of President McKinley :: American America History
The Assassination of President McKinley In Cleveland, Ohio, on May 6, Emma Goldman, "The Anarchist," gave a speech. She outlined the principles and methods of anarchy in this beautiful speech, where she said, "We ... desire complete individual liberty, and this can never be obtained as long as there is an existing government." Toward the end of her speech, Goldman said that most Anarchists were not violent; she added that she believed in their motives, since some people are unable to act without force. All the while, police were ready to arrest her if she said anything too radical. The entire time, Leon Czolgosz was the most supportive of anyone in the audience (Berkeley 1). On September 5, 1901, Leon Czolgosz entered the Pan-American exposition. He blended in with the crowd, and surveyed the security, grounds layout, and crowds. An enormous crowd was gathered to see President McKinley, and Leon pushed his way through the masses until he was close enough to hear the speech. Leon pushed his way through the crowd, determined to get close enough to shoot the President. A security guard blocked his chance, and the President was escorted away (Assassin Arrived... 1). The next day, Leon and McKinley returned to the exposition. In the afternoon, the President began shaking hands with people lined up by the Temple door. Near the end of this line, Leon waited patiently. His hand was wrapped in a handkerchief, which he held close to his chest, but no one seemed to notice. When the President reached him, Leon extended his left hand, pressed it against the President's chest, and shot him twice with the gun he held under his handkerchief (Secret Service Guard...1). He did not have a chance to fire again, because a black man - next in line to shake the President's hand - had already tackled him. In seconds, more than a dozen men had tackled him and were beating him up. At the same time, Secret Service officers and exposition police seized Leon and tore the gun from his hands. US Artillery soldiers beat Leon after this. McKinley, in the middle of this panic, is reported to have said, "Go easy on him, boys" (Assassination of... 2). When news of the attack spread, the thousands in attendance began a riot; some shoved their way into the temple, trying to see if the rumor was true, while others demanded that Leon be hanged.