William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States and the seventh Republican to serve in the position. Born in Ohio, he loved to be doing anything in the outdoors, from riding horses to fishing. A promising career in business was cut short when he had to drop out of school in 1857 during tough economic times. His family lost everything, yet the experiences helped to bring him everything later on in life.
1. A Soldier First
McKinley was 18 years old when the Civil War began. He joined an Ohio regiment of the Union Army and worked his way up to the rank of Major. It would be a title that many of his family and friends would call him most of his life. McKinley is known to have fought in two combat situations: the Battle of Antietam and the Battle of South Mountain.
2. Taxes and Tariffs
After graduating from law school, McKinley began pursuing a career in politics. This eventually led him to serving 6 terms in the House of Representatives. During this period of time, he is most remembered for the McKinley Tariff as a way to raise funds. The idea backfired on him, however, and the prices of all goods in the country began to rise as a result of the legislation.
3. Another War
As President, the experiences of the Civil War helped McKinley be able to supervise the Spanish-American War that happened while he was in office. He moved quickly when the battleship Maine was destroyed off of Cuba. Declaring war with Spain, it was over in just a few months and the US was given Cuba, the Philippines, and Puerto Rico as a result of victory. He also supervised the annexation of Hawaii and began building the Panama Canal.
4. A Tragic End
McKinley was elected to a second term, some say because he had selected Teddy Roosevelt as his new Vice President. That second term was short-lived, however, as he was shot twice when he went to shake a man’s hand. He died 8 days later.
5. Post Wants a Cracker
William McKinley was also known for having a unique sense of humor. He had a pet parrot and named in “Washington Post.”
McKinley, who is honored by being on the $500 bill, is considered one of the most popular Presidents that has ever served. His work help to expand US interests and the nation is still benefiting from his work.