September 5, 1901, Leon Czolgosz unsuccessfully sought an opportunity
to assassinate President McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo.
His second attempt on September 6 was successful. At the Temple of Music,
while McKinley was in a greeting line, Leon Czolgosz fired two shots into
Czolgosz was wrestled to the
ground by an Exposition attendee, African-American waiter James Parker,
who was credited with having prevented Czolgosz from firing a third round.
[See a related essay on James
Parker by Daryl Rasuli.] Soldiers of the U.S. Artillery descended upon
Czolgosz and began to beat him. From where he lay wounded, President McKinley
was heard to have said, "Go easy on him boys."
At police headquarters the
assassin was interrogated by District Attorney Thomas Penney. Czolgosz
confessed that he killed the President
because, "I killed President McKinley because I done my duty. I didn't
Surgery was performed on President McKinley by Dr. Matthew Mann. The operation began at 5:20 p.m., one hour and 20 minutes after the President was shot. The highly regarded surgeon, Roswell Park, was unavailable, so Mann, an obstetrician and gynecologist, performed the operation. In addition to Mann, the attending physicians were P.M. Rixey, Eugene Wasdin, (later) Roswell Park, and Herman Mynter.
The assassination of President McKinley by an avowed anarchist, only compounded Americans' fears, already stirred by such recent events as the assassinations of King Humberto of Italy and Empress Elizabeth of Austria and the Haymarket and Homestead riots in the United States. The focus of this fear was the anarchist movement, and the relationship of this ideology to immigrants. State and federal legislation began to target anarchists, with bills being introduced almost immediately to expel avowed anarchists from the country and to prohibit their entry into the United States from other countries. One such statute, the Alien Immigration Act of 1903, is discussed in Anarchy at the Turn of the Century.
See the following pages: