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The Last Days of a President:
William McKinley, His Last Days, Funeral and the Pan-American Exposition
The twenty-eight films of this collection are actuality motion pictures from the Paper Print Collection of the Library of Congress.
They include footage of President William McKinley at his second inauguration; of the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York; of President McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition; and of President McKinley's funeral.
The Pan-American Exposition, staged in Buffalo, New York, presented in microcosm all of the trends, developments, innovations, and attitudes of the McKinley years. The great and colorful buildings along the Grand Canal, built in ersatz Spanish colonial style, symbolized American suzerainty over the hemisphere. The amazing Electric Tower announced to the world the nation's technical superiority.
The exposition was opened in the spring of 1901 by the new vice president, Theodore Roosevelt. President McKinley had been scheduled to do the honors but had to cancel because of his wife's illness. It was not until September that the McKinleys were able to inspect the exposition grounds. On the morning of September 5th, the president and first lady crossed the Triumphal Causeway and entered the fair grounds in an open carriage preceded by troops, military bands, and a mounted honor guard.
The president gave a major address on trade policy to a large crowd gathered on the Esplanade. Afterwards he toured the exhibits, complimenting all. The following day, the presidential party took an excursion by rail to see Niagara Falls. Upon returning to Buffalo, McKinley returned to the exposition grounds for a reception in the Music Building. The president had been standing in a receiving line greeting the public for seven minutes when an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz shot McKinley twice at point blank range. Despite early hopes that he might survive the attack, a week later the president died, whispering the words of his favorite hymn, "Nearer my God to Thee, Nearer to Thee."
This silent film collection runs 1 hour 9 minutes.
Here are some sample clips from the DVD
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