(Not to be confused with The Presidents of the United States of America)
Grover Cleveland ← William McKinley → Theodore Roosevelt
'"Doesn't our President look marvelous today? So round and prosperous!"
William McKinley is mainly known nowadays as the President whose assassination resulted in the much-better-known Theodore Roosevelt coming into office. He is also one of the more famous victims of violence perpetrated in the name of Anarchism; a few short but eventful decades later, the radicals to really be afraid of would be communists instead. Much like James Garfield before him, technology was right there that probably would have saved him, but several decisions surrounding the operation didn't work out for keeping him alive (the new "x-ray machine" being exhibited at the very expo where he was shot was too untested for doctors to trust it, and apparently they didn't think to do the surgery under the brand-new electric lighting, nor could they use candles because ether was still the best anesthetic available at the time). Similarly, his assassination receives little attention in public memory compared to that of Abraham Lincoln or John F. Kennedy, despite serving longer than the latter.
He was the last American Civil War veteran to be president and he led the U.S in the Spanish American War. He was also the first president to be elected during an Olympic year (the year of the first modern games, 1896), to ride in a car, to have his inauguration filmed, and to campaign by telephone.
- Good with Numbers: He was the one who managed to keep U.S. trade profitable through most of the latter 1800s via his financial acumen in settling tariff rates while in Congress.
- Humble Hero: When a soldier who had served with him in the Civil War asked what to call him when he was President, McKinley's reply was:
Call me Major. I earned that. I'm not so sure about the rest.
- Majorly Awesome: He ended his service in the US Army as a brevet major.
- Magnificent Bastard: Both historians and most of his enemies noted McKinley knew how to know just when to not say anything while letting his actions achieve something he knew his foes would oppose. As a result, he managed to lose practically no real support while making no major enemies, and still managed to push a lot of policy through.
- Principles Zealot: He refused to stay in hotels that discriminated against blacks, even if the bill had been paid in advance. He also made a point to refuse to own any stock in corporations and never accepted any contributions from them, regardless if he really needed the financial boost, and several times he did.
- Real Men Wear Pink: In an era where politics was seen as men's only club and that all aspects of it were Rated M For Manly, he remained a staunch supporter of women gaining the right to vote. He was made an honorary alumni of two women-only colleges in appreciation.
- Sempai-Kohai: To Rutherford B. Hayes. Hayes was his senior in the military, in college and McKinley considered him a political mentor. Their families even intermarried to further strengthen their ties.
- President McKinley Inauguration Footage is the first recording of a Presidential inauguration on film.
- The arrest of Leon Czolgosz by a racist Buffalo cop was the original point of departure for the Web original Alternate History Reds! and remains an important differentiating event in the rewrite. In both versions, McKinley survives and thus history is radically altered.
- "The hat McKinley was shot in" appears in an episode of The Simpsons.
- Mr. Burns said he survived 5 years of "McKinley-nomics".