Today In History Spotlights Jan. 29, 1843, The Birth of William McKinley

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Today’s History Spotlight

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William McKinley is born in Niles, Ohio. When the Civil War began, McKinley was among the thousands in Ohio to volunteer for service. During the war, he served under the 23rd Ohio Infantry, during which time he was mentored by Rutherford B. Hayes. After the war, he served in the US House of Representatives from 1877-1884, and later as the Governor of Ohio from 1892-1896. A member of the Republican Party, McKinley lead the US into war with Spain, though originally reluctant to do so, following the explosion of the USS Maine in Havana Harbor.

He served as president from 1897-1901, and during this time, he oversaw the American victory during the war with Spain, as well as the annexation of Hawaii. On September 6, 1901, McKinley was shot by an anarchist named Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, New York. Although his condition originally appeared to improve, he passed away from his wounds on September 14. He was the third president to be assassinated, following Abraham Lincoln and James Garfield.

What Happened On This Day – January 29

  • 2002 George W. Bush coins the term “axis of evil” as part of his State of the Union Address. The term used to describe “regimes that sponsor terror” became exemplary for the terminology used by the Bush administration to promote its “war on terror”.
  • 1996 France stops nuclear testing. President Jaques Chirac announced the “definite end” to France’s nuclear testing program just 1 day after the country exploded a nuclear device in the South Pacific.
  • 1967 The Mantra-Rock Dance takes place in San Francisco. The event is considered to have been the major spiritual event of the San Francisco hippy era.
  • 1886 German engineer Carl Benz patents the first modern automobile. His “Benz Patent-Motorwagen Nummer 1” was the first gasoline-driven car.
  • 1845 Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” is published. The narrative poem first appeared in the New York Evening Mirror.

Births On This Day – January 29

  • 1954 Oprah Winfrey – American talk show host, actress, producer, founded the OWN Network, Harpo Productions
  • 1924 Luigi Nono – Italian composer
  • 1862 Frederick Delius – English composer
  • 1860 Anton Chekhov – Russian physician, author
  • 1843 William McKinley – American politician, 25th President of the United States

Deaths On This Day – January 29

  • 2011 Milton Babbitt – American composer
  • 2004 Janet Frame – New Zealand author
  • 1963 Robert Frost – American poet, playwright
  • 1941 Ioannis Metaxas – Greek general, politician, 130th Prime Minister of Greece
  • 1820 George III of the United Kingdom

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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