At a Glance


Learn about the 1901 assassination of President William McKinley at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, NY.

American Memory, Library of Congress

The Last Days of a President: Films of McKinley, 1901

In September 1901, President William McKinley was attacked while visiting the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York. He eventually died of his wounds. This Library of Congress American Memory site features 28 films, drawn from the Paper Print Collection of the Library's Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, depicting scenes from the Exposition and McKinley's visit to Buffalo. Produced by the Edison Manufacturing Company from March to November, 1901, the films include footage of President McKinley at his second inauguration; the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo; President McKinley at the Exposition; and McKinley's funeral. The site also includes a roughly 500-word introductory essay about the exposition and McKinley's assassination; a 1000-word essay describing America at the turn of the 20th century; a 250-word introduction to the Library's Paper Print Collection; a 23-work selected bibliography on McKinley and the Pan-American Exposition; and a 15-work bibliography on the history of motion pictures. A "Learn More About It" page lists seven other Library of Congress special presentations and related collections and exhibits for those interested in further exploring the era. There is an alphabetical listing of the films, as well as a keyword search engine. Though the online exhibit is limited in scope and nature of sources, it is a good resource for those interested in early-20th-century expositions, American presidents, and William McKinley.