5 Things You Didn't Know About William McKinley

On January 29, 1843, William McKinley, who would become the 25th American president and the first to ride in an automobile, was born in Niles, Ohio. Here are 5 interesting facts about the president whose name later graced a mountain...


His Face Was On The $500 Bill Move over Ben Franklin; McKinley's got you beaten. While Franklin's face graces the $100 bill, it is McKinley's face that was chosen for the $500 bill. If you're scratching your head as to why you did not know that, it might be because the last $500 bill with his likeness was printed in 1934. 

The Mountain Named After Him Lost Its Stature And Then His Name North America's tallest peak, located in Alaska, was named in honor of the 25th president, though he had never visited the site personally. In 2013, Alaska's governor announced that after measurements were taken with new radar mapping technology, the mountain was not as tall as previously thought—83 feet shorter, in fact.  In any case, just two short years after losing height, the mountain lost the McKinley moniker when Alaska senator Lisa Murkowski submitted a bill to officially rename the peak Denali, a name used by the Koyukon Athabaskan people that had been recognized by the Alaska Board of Geographic Names since 1975.


He Showed Remarkable Kindness To His Assassin McKinley was shot twice in the torso on September 6, 1901, while he was greeting guests in a receiving line in Buffalo, NY, during the Pan-American Exposition. He is reported to have said regarding the crowd's reaction to the shooter, "Don't let them hurt him." Later, at the hospital, he said of the shooter, "It must have been some poor misguided fellow . . . He didn’t know, poor fellow, what he was doing. He couldn’t have known.”

He Was The First President To Ride In A Car While In Office William McKinley, who was known for driving his wife Ida in a carriage throughout Washington, became the first United States President to ride in an automobile. The automobile was a Stanley Steamer, but apparently the President was very fearful of the automobile. McKinley confided to a friend that he felt as if the car and its occupants could be blown to bits at any moment, or that the driver would lose control of the vehicle. “Stanley’s overoptimistic, I think, when he says those things will someday replace horses,” McKinley supposedly remarked.

An OB/GYN Performed The Emergency Surgery On Him When He Was Shot Matthew Mann, a physician and professor of gynecology at the University of Buffalo, was chosen by a hastily assembled group of doctors to perform surgery on McKinley.  Unfortunately, the medical team couldn't find the second bullet during the surgery. Though Thomas Edison sent a new X-Ray machine to help, the doctors decided not to use it, thinking that McKinley's condition was improving. Sadly, that was not the case. Gangrene developed around the path of the second bullet, leading to McKinley's death eight days later on September 14, 1901, just six months into his second term as president.