Born in Niles, Ohio, in 1843, William McKinley briefly attended Allegheny College, and was teaching in a country school when the Civil War broke out. Enlisting as a private in the Union Army, he was mustered out at the end of the war as a brevet major of volunteers. He studied law, opened an office in Canton, Ohio, and married Ida Saxton, daughter of a local banker.
At 34, McKinley won a seat in Congress. His attractive personality, exemplary character, and quick intelligence enabled him to rise rapidly. He was appointed to the powerful Ways and Means Committee.
Robert M. La Follette, Sr., who served with him, recalled that he generally “represented the newer view,” and “on the great new questions .. was generally on the side of the public and against private interests.”
During his 14 years in the House, he became the leading Republican tariff expert, giving his name to the measure enacted in 1890. The next year he was elected Governor of Ohio, serving two terms. William McKinley was the 25th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1897, until September 14, 1901. (WH Historical Assoc)
The Spanish-American War was a conflict in 1898 between Spain and the United States, effectively the result of American intervention in the ongoing Cuban War of Independence.
William McKinley was president of the United States, and the causal event was the explosion of the battleship USS Maine in Havana Harbor, Cuba on February 15, 1898.
Spain had interests in the Pacific, particularly in the Guam and Philippines. Although the main issue was Cuban independence, the ten-week war was fought in both the Caribbean and the Pacific.
Likewise, US foreign policy advocated the taking of the Caribbean Islands and the Philippine Islands for bases to protect US commerce.
Meanwhile, Hawai’i, had gained strategic importance because of its geographical position in the Pacific. Honolulu served as a stopover point for the forces heading to the Philippines.
Meanwhile, the breaking of diplomatic relations with Spain as a result of her treatment of Cuba so completely absorbed public attention that the matter of Hawaiian annexation seemed to have been forgotten.
The war drama moved swiftly. The destruction of the battleship Maine in Havana harbor precipitated matters, and on April 25, 1898, President McKinley signed the resolutions declaring that a state of war existed between the United States and Spain.
On May 5, Representative Francis Newlands, of Nevada, offered a joint resolution addressing the annexation of Hawai‘i. Though considerable opposition to annexation was still manifested in the House, the Newlands resolutions were finally passed.
The resolutions were immediately reported to the Senate, which had been discussing the treaty for nearly a year. That body referred them to its Committee on Foreign Relations, which in turn at once favorably reported them.
On June 15, 1898, the Newlands resolution passed the House by a vote of 209 to 91; the vote on the Newlands Resolution in the Senate was 42 to 21 (2/3 of the votes by Senators were in favor of the resolution, a significantly greater margin was cast by Representatives in the House.) (Cyclopedic Review of Current History, 4th Quarter 1898)
The US Constitution, Article II, Section 2 states: “(The President) shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur …” The following day, July 7, 1898, President McKinley signed the Newlands Resolution it into law.
“There was no ‘conquest’ by force in the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands nor ‘holding as conquered territory;’ they (Republic of Hawai‘i) came to the United States in the same way that Florida did, to wit, by voluntary cession”.
On August 12, 1898, there were ceremonial functions held in Honolulu at which the Hawaiian government was formally notified by the United States minister plenipotentiary and envoy extraordinary of the adoption and approval of the joint resolution aforesaid, and at which the Hawaiian government made, an unequivocal transfer and cession of its sovereignty and property. (Territorial Supreme Court; Albany Law Journal)
At the time, there was no assigned garrison here until August 15, 1898, when the 1st New York Volunteer Infantry regiment and the 3rd Battalion, 2nd US Volunteer Engineers landed in Honolulu for garrison duty.
The two commands were initially camped alongside each other as though they were one regiment in the large infield of the one-mile race track at Kapi‘olani Park. The initial camp in the infield at the race track was unnamed.
As more members of the regiment arrived, the camp was moved about three or four hundred yards from the race track to an area called ‘Irwin Tract.’ The Irwin Tract camp was named “Camp McKinley,” in honor of the president.
William McKinley, the 25th president of the United States, was shot on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York, on September 6, 1901.
Leon Czolgosz shot him twice in the abdomen. McKinley died after eight days of watch and care (September 14, 1901). He was the third American president to be assassinated. After his death, Congress passed legislation to officially make the Secret Service and gave them responsibility for protecting the President at all times.
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