One of the Last Things Signed by William McKinley: A Souvenir Booklet from the Pan-American Exposition

September, 1901

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One of the Last Things Signed by William McKinley: A Souvenir Booklet from the Pan-American Exposition
Signed Book
16 pages | SMC 233

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      Background

      On his third day visiting the spectacular Pan-American Exposition, President William McKinley stood in the late afternoon at the head of a receiving line, shaking hands. At seven minutes past four, the man next in line to meet McKinley’s grasp stepped forward and shot him, point blank, in the chest and stomach. Eight days later, McKinley died of his wounds, becoming the third president in United States history to be assassinated.
       
      This booklet, certainly autographed during McKinley’s ill-fated visit, may well have been one of the very last things he signed. As such, it is a poignant reminder of an act that stunned the nation and the world. “That his life should be sacrificed at such a time,” a contemporary biographer noted, “just when there was an abundant peace, when all the Americans were rejoicing together, is one of the inscrutable mysteries of Providence.”


      Booklet Signed (in full), as President, being a souvenir pamphlet entitled “The Pan-American Exposition – Buffalo N.Y., USA," 16 pages in all, octavo, Buffalo, New York, dated in print May 1 to November 1, 1901 but apparently signed during McKinley’s visit to the Exposition, September 4th, 5th or 6th,1901.

       
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      all pages and transcript

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      Page 1 transcript
      The PAN-AMERICAN EXPOSITION.
      Buffalo, N.Y., U.SA

      From May 1 to November 1, 1901

      For whatever further information may be desired with regard to the Exposition please address the Director-General, Pan-American Exposition, Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A.

      [illustration, "Electric Tower"]

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      The Pan-American Exposition.

      [illustration, Niagara Falls]


      History of the Exposition.

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      Government Endorsement.
      [illustration, Ground Plan for the Pan-American Exposition]

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      Selection of a site.
      [illustration, Machinery and Transportation]
      The Exposition City.

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      Objects of Interest Near Buffalo.
      Classification of Exhibits.

      [illustrations, Lake in Exposition Grounds. "B" on Block Plan., Old Arch Bridge in Exposition Grounds, North Bay. "C" on Block Plan.]

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      [illustrations, United States Government Buildings; Electricity Building.]

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      Electrical Features.

      [illustrations, Forestry and Mines; Horticulture, Graphic Arts; Ethnology Building]

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      [illustration, Manufactures and Liberal Arts]

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      The Electrical Building.

      [illustration, Stadium or Athletic Arena]

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      Landscape Features.

      [illustration, The Plaza (Restaurant and Entrance to Midway. Colonnade and Entrance to R.R. Station)]

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      Exposition Buildings.

      [illustration, In Buffalo Harbor]

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      [illustrations. Lafayette Park, Looking Down Main Street; Ellicott Square, Main Street, Looking North; Corner Main and Niagara Streets]

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      Fine Permanent Buildings.
      A Famous Carillon.

      [illustration, Interior Power House, Niagara Falls Power Company]

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      [illustrations, Steamer Northland, Northern Steamship Company; Steamer Corona, Niagara River Navigation Company; Steamer City of  Buffalo, Cleveland and Buffalo Transit Co.]

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      President, Secretary, Treasurer, Executive Committee, Executive Officers.

      [illustrations, Niagara Gorge; Chautauqua Lake; Lakewood, on Lake Chautauqua]

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      The Pan-American Exposition.

      [illustration, Pan-American Exposition Seal]

      William McKinley
      Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.A
      From May 1 to November 1, 1901.