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William McKinley (1843)close

William McKinley was born in Niles, Ohio. McKinley's political career began at age 34 when he won a seat in Congress. The Republican Party needed a strong candidate to run against William Jennings Bryan in 1896. McKinley was nominated and won the election, becoming the twenty-fifth president of the United States.
In February of 1898, McKinley sent a single battleship, The Maine, to Cuba to protect Americans living there. The ship was destroyed by a submarine mine and 266 American lives were lost. On April 11, 1898, McKinley asked congress to declare war for the liberation and independence of Cuba.
The conflict came to end on December 10, 1898 with a peace treaty signed in Paris. Cuba was granted independence from Spain, and Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines were given to the United States.
In 1900, McKinley won a second presidential election against William Jennings Bryan. But his second term came to a tragic end in September 1901. He was standing in a receiving line at the Buffalo Pan-American Exposition when an assassin fired two bullets into him. He died eight days later.

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