President McKinley - Assassination - IT IS OVER

IT IS OVER (Illustration) Disasters Assassinations American Presidents American History Famous Historical Events Famous People Social Studies

W.A. Rogers created this illustration of President McKinley taking his place with other martyred American Presidents. Entitled "At the Threshold," the drawing appeared in the September 14, 1901 issue of Harper’s Weekly (at page 909).  The image is online via the Library of Congress. Click on it for a better view.


William McKinley was 58 years old on September 13, 1901. Lying in a coma at the home of John Milburn, where he was taken following surgery, the President was given oxygen which revived him.

He asked for his wife. Frail herself, she was doing the best she could to handle the strain. Meanwhile, the press and concerned citizens awaited briefings outside the Milburn house.

Drifting in and out of consciousness, the President looked for Ida each time he opened his eyes. When he saw her he whispered:

Nearer my God to Thee.

Mrs. McKinley knew her husband was dying. People in the room looked away so the couple could have privacy. It was time to say their good-byes.

Clutching his wife's hand, the President tried to speak. The woman he loved put her ear to his mouth and heard him say:

God's will, not ours, be done.

The First Lady smiled at the President, but she could not hold back her tears. William McKinley then spoke his last words to everyone in the room:

It is God's way

As he lapsed back into a coma, the President's pulse grew fainter. By 2:16 a.m. on September 14, 1901 the pulse was gone. With tears streaming down his face, Dr. Rixey, McKinley's personal physician, made the official announcement:

It is over. The President is dead.

Leon Czolgosz had just become a murderer. Teddy Roosevelt would become the next President.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Jun 01, 2005

Updated Last Revision: May 07, 2019

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