James Benjamin Parker and the McKinley Assassination

James Benjamin Parker Assassinations American History American Presidents Biographies Famous Historical Events History Social Studies

James Benjamin Parker saw Leon Czolgosz approach President McKinley with a handkerchief in his hand.  That handkerchief was covering a revolver the assassin planned to use to shot McKinley at point-blank range.

After Parker heard the shots, he immediately reacted, tackling Czolgosz.  His actions likely prevented a third shot from the murder weapon.

Parker gave an interview to the Buffalo Times.  It includes these words:

I went to the Temple of Music to hear what speeches might be made. I got in line and saw the President. I turned to go away as soon as I learned that there was to be only a handshaking.

The crowd was so thick that I could not leave. I was startled by the shots. My fist shot out and I hit the man on the nose and fell upon him, grasping him about the throat.

I believe that if he had not been suffering pain he would have shot again. I know that his revolver was close to my head. I did not think about that then though.

Then came Mr. Foster, Mr. Ireland and Mr. Gallagher. There was that marine, too.

I struck the man, threw up his arm and then went for his throat. It all happened so quickly I can hardly say what happened, except that the secret service man came right up.

Czolgosz is very strong. I am glad that I am a strong man also or perhaps the result might not have been what it was.

By all accounts, James Benjamin Parker was a true hero on the day President McKinley was assassinated. He selflessly risked injury to himself to prevent further injury to the President.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5155stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 07, 2013

Updated Last Revision: Aug 20, 2018

Media Credits

Image online, courtesy University at Buffalo Libraries.



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"James Benjamin Parker and the McKinley Assassination" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Aug 20, 2018.
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