Thursday, October 15, 2015

Conestoga trip to Canton, Ohio, October 14, 2015

We had a wonderful time visiting Canton, OH to see the National Memorial for President William McKinley, the Stark County Historical museum, and the National First Ladies education and resource center.

Before he became President, William McKinley had served 14 years in the House, where 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. McKinley was assassinated in 1901 at the beginning of his 2nd Presidential term by Leon Czolgosz who said his actions were inspired by violent anarchist Emma Goldman’s claim that “all rulers should be exterminated.” Yes, she's called an anarchist, not a communist or socialist, but if you read her writings, she was left of the Bolsheviks with whom she shared a mission and had squabbles. To this day, the leftists in the U.S. apologize for her. But put that aside for the moment since everyone's forgotten them. Capitalism has brought wealth and comfort to the very people they tried to inflame.

I'll say I was very impressed by Stark county's hard work on history and maintaining these sites without federal or state money. 25,000 school children each year visit this memorial, and the education director did a wonderful monologue for us about McKinley's life.


On the bus with Jerry passing out snacks.  We watched two terrific DVDs on architecture—Louis Sullivan and Gothic Cathedrals—on the 2.5 hour trips.


McKinley National Memorial, final resting place of the 25th president of the U.S. and his wife Ida, and their two young daughters .  There are 108 steps, and we saw people running up the steps for exercise (Rocky only had to do 72).  He died in September 1901 and by June 1903, $500,000 had been contributed for his memorial and designs were submitted.  The one chosen is laid out like a cross, in the shape of a sword. Construction began in June 1905 and it was finished by September 1907; the dedication ceremony was September 30, 1907. Ida his widow was there but died later in the year.

Image result for McKinley Memorial Canton



The Director of Education at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, Christopher Kenney, provided a wonderful reenactment of the President in the museum and accompanied our group to the memorial providing interesting insights about the construction and dedication. 

museum entrance

Entrance to the museum built in 1963; it has a Planetarium, a McKinley Gallery, a research library, and a street of shops reflecting the history of Stark County.

McKinley home furnishings

A room in the museum is set up with period pieces to reflect the McKinley home.

Then it was back on the bus to travel to Ida Saxton McKinley House and the First Ladies Education and Research Center on Market Avenue, South.


This was originally the home of Ida McKinley’s parents, but she and her husband also lived there for awhile.  It had fallen into disrepair in the 20th century having been used as retail space and was slated to be demolished when a relative of Ida’s stepped in to save it.  It has been completely restored and has an active group of volunteers.

The research center dedicated to the first ladies is in a former bank down the street from the house within easy walking distance. We saw a number of personal items and gowns of the First Ladies.



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