Famous last words

James Humes. Which President Killed a Man? Tantalizing Trivia and Fun Facts about Our Chief Executives and First Ladies. New York: MJF Books, 2003.

P 102: Name the president who said these last words: “It is God’s way. His will, not ours, be done.”

“‘Thy Will Be Done.’

William McKinley. He said these words on September 13, 1901, the day before his death in a hospital in Buffalo, where he had been taken after he had been shot on September 6. The cause of death was gangrene caused by the bullets shot by the assassin Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist,. He would be buried at his home in Canton, Ohio. Czolgosz was executed in the electric chair at Auburn State Prison in New York on October 29, 1901. Czolgosz’s last words were: ‘I killed the president because he was the enemy of the people—the good working people—I am not sorry for my crime.’”

[Note: McKinley was never taken to a hospital after the shooting, Instead he was taken to an infirmary on the grounds of the Pan American Exposition. There were no electric lights inside the infirmary, and the X-ray machine that was on the fairgrounds was not used. Therefore, surgeons could not locate the one bullet that was inside McKinley. The wound was closed, and once the President stabilized, he was brought to the home of the President of the exposition, John Milburn, which was where the McKinleys were staying during the fair. President McKinley passed away at Milburn House.]

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