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William McKinley
Photographer: Allen C. Browne
Taken: August 9, 2015
Caption: William McKinley
Additional Description: This 1897 portrait of William McKinley by August Benziger hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC.

“William McKinley's ‘front porch‘ campaign for the White House in 1896 consisted mainly of speeches delivered to well-wishers flocking by train to his Canton, Ohio, home. As president, the main focus of his administration lay in responding to calls for aid in Cuba's struggle against Spanish rule. Although reluctant to meddle, McKinley felt obliged to act when the American battleship Maine blew up in Havana harbor, and interventionists blamed it on the Spanish. The result was the Spanish-American War, which led to Cuba's independence and Spain's surrender of the Philippines, Puerto Rico, and Guam to the United States. Despite his own doubts about this turn of events, McKinley made the traditionally isolationist United States more visible in international politics.

One of several portraits derived from 1897-98 sittings at the White House, August Benziger's likeness testifies to McKinley's blandly funereal appearance. But housed in that uninteresting exterior was an unusual supply of warmth and charm that, as one observer put it, made McKinley ‘a marvelous manager of men.’” — National Portrait Gallery
Submitted: September 9, 2015, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.
Database Locator Identification Number: p328071
File Size: 1.302 Megabytes

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