Stereoscopic view of William McKinley's coffin in state in the East Room, September 17, 1901.

Stereoscopic view of William McKinley's coffin in state in the East Room, September 17, 1901. Library of Congress


William McKinley's funeral procession, September 17, 1901.

William McKinley's funeral procession, September 17, 1901. Copyright Washington Post; Reprinted by permission of the D.C. Public Library

Shot by anarchist Leon F. Czolgosz while he was standing in a receiving line at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, N.Y., on September 6, 1901, President McKinley would die eight days later after gangrene ravaged his wounded organs. McKinley's funeral train arrived in Washington, D.C., in the evening of Monday, September 16, 1901. The coffin was lifted out of the palace car and taken to the East Room, where an honor guard surrounded it through the night. It was banked in flowers. Palms and fruit trees were interspersed between the masses of floral tributes that lined the transverse hall. First Lady Ida McKinley went alone to the East Room to pray at the coffin, holding up with remarkable strength. On Tuesday, the coffin was removed to the Capitol for the state funeral. After the service Mrs. McKinley followed the flag-draped coffin down the long east steps of the Capitol and joined a funeral procession to the train depot. President McKinley's remains were borne back to Canton, Ohio, where he was buried.


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Additional Resources  ›

»  Ceremonial Horses & Funerals [PDF]

»  Modern Mourning Observations


William Seale, The President's House, White House Historical Association, 1986.

Brian Lamb, Who's Buried in Grant's Tomb, C-SPAN, 2000.