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Robot Mr. and Mrs. McKinley.

Robot Mr. and Mrs. McKinley

Field review by the editors.

Canton, Ohio

Despite its grand name, the McKinley Presidential Library and Museum devotes only one of its rooms to President McKinley, though it's a big one.

When you enter, you're greeted by motion-sensor-activated robots of the President and First Lady (Unless they're incapacitated by a software bug, as they were during our visit).

The museum calls this gallery "the largest collection of McKinley artifacts in the world," but for a President with such a large tomb -- it's next door to the museum -- it's surprising how little of his stuff survived: some clothes, a few chairs, a rug, a sofa, one of his White House office desks. Compare that meager list to the museum hoard of a modern President, such as Bill Clinton, whose sprawling Presidential library displays a line of his Commander in Chief saxophones.

Robot Mr. McKinley.

One of the McKinley artifacts that did survive is his well-worn secret step-up height booster, which he would stand on when he posed for photos behind his desk (Little Bill was only five-foot-seven).

McKinley died eight days after he'd been shot by a crazed anarchist. Items on display in the gallery include the nightshirt that he wore during those eight days ("Ripped down the back," according to a sign, "indicating that some kind of emergency medical procedure may have taken place") and an exact replica of the assassination pistol.

McKinley's White House desk.

For a sliding fee, visitors to the museum can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner with President McKinley -- a re-enactor wearing a McKinley-style tuxedo, top hat, and lucky red carnation, the same carnation that McKinley gave to a little girl just a minute before he was shot!

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Robot Mr. and Mrs. McKinley

William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum

800 McKinley Monument Drive NW, Canton, OH
William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum. I-77 exit 106. Drive east on 12th St. NW for a half-mile, cross the little bridge, then turn right onto Monument Rd NW. Drive a quarter-mile, then turn right onto 7th St. NW. Cross the little bridge, then immediately turn right. You'll see the tomb straight ahead; the museum is just to the left of it.
M-Sa 9-4, Su 12-4 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Adults $9.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Tomb of President McKinleyTomb of President McKinley, Canton, OH - < 1 mi.
Willie The WhaleWillie The Whale, Canton, OH - < 1 mi.
Goal Post Power TowersGoal Post Power Towers, Canton, OH - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Cy Young's Winged Baseball Grave, Port Washington, OH - 40 mi.

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