Before becoming president in 1897, William McKinley visited U-M and Ann Arbor at least two times as governor of Ohio.
McKinley joined Republicans from throughout the country who gathered on campus May 17, 1892, to form the National Republican College League. A U-M student, James F. Burke, was unanimously elected the first president of the national organization, which today is known as the College Republican National Committee.
McKinley spoke about “American Protection” before 3,500 people at University Hall.
Two years, later, McKinley made a whistle-stop visit to Ann Arbor to promote the Republican Party. His Oct. 11, 1894, stop was part of a Michigan tour that also took him to Detroit, Jackson, and Grand Rapids. Joining McKinley on both visits to Ann Arbor was former Michigan Gov. Russell A. Alger.
Source: The Chicago Daily Tribune
Photo: Library of Congress