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President McKinley established so many firsts as a president its difficult to cover them all He was the first president to ride in an automobile and the first to campaign for political office using a telephone He once rode in an electric car although he could not have known that the vehicle was taking him to his deathbed McKinley is remembered as the first modern president although in reality he was probably more of a bridge between the old and the new McKinley was born on January 29 1843 in Ohio the Land of Presidents The State of Ohio produced six presidents during the 19th century more than any other state He graduated from Allegheny College in Pennsylvania in 1861 When the Civil War broke out in 1861 McKinley immediately signed up with the Ohio Volunteer Infantry His unit saw a great deal of combat and McKinley fought in battles at Cedar Creek Opequan and Fishers Hill McKinley also participated in the fearsome clash between Confederate and Union Armies at Antietam on September 17 1862 On that date just outside Sharpsburg Maryland the bloodiest battle of a brutal war raged for several days When the carnage was over 22000 men lay dead or wounded in the fields next to Antietam Creek McKinley would never forget that awful experience When he returned to Ohio after the war he became a teacher and eventually a lawyer He ran for Congress on the Republican ticket in 1877 and easily defeated his opponent McKinley had an outgoing personality and loved to be with people He liked nothing better than campaigning among crowds shaking hands and kissing babies McKinley was also a deeply religious man and attended church every Sunday without fail In the House of Representatives in Washington DC he became a familiar sight and was elected to a total of seven terms as Congressman He married Ida Saxton a hometown girl that he fell in
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