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Author Topic: Why Are There No Theories Surrounding McKinley or Garfield?  (Read 5383 times)
12th Doctor
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« on: December 13, 2006, 01:11:11 am »
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I was just listening to the soundtrack of Assassins, one of the greatest musicals ever, and I thought of something...

There are conspiracy theories surrounding both the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations.  In the case of Lincoln, many people think that the reactionary Southern government must have been behind it, and Booth was not merely acting alone.  With Kennedy, many people are sure that J. Edger Hoover, or the CIA, or Lyndon Johnson most have been behind it.

Why aren't their similar theories about McKinley or Garfield?  Well, in the case of Garfield, it is kinda obvious that the assasination was the act of the single deranged man, but if that is the case for that assassination, then why not Lincoln and Kennedy?  In McKinley's case, he was killed by someone who had ties to left-wing, anarchist and communist groups, but no one seriously makes claims that any of these groups had conspired to kill the President.

Is is possible that vasy conspiracies can only happen when it is white conservative reactionaries and other groups that liberals hate that can be stamped with the blame?

Discuss.
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2006, 01:32:12 am »
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could it be that both are potentially more memorable?  Lincoln is attributed with freeing the slaves and restoring the union.  Kennedy is attributed with frontiering space exploration, diverting the Cuban missle crisis, and attempts at civil rights legislation (even if these seem miniscule by comparrison to Lincoln's attributed accomplishments, they are still remembered by a large percentage of the people who remember the Kennedy administration).  By contrast I really can't think of anything Garfield or McKinley did.  Far be it from me to consider murder of a president irrelevant, but the more a murder is remembered-the more associations can be made about it-and hence more likely conspiracy theories.

What I'd really like to know is what happened to Warren Harding.  I heard one place that he died of a heart attack and another that he died of a boating accident.
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2006, 01:34:03 am »
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could it be that both are potentially more memorable?  Lincoln is attributed with freeing the slaves and restoring the union.  Kennedy is attributed with frontiering space exploration, diverting the Cuban missle crisis, and attempts at civil rights legislation (even if these seem miniscule by comparrison to Lincoln's attributed accomplishments, they are still remembered by a large percentage of the people who remember the Kennedy administration).  By contrast I really can't think of anything Garfield or McKinley did.  Far be it from me to consider murder of a president irrelevant, but the more a murder is remembered-the more associations can be made about it-and hence more likely conspiracy theories.

What I'd really like to know is what happened to Warren Harding.  I heard one place that he died of a heart attack and another that he died of a boating accident.

Boating accident?  Where in the Hell did you hear that?  Anyway, he died of food poisoning.
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2006, 01:39:47 am »
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BTW... the only reason people don't remember McKinley is because of Teddy Roosevelt.  Many of the things that McKinley did have somehow become attributed to Roosevelt... including winning the Spanish-American War:

"Teddy Roosevelt and the rough riders charged up Kettle Hill, which gave them an excellent view of the charge up San Juan Hill, which was the strategically important hill.  However, in grief over the loss of the Kettle Hill, and frieghtened by his large muscular build and shinny perfectly white teeth, the Spanish automatically surrendered to Col. Roosevelt, and that is how Roosevelt single handedly won us the Mexican War and how we got the Teddy Bear."
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« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2006, 06:03:47 am »
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The man who was executed for McKinley's death hardly got a fair trial or hearing - though iirc he pretty much admitted what he done.

There are some who believe that Harding's food poisoning was not accidental.
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« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2006, 10:00:54 am »
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I don't think anyone cares enough. Millions idolise Lincoln and JFK, but don't even know what McKinley and Garfield looked like...
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« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2006, 02:52:53 pm »
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Some believe Harding was poisoned by his wife, some believe that Zachary Taylor's food poisoning wasn't accidental.

Presidents' deaths are often very convenient for certain people, so it's natural for people to postulate that those who benefited were involved.


Plenty of other people (mainly European heads of state) died in a very similar manner to McKinley, at the hands of a "deed" anarchist, so it's definitely not out of place.

Guiteau was known to be crazy and no-one would get anything out of killing Garfield.  And if you're going to put a conspiracy around anyone involving that killing, I'd blame the doctors (with a bit of the last-days-of-Stalin flair).

No-one ever talks about FDR, interestingly enough--although that's because he was obviously a very sick man in the previous months.

But, primarily, of course...no-one will listen to conspiracy theories about Zachary Taylor, regardless of their validity--while many people will listen to nutcases talking about shooters they can "clearly" see in the background of some grainy photograph.--simply because JFK's assassination was recent and had a profound impact on many people alive today, and Lincoln is a president people learned about in school.

And Assassins is awesome, to concur with supersoulty.
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« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2006, 06:13:14 pm »
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The Lincoln assasination has been pretty much proven to be a conspiracy between the CS govt and Booth. Originally it was supposed to be a simple kidnapping/ransom but Booth decided with the better option(with the south losing) and went ahead and took care of Lincoln.
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« Reply #8 on: December 13, 2006, 06:19:56 pm »
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The Lincoln assasination has been pretty much proven to be a conspiracy between the CS govt and Booth. Originally it was supposed to be a simple kidnapping/ransom but Booth decided with the better option(with the south losing) and went ahead and took care of Lincoln.

Heh. Just saw a program on the History Channel. Jeff Davis supposedly gave the go-ahead (plan involved CSA agents in Canada too)...but only after Lincoln tried a decapitation plan himself.
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« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2006, 07:21:48 pm »
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Yeah... Lincoln's assasination was a conspiracy. The reason why Kennedy's is, is because he was not shot by a visable assasin... It was a sniper assasination, so certainly people are going to throw theories around because no one really knows... The fact that Oswald was murdered shortly after, also fuels it.

Garfield was shot in plain view standing next to James G. Blaine and Robert Lincoln present as well... It was in a train station, plenty of witnesses, and we all know why Guiteau pulled the trigger.

In McKinley's case, he was shot in front of several thousand people, and Leon (Because I refuse to attempt to spell his last name) said he did it because he was an anarchist.

Where's the mystery in the Garfield/McKinley assasinations?
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« Reply #10 on: December 13, 2006, 09:33:15 pm »
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Yeah... Lincoln's assasination was a conspiracy. The reason why Kennedy's is, is because he was not shot by a visable assasin... It was a sniper assasination, so certainly people are going to throw theories around because no one really knows... The fact that Oswald was murdered shortly after, also fuels it.

Garfield was shot in plain view standing next to James G. Blaine and Robert Lincoln present as well... It was in a train station, plenty of witnesses, and we all know why Guiteau pulled the trigger.

In McKinley's case, he was shot in front of several thousand people, and Leon (Because I refuse to attempt to spell his last name) said he did it because he was an anarchist.

Where's the mystery in the Garfield/McKinley assasinations?

#1 I doubt that the Confederate government was involved with the Lincoln assassination even though there was a kidnapping plot, and there is no evidence solid evidence that the Conf. government even apporved that plot, only that it had been discussed.  Also, I highly doubt that Lincoln was involved in a plot to kill Davis, Lincoln was not that kind of person, they way he dealt with the confederate solidiers and generals who surrendered is evidence of that.

#2 I didn't say thaere was any mystery behind the Garfield assassination, I simply said that, if that was the act of a random madman, which it certainly seems to have been, then why not these other assassinations.

#3 Again, read my post.  Czolgosz was connected to Left-wing, communist and anarchist groups, so it is certainly possible that prominant left-wingers were involved in the plot.  No one seems to care about that, though.
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« Reply #11 on: December 13, 2006, 09:46:02 pm »
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Guiteau was known to be crazy and no-one would get anything out of killing Garfield.  And if you're going to put a conspiracy around anyone involving that killing, I'd blame the doctors (with a bit of the last-days-of-Stalin flair).

Acctually, that is not entirely accurate.  In theory, the powerful New York Republican political machine under Roscoe Conklin had a lot to gain from the assassination.  Chester Arthur was one of their guys, a true lacky who had owned any job, including VP, he had ever had to Conklin.  Garfield was also an opponent of patronage and supported civil service reform which many thought would gut the power base of the boses.

Of course, Arthur grew a spin as President, and became the Original civil service reformer.

But you are right, you can find a "conspiriancy" almost anywhere if you look for it.  Which is my point.  Guiteau was deranged, and almost certianly acted alone, but admit it, after reading what I posted, you are a little convinced that might not have been the case.  If I spent long enough trying to look at all the angles, I coudl probably convince a few million people that it was a plot.


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« Reply #12 on: December 13, 2006, 09:49:15 pm »
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P.S.  Ultimately what convinced Booth to kill Lincoln wasn't the South losing the war, it was Lincoln's speeches about granting Negro or as Booth publicly called it "Nigger" Citizenship along with his belief that Lincoln had provoked the war.
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2006, 09:16:38 pm »
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McKinley's tragic assassination (as McKinley was our greatest President) actually had a conspiracy theory surrounding it which tied the Royal Family of Great Britain to Leon Czolgoz. Is it a crack pot theory? Yes, no doubt.

Even when "Boatman Jim" was taken down, there were those who thought Senator Conkling of New York had hired Gutieau as a hit man as a way of getting his crony Chester Arthur into office. However, if this ridiculous idea was right, Conkling's plan blew up in his face as Arthur was a great president who was in no way the slave to New York's strutting peacock of a Senator.
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« Reply #14 on: December 15, 2006, 06:01:01 pm »
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some believe that Zachary Taylor's food poisoning wasn't accidental.

Didn't he have yellow fever?
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« Reply #15 on: December 15, 2006, 07:26:14 pm »
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Guiteau was known to be crazy and no-one would get anything out of killing Garfield.  And if you're going to put a conspiracy around anyone involving that killing, I'd blame the doctors (with a bit of the last-days-of-Stalin flair).

Acctually, that is not entirely accurate.  In theory, the powerful New York Republican political machine under Roscoe Conklin had a lot to gain from the assassination.  Chester Arthur was one of their guys, a true lacky who had owned any job, including VP, he had ever had to Conklin.  Garfield was also an opponent of patronage and supported civil service reform which many thought would gut the power base of the boses.

Of course, Arthur grew a spin as President, and became the Original civil service reformer.

But you are right, you can find a "conspiriancy" almost anywhere if you look for it.  Which is my point.  Guiteau was deranged, and almost certianly acted alone, but admit it, after reading what I posted, you are a little convinced that might not have been the case.  If I spent long enough trying to look at all the angles, I coudl probably convince a few million people that it was a plot.


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I nearly did put down an "except for Roscoe Conkling" caveat...

Of course, in real life, Garfield served as something of a martyr for the "clean up the civil service"--and, of course, Arthur wasn't exactly a loyal Conkling stooge after he took the presidency.  And it would have been pretty absurd for Conkling to organize the assassination of Garfield over an incident of a week or two prioer (he had already made his political move, resigning from the Senate).

But that said, Conkling wouldn't have known any of that at the time.
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« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2006, 05:05:22 pm »
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Guiteau was known to be crazy and no-one would get anything out of killing Garfield.  And if you're going to put a conspiracy around anyone involving that killing, I'd blame the doctors (with a bit of the last-days-of-Stalin flair).

Acctually, that is not entirely accurate.  In theory, the powerful New York Republican political machine under Roscoe Conklin had a lot to gain from the assassination.  Chester Arthur was one of their guys, a true lacky who had owned any job, including VP, he had ever had to Conklin.  Garfield was also an opponent of patronage and supported civil service reform which many thought would gut the power base of the boses.

Of course, Arthur grew a spin as President, and became the Original civil service reformer.

But you are right, you can find a "conspiriancy" almost anywhere if you look for it.  Which is my point.  Guiteau was deranged, and almost certianly acted alone, but admit it, after reading what I posted, you are a little convinced that might not have been the case.  If I spent long enough trying to look at all the angles, I coudl probably convince a few million people that it was a plot.


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And Assassins is awesome, to concur with supersoulty.


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I nearly did put down an "except for Roscoe Conkling" caveat...

Of course, in real life, Garfield served as something of a martyr for the "clean up the civil service"--and, of course, Arthur wasn't exactly a loyal Conkling stooge after he took the presidency.  And it would have been pretty absurd for Conkling to organize the assassination of Garfield over an incident of a week or two prioer (he had already made his political move, resigning from the Senate).

But that said, Conkling wouldn't have known any of that at the time.

I'm not serious about this theory, but another thing that would seem to indicate a connection between Conkling and the assassination would be Guiteau's now forgotten words after the shooting "I am a stalwarts or the stalwarts".  Conklin was, of course, one of the leaders of the Stalwarts.

Also, Guiteau spent a lot of time in New York City dealing with Conklin and Arthur.
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« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2006, 06:08:22 am »
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I took a class on conspiracy theories in american history as an undergrad yall would probably love the class it was basically a on going discussion where people got to throw out there own ideas and "facts" surrounding different supposed conspiracies. But someone said this and it has always stuck in my head.  People need conspiracy theories because the look at the value of the life lossed in comprasion to the value of the life taker. When doing so it does not correlate, how can one pathetic man like oswald take away from us such a great man as kennedy. So, people come to the conclusion it had to more than one and there had to be grand gain upon completion of the act. Thus you get the conclusion that the milatary-industrail complex was afraid of change in the status qou or retribution for the bay of pigs and his brothers attack on the mob(cuban/mafia theory). That has always made more sense to me than the actual theories themselves. Thought the one conspiracy i always thought might have some validity was MLK assinnation it has always bugged me the point in what later said the wrong direction of MLK posse right after the fatal shot. In my experience it is pretty easy to locate the direction a shot was fired from espcially since those people were security personnal they knew gunfire. I guess we will never know unless nic cage finds some film under a church pew pretty soon.
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« Reply #18 on: December 29, 2006, 05:52:39 pm »
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MGross,

If you are claiming to say that Oswald acted completely on his own then I'd like an answer to a simple question. Why did Ruby shoot Oswald? And an answer like "he felt deeply patriotic" isn't very acceptable of an answer.
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2006, 03:45:06 am »
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MGross,

If you are claiming to say that Oswald acted completely on his own then I'd like an answer to a simple question. Why did Ruby shoot Oswald? And an answer like "he felt deeply patriotic" isn't very acceptable of an answer.

Actually, States, that may just be the case:

http://www.jfk-online.com/jfk100whoruby.html

(To save you some browsing)

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Rabbi Silverman says, "He was a very volatile, a very emotional, unbalanced person. He thought he was doing the right thing [when he shot Oswald]. He loved Kennedy."(Cool "I hope I killed the son of a bitch," Ruby said immediately afterwards to the Dallas police who arrested him. "It will save you guys a lot of trouble."(9) He told Assistant DA Bill Alexander, "Well, you guys couldn't do it. Someone had to do it. That son of a bitch killed my President."(10)

"Jack actually thought he might come out of this as a hero of sorts," says Alexander. "He thought he had erased any stigma the city had by knocking off Oswald."(11) Attorney Jim Martin spoke to Ruby soon after his arrest and says, "He never expected to spend a night in jail."(12)

In fact, when the crowd outside Dallas Police Department headquarters heard that Oswald had been shot, they burst into applause.(13)

In the decades since the nightclub owner emerged from the shadows to gun down Oswald, Ruby's life has become one of the most intensely scrutinized biographies in American history; yet not a shred of evidence has ever surfaced to link him to an assassination conspiracy. Is it really possible that Ruby covered his tracks so thoroughly?
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« Reply #20 on: December 30, 2006, 04:19:02 pm »
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The answer is quite simple. The reason for conspiracy theories is the desire in human beings to find higher meanings behind seemingly meaningless events that rock our lives. People simply refuse to believe that men as important as Kennedy or Lincoln could just die for no good reason. McKinley and Garfield are both less well known. Therefore, things were not made up about their murders.
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« Reply #21 on: December 30, 2006, 06:29:16 pm »
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Poor Garfield.  I reckon he would've made a great president.  Luckily, his Vice-President was equally admirable, so America wasn't too badly slighted... but eh.  I mean, would you expect someone who could write in Latin with one hand and Ancient Greek with the other and who discovered new proof for the Pythagorean Theorem to be a bad President?
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« Reply #22 on: January 01, 2007, 10:46:54 am »
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I was just listening to the soundtrack of Assassins, one of the greatest musicals ever, and I thought of something...

There are conspiracy theories surrounding both the Lincoln and Kennedy assassinations.  In the case of Lincoln, many people think that the reactionary Southern government must have been behind it, and Booth was not merely acting alone.  With Kennedy, many people are sure that J. Edger Hoover, or the CIA, or Lyndon Johnson most have been behind it.

Why aren't their similar theories about McKinley or Garfield?  Well, in the case of Garfield, it is kinda obvious that the assasination was the act of the single deranged man, but if that is the case for that assassination, then why not Lincoln and Kennedy?  In McKinley's case, he was killed by someone who had ties to left-wing, anarchist and communist groups, but no one seriously makes claims that any of these groups had conspired to kill the President.

Is is possible that vasy conspiracies can only happen when it is white conservative reactionaries and other groups that liberals hate that can be stamped with the blame?

Discuss.

Perhaps the reason is that William Mckinley and James Garfield, though relatively descent Presidents, are not quite as famous as Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy. Abraham Lincoln is one of the greatest of them all. Kennedy does not rank much lower than Lincoln. So  the bottom line is that Garfield and Mckinley are not concentrated on quite as much as Kennedy and Lincoln.
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« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2007, 08:20:46 pm »
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mckinley received poor medical care after the shooting.

he should have survived.
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« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2007, 08:50:11 pm »
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mckinley received poor medical care after the shooting.

he should have survived.

It was the turn of the century.  I'm pretty sure everyone received poor medical care.
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