President McKinley, whose popularity was heightened by the victory of the United States in the Spanish-American war, was easily returned to a second term in the election of 1900. His running mate was Theodore Roosevelt, Governor of New York. In less than a year McKinley’s presidency was cut short by an assassin's bullet delivered in Buffalo, New York. "Now that damned cowboy is in the White House!" declared political boss and Senator from Ohio, Mark Hanna on hearing the news.
In September 1901 the President scheduled a visit to the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, NY. Planning for this extravaganza had been in the works for years but postponed during the Spanish-American War. With the war's conclusion the preparations for the Exposition could go forward and all the governments of the western hemisphere were invited to attend. It occupied 350 acres with buildings whose architecture reflected the style of the Spanish Renaissance. The major theme of the exposition extolled the wonders of the new source of power - electricity.
Arriving on September 6, President McKinley welcomed visitors at the Exposition’s stadium followed by a short reception at the Temple of Music. Noting that the reception was to last only ten minutes, an aide felt the president was unnecessarily exposing himself to danger. In reply, the president commented "No one would wish to hurt me."