On this day in Alabama history: President McKinley visited Tuskegee

On this day in Alabama history: President McKinley visited Tuskegee
Photograph shows William McKinley, standing on platform, between Gov. Joseph F. Johnston and Booker T. Washington, Tuskegee, c. 1902. (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division)

December 16, 1898

President William McKinley visited the Tuskegee Institute at the request of founder Booker T. Washington. The president arrived in Tuskegee with his family, members of his cabinet and generals Joseph Wheeler, Henry Ware Lawton and William Rufus Shafter aboard special trains from Atlanta. Tuskegee Institute received the president along with Gov. Joseph Johnston, the entire Alabama Legislature, and a crowd of more than 6,000. The president toured the school grounds and witnessed a parade before speaking in the school’s chapel alongside the governor and others. During his speech, McKinley noted the enduring legacy of the institute and the progress it had made in sowing the “seeds of good citizenship.”

Read more at the Booker T. Washington Society.

For more on Alabama’s Bicentennial, visit Alabama 200.

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