Theodore Roosevelt Becomes President
Just a mile from the Buffalo City Center at Niagara Square sits one of the unknown gems of Presidential History. It is the home where Vice President Theodore Roosevelt took the oath of office on the death of President McKinley.
Most Constitutional scholars will admit a Vice President does not need to take the oath to become president, the office is bestowed upon them immediately on the death of the President. But each VP felt it critical to the continuity of government for the oath to take place.
For TR, the Oath was administered at a stately home in Buffalo, New York. McKinley was visiting the Pan American exposition when an anarchist shot him during a reception. McKinley died eight days following. Roosevelt was on his way to see the President when he passed away.
The house is now a thoughtful museum and you can stand where Roosevelt took the oath. While in Buffalo, there are statues of Grover Cleveland, (not only a former president but a former mayor), and Millard Fillmor, who is also buried in a nearby cemetery.
Buffalo also acknowledges the spot where McKinley was shot with a brick and plaque, a solemn but fitting gesture. At least they don’t celebrate the spot like Dallas with a rude museum selling trinkets commemorating a murder and a photo op out the sixth floor.
The TR Inaugural Site Museum is well worth the trip!