William McKinley was an excellent husband to his wife, Ida.

The anarchist in Buffalo who killed President William McKinley in 1901 was a sad-eyed, unemployed factory worker from Cincinnati, Leon Czolgosz, son of Polish immigrants. He is allied in history with such enigmatic men as Sante Geronimo Caserio, Italian anarchist who killed French President Marie-François Sadi-Carnot in 1894; Michele Angiolillo, Italian anarchist who killed Spanish Prime Minister Antonio Canovas in 1897; and Luigi Lucheni, Italian anarchist who killed Empress Elizabeth of Austria in 1898. (By the way, what’s with the Italians?) R.I.P, Leon Czolgosz! Though you are not Italian, at least you had a cause.

Chaya Sophia Chazanov Rubinson, also known as Madame Rubinson, began in the New York theater world as seamstress then set designer Cassandra Chase. She caught the eye of an investor in the 1933 Broadway flop, Mrs. Ida McKinley Gives Her Regards, a one-woman show. Synopsis: the epileptic widow of the fallen president gives a long and excruciating monologue while crocheting slippers as she talks her dead husband, who is in paradise. An avant-garde performance, it climaxed in an abrupt and completely unexpected seizure onstage, bringing down the house, literally, as people left the theater to avoid the “stark, vulgar display of rabid melancholy and unbearably extended, high-pitched, squealing sounds of mourning,” so the Times reproved. Despite rave reviews from a few discerning people in Brooklyn, the show shut down after twenty-four hours (to the relief of the ingenue actress, Sylvie Plato, who reported in an interview that “it was not just my vocal cords that were at stake, my fingers w...

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ELVIS AARON PRESLEY

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