Other Commemorative Practices

President William McKinley and Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry are the two most commemorated figures in Ohio, and various methods of commemoration have been dedicated to their memory.

President William McKinley

The nation commemorated President McKinley in two Ohio sites. The National McKinley Birthplace Memorial created in 1917 is located in Niles, Ohio. Another national memorial, containing the tombs of both William McKinley and his wife, Ida Sexton McKinley, can be found in The McKinley Museum and National Memorial in Canton, Ohio.

Local communities in Ohio have also erected memorials to McKinley in Dayton, Toledo (seen at left), Cincinnati, and Cleveland, and Columbus (see The William McKinley Memorial Monument). Additionally, the State of Ohio declared the Red Carnation, McKinley's favorite flower and constant boutonniere, the state flower.

Outside of Ohio, a number of cities have memorialized McKinley. Chief among them is Buffalo, New York (right), where McKinley was assassinated. Other memorials appear in Philadelphia, Chicago, and two cities in Massachusetts, Adams and Springfield.

McKinley is given national prominence with his likeness on the $500 bill. Mt. McKinley National Park in Alaska, containing the largest mountain peak in the United States, was named in his honor in 1917.
PT, May 1998

The McKinley Memorial Monument

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Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

Because of the local importance of his military accomplishments, Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, although born in Rhode Island, has been adopted by Ohio and other Great Lakes states as if he were a native to the area. Several different methods of commemoration have been used to honor the War of 1812 hero and his victory in the Battle of Lake Erie. Camp Perry, an Ohio National Guard facility located in Port Clinton, Ohio was named for him in May 1908, only a few months before the planning began for the centennial celebration of Perry's victory. Perrysburg, Ohio, a suburb of Toledo, was also named after the naval hero for his part in the War of 1812 battles held at Fort Meigs, now located within the city.

Various monuments celebrate the battle and its hero. For decades only a lone willow tree marked the burial site of the officers killed in the Battle of Lake Erie, but in 1852 a small memorial made of old cannonballs was erected over the grave. As part of the centennial celebration, the soldiers were re-interred in the Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial but the original memorial still stands (left). Civil War financier Jay Cooke erected another monument (right) on Gibraltar Island, a small island in Put-in-Bay harbor, to mark the 1859 cornerstone of a much larger monument to Perry's victory planned for the site but never commissioned. Cleveland erected its own statue of Commodore Perry in 1860; another monument stands in Buffalo, New York. These memorials commemorate Perry for his skill in bringing about victory or they honor the men who died in the battle. The Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial is the only monument that remembers those who died as well as the peace they helped create.
SW, May 1998

Perry's Victory and International Peace Memorial

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