Contact Us

Black History Month: Witness Tackles McKinley’s Killer in Buffalo

Photo courtesy of the Buffalo Historical Society

On September 6, 1901, James B. Parker, a waiter at the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, stood in line to shake President William McKinley’s hand. He emerged from this event as a hero when he tackled the anarchist Leon Czolgosz after the assassin shot the president twice in the stomach.  After the assassination, Parker received many offers to work on the Exposition midway, recounting his participation in Czolgosz’s capture, but he refused, stating “I happened to be in a position where I could aid in the capture of the man. I do not think that the American people would like me to make capital out of the unfortunate circumstances. I am no freak anyway. I do not want to be exhibited in all kinds of shows. I am glad that I was able to be of service to the country.”  

Parker was educated in Atlanta schools and had traveled as far north as Philadelphia. He’d returned south to Savannah, where he served as a constable for a Negro magistrate. He also worked in Chicago as a waiter in the Pullman Car organization and then came to Buffalo only days before the assassination to work at the Exposition for the Bailey Catering Company. By September 13th an article had appeared by a Mr. James Quackenbush that stated that he had seen no one else seize Czoglosz except the Secret Service men and artillerymen. Parker was not asked to testify at the trial.

Article courtesy of the Buffalo Historical Society


More From WBLK

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://wblk.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on 93.7 WBLK Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on 93.7 WBLK Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!