McKinley Documentary Will be Shown in Niles Before Premiere on PBS

McKinley Documentary Will be Shown in Niles Before Premiere on PBS

KENT, Ohio – Mahoning Valley residents can watch “Monumental Devotion: The McKinley National Memorial” before it airs on television.

The documentary about President William McKinley will premiere at 9 p.m. May 10 on Western Reserve PBS. But two free screenings of the film, produced by the Kent-based PBS station, have been scheduled before then.

The half-hour documentary will be screened at 2:30 p.m. Monday, April 25, at McKinley Memorial Library, 40 N. Main St., Niles; and 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, at Timken Career Center, 521 Tuscarawas St. W., Canton.

“Monumental Devotion” tells of the public’s admiration of President McKinley – who grew up in Niles and later opened a law practice in Canton – plus his loving relationship with his wife.

It centers on McKinley’s life as president and, ultimately, the construction of a monument in Canton for his final resting place, according to a press release from the station. 

A monument to him also stands in downtown Niles.

The documentary introduces the human side of McKinley, a Civil War veteran and attorney who married the love of his life, the highly educated and gifted Ida McKinley. Together the couple endured the tragic loss of two young daughters and the challenges of Ida’s serious illnesses. 

 Sadness gripped the world when the popular president was shot in Buffalo, New York, on Sept. 6, 1901, and later died.

The strikingly beautiful monument to honor McKinley was built with funds ranging from the penny donations of school children to the gifts of industrialists and other nations throughout the world.  

 The documentary consistently shows evidence of the devotion many felt to President McKinley, according to Western Reserve PBS. This includes the reported gratitude of some of the memorial workers — former slaves who wanted to contribute to the legacy of a president who fought for the North and opened the military to Black soldiers in the Spanish-American War.

The film also explores a part of the monument the public never sees: the steps between the inner and outer domes that lead to a view of Canton.

For additional documentary air dates and more information, go to

Pictured at top: The McKinley Memorial in Canton, Ohio.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.