Talk:Leon Czolgosz

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Who is good and who is bad?[edit]

Which is William McKinley and which is Leon Czolgosz?? 17:26, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

William McKinley, the president, was assassinated. Leon Czolgosz was the assassin.AnonymousII 16:46, 9 July 2006 (UTC)
However, thats a POV question, isn't it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Krøstedaniel (talkcontribs) 13:53, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

Date of birth ?[edit]

Where is there any evidence that Czolgosz was born on 1st January (or any other day, for that matter)? I've looked in vain for this information for years. JackofOz 22:40, 18 Sep 2004 (UTC)

  • Hmmm. As I suspected, there is no evidence. I also suspect this has been copied from one of those terribly irresponsible websites like MSN that purport to contain accurate biog info, but where only the year of birth is known, the date defaults to 1st January. Now, it's possible he really was born on 1 Jan, but I feel it's now safe to eliminate this ring-in. Feel free to update if any evidence ever comes to light. But we have to be eternally on our guard for exposure to such historio-chronological inexactitude. Cheers JackofOz 11:42, 20 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Date of birth revisited[edit]

Back on 25 January 2007, anonymous user inserted "24 January 1873" as Czolgosz's date of birth, without citation or evidence. The only things this user has done on Wikipedia are 2 changes to this article, and 2 changes to 24 January. Given the lack of verification, I propose to remove the birthdate. To my knowledge, Czolgosz's DOB is unknown, and I'd need to see documentary evidence to be convinced otherwise. JackofOz 05:24, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

An unregistered user made this edit, claiming Czolgosz was born in May 1873 and was baptised in St Albertus's Church. These both need citations. I've found no corroboration for them anywhere. -- JackofOz (talk) 00:26, 20 July 2008 (UTC)
And User:Carlson288 changed "May 1873" to the specific date "May 5, 1873" on July 8, 2010. I queried him about 7 weeks ago, but he has yet to respond. Can anyone else verify this date? -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 11:33, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
In the absence of any response from him/her or any verification from anyone else, I'm assuming the 5 was a confusion with May being the 5th month, and we don't know that he was born on 5th May exactly. I'm changing it back to "May 1873". -- Jack of Oz [your turn] 19:19, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

Corrections made[edit]

I made three changes to the main article on 1/25/2005.

1) corrected the assertion that Czolgosz had a nervous breakdown. There was no diagnosis made and no way to really determine whether this was the case.

2) corrected "speeches" of Goldman to one speech which is all that he is known to have attended.

3) added "as far as we know" to point about LC not belonging to any groups. He left home in July, traveled between Cleveland, Buffalo, and Chicago for six weeks. Little is known about his activities or associations during that time.

These and other matters are treated in depth in a fictional context in my historical novel The Anarchist (Willowbrook Press, 2001). The book includes end notes with a discussion of materials available to researchers.

Free Society quote[edit]

I added the quote from the Free Society newspaper thinking that it was useful to show that his fascination with violent protest forced the rest of the anarchist community to not trust him. Adios EightBitRiot

Second to last paragraph[edit]

Shouldn't the paragraph about the gun Czolgosz used be moved to earlier in the article? Is the serial number of the gun relevant at all?

Sulfuric acid[edit]

According to sulfuric acid was poured into his coffin. I'd like to know more about this. --Tydaj 05:06, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

According to the History Channel's 10 Days That Changed America (2006) the corpse was claimed by his brother but was denied it by the New York authorities and the claim was made that 3 days after his death the corpse was dissolved by acid.


I don't think the comment of giteau being alive at the time of McKinleys assasination in the section on Sondheims musical is accurate. Their is not a strict chronology to this play, and the assassins can interact with each other regardless of the period of their lives. Later in the play, for example, the assassins who came after Oswald plead with him to kill Kennedy in order to make their acts mean something.

A couple of things[edit]

Somewhere in the fog of studying the McKinley assassination, some time ago, I want to say that I read that the Czolgoszses (sic), came from the German (Silesian) area of Partioned Poland. Whether they did or not, is not an earth shattering bit of information, that needs to be addressed. But why, in any case, is there a link to Russian-Americans at the bottom of the article?

As an additional piece of information, I am under the impression that the authorities added lime to Czolgosz's coffin, not sulfuric acid, to hasten disfiguration and decomposition of his body. Dr. Dan 19:39, 2 March 2006 (UTC)


One of the photos is blocking the text...could someone fix that? I'm not expert enough. Czolgolz 20:34, 12 April 2006 (UTC)

This photo,_the_assassin_of_President_William_McKinley,_in_jail.jpg is blocking some of the text and needs to be moved down a bit. Kirbyroth (talk) 19:36, 23 October 2008 (UTC)


A pronunciation guide is desperately needed for the name "Czolgosz." --LostLeviathan 05:00, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Its a Polish name, so if you know the rules of Polish orthography its actually quite simple. However, since few people know this Ill say it. tʃɔl gaʃ. Rufly in English: CHOL-gosh.AnonymousII 16:49, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

Electrocution film[edit]

The actual event wasn't filmed, it was a reconstruction.

Contradictions in his early life[edit]

First the article states that he was "One of two children". Then it says "He left his family farm in Cleveland, Ohio, at the age of ten to work at the American Steel and Wire Company, with two of his brothers." Then it states "When Czolgosz was 12, his mother died while giving birth to another child." The first statement obviously contradicts both of the following statements. Doctors without suspenders 01:40, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

The whole article needs a lot copyediting and "tweaking". Dr. Dan 01:50, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Heh, I guess it does. Doctors without suspenders 23:42, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

Last effects and "The Quarter"[edit]

Trying to figure out where the "2218 Quarter" detail in the Trivia section came from. Anyone have a citation? Verification? Tocath 04:14, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

The only place I found a reference was in a giant list of urban legends, i.e. the "Duck quacks do not echo, and no one knows why" kind. I removed the line because in my opinion a claim of this magnitude needs to be proven before it can be added. You want to say he had chicken for dinner? Fine. I can give you the benefit. You claim there was a quarter dated from 200 years in the future? Prove it. 17:03, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Good call. I was thinking about trying to find a copy of Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation" and see if she mentions something like that. If it's mentioned anywhere, it would probably be in McKinley's home / museum... Tocath 18:17, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

hate that I missed that when I removed another mention of it. Mefanch 21:14, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

"Among the personal effects found in his cell was a U.S. quarter stamped with the date 2218. The face in profile on said quarter was not George Washington, but rather a face which has yet to be identified." That's a creepypasta from the *chans. (talk) 04:34, 31 January 2008 (UTC)

I am certain this information is garbage and should be removed. The Washington Quarter did not even go into circulation until 1932. I have read extensively on McKinley, and worked at his presidential museum/library in Canton, OH. I have seen farcical versions of his murder in all sorts of "tribute" and memorial books issued in the immediate aftermath of his death in 1901. Not even one of those contains even a hint about this quarter. Surely, Czolgosz would have been allowed no personal effects besides toiletries in prison before his execution. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:09, 31 December 2008 (UTC)

Actually, that section is from Encyclopedia Dramatica, but that doesn't change the fact that it's bunk. Flag-Waving American Patriot (talk) 23:20, 7 January 2009 (UTC)


Sarah Vowell's Assassination Vacation is not fiction.

Which is why it's not really relevant, it's just research that somebody did...we can't list all the books that researched a Presidential assassin, you'd see hundreds - even for Czolgosz there are multiple books just about him. Sherurcij (Speaker for the Dead) 07:16, 7 September 2007 (UTC)

C's religion[edit]

wasnt this guy jewish? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:05, 3 December 2007 (UTC)

No. Where did you get such a odd idea? His family was Catholic. He himself renounced any religious affiliation. NaySay (talk) 15:17, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

His last words:[edit]

This article's quite out of sync with the William McKinley assassination article. This article currently states:

His last words were "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people — the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime."

Those very well may be his last words, but on the way to Death Row, he said many things in direct contradiction:

"I wish the people to know I am sorry for what I did. It was a mistake and it was wrong. It I had it to do over again I never would (10 it. But it is too late now to talk of that. I am sorry I killed the President. I was all stirred up. I was alone In what I did and, honestly, there was no conspiracy. No one else urged or told me to do it. I did it myself. There was one mistake about the trial. It was that I did not go to Niagara Falls to kill the President. I only thought of killing him for about one day before I did lt. But I was all alone. No one else had anything to do with it and I have nothing to say to any who may think that what I did was a wise or good thing. It was not.

. . . and that's just an excerpt; he goes on to repeat himself. So the "not sorry" quote needs a citation more than ever.
-- (talk) 13:54, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

The "I am not sorry...." quote was cited by many of the witnesses to the execution. In fact, it so angered the warden that he ordered the chinstrap of the electric chair apparatus applied as Czolgosz continued speaking. The assassin's remorse at not being able to see his elderly father one last time was, indeed, spoken through clenched teeth after the strap had been affixed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:13, 31 December 2008 (UTC)CDG, 12/30/08


in the beginning of this article it says that Leon Czolgosz was heavily influenced by Emma Goldman. This is untrue since they only met twice. Leon himself denied any influence or participation in the crime by Goldman and the anarchist movement. Emma Goldman on the other hand was arrested and jailed unjustified and to my knowledge never received any compensation from the government -- (talk) 01:24, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

lol "this is untrue since they only met twice"?. That's garbage reasoning. I've been "heavily influenced" by countless writers and philosophers who I've never met at all, much less twice.

Lincoln and Garfield[edit]

From the article:

So, unlike Lincoln and Garfield's assassins, Czolgosz was tried and executed under state authority, not federal.

Except that John Wilkes Booth was killed by American soldiers and never stood trial. Booth was trapped in a barn, and when he refused to surrender, they set it on fire. As for Charles Guiteau, he was put on trial, convicted, and sentenced to hanging by the Superior Court of Washington, DC; which, technically, I suppose, is a federal court, but only because the District of Columbia wasn't a state (then or now). Hence, I've removed that bit from the article. —MicahBrwn (talk) 17:38, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Very good points! Dr. Dan (talk) 18:24, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Family Heritage[edit]

A new edit has claimed that the Czolgosz family originated from the area which is now Belarus. I was always under the impression that they were Poles from Silesia (from a variety of sources). To top it all off the article adds that Czolgosz's father stated that he was Hungarian during his immigration process. This needs to be sorted out and the correct facts presented in the article. Dr. Dan (talk) 20:43, 26 August 2009 (UTC)

We nevertheless have a reference to a source saying his ancestors came from Belarus and no references confirming Silesian ancestry. --Czalex 15:47, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

place names[edit]

I'm about to change place names from "Hrodna" to "Grodno (now Hrodna)". They were Poles who lived in Poland, at that time a part of the Russian Empire, so it's Polish and Russian names which are relevant, and they are distinct from Belarussian: Grodno vs Hrodna, Ostrowiec/Ostrovets (same pronunciation) vs Astravets. That 80 years later the inhabitants were forcibly resettled to lands "cleansed" from Germans doesn't matter in the context of Czolgosz as we're interested in his ethnicity. KiloByte (talk) 02:34, 1 December 2012 (UTC)

Nicole Uzieda and Ziz Pairrj?[edit]

"It was later recounted that through his life he had never shown any interest in friendship or romantic relationships." and suddenly he has children? Any sources?Mr.Xen (talk) 06:58, 1 December 2009 (UTC)

Today's times, war crimes[edit]

McKinley largely supported illegal invasion of philipines, so he had it coming, czolgosz did the right thing. But it's really interesting, bush, cheney, rumsfeld, in freedom but those who did oil for food bs "scandal" all of a suddent they are huge criminals, goes to show its huge hypocritical world we live in! Some in power escape justice but always get it some way in the end, like gettin pulled off life support, i cant believe usa associated itself with china during evil khmer rogue killin spree, china2, that's why trials took so long cuz so many things had to be hidden, cremated = pure lowlyshame! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:56, 28 May 2010

bought the gun on?[edit]

The 'assassination of William McKinley' article says that Czolgosz bought the gun on September 3rd, not September 6th. Which one is right? (talk) 19:28, 13 January 2013 (UTC)

undiscussed move[edit]

Re [1] - any reason for this? I don't see a discussion and it seems unwarranted.Volunteer Marek 04:30, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Approximate pronunciation in American English?[edit]

The article gives a Polish pronunciation guide as Polish pronunciation: [ˈt͡ʂɔwɡɔʂ], but what would his non-Polish neighbors have called him? I don't really know what all the diacritics mean in the IPA, but my best guess is something like CHAW-gawsh. Is that anywhere close? Can we give some sort of guide that will be useful to our (by definition, Anglophone) readership base, or that part of it that doesn't speak Polish? --Trovatore (talk) 07:34, 6 September 2013 (UTC)

Polish ?[edit]

I have a doubts regarding his Polish roots. All the variants of his name means nothing in Polish. So we have Czołgosz, Zholhus, Жолгусь, Żołguś. No clue. They do not mean anything in Polish, they do not sound Polish. If we follow the hint about Hungarian origins, hus means goose in Slovak, Zhol sounds Hungarian. The problem is that around 1860 people from Lithuania under Tsars rule had no freedom to move and they were surfs. We could have Slovak-hungarian guy, who settles temporally in Lithuania and then goes to US. As Roman Catholic he could settle among Poles and in order to dajust the name, he spelled it phonetically using Polish letters. Cautious (talk) 14:56, 12 October 2013 (UTC)

Zbysław Ciołkosz is said to be a Polish-American. -- Jack of Oz [pleasantries] 23:36, 15 September 2014 (UTC)

Nation of origin[edit]

The Eary Life section features this sentence:

He was one of eight children of Paul Czolgosz and his wife Mary Nowak, Polish Catholic immigrants (although the 1900 census give their origin as "Germany").

That sounds like an easily solved mystery to me, as there was no independent Polish state between 1815 and 1918 (unless we're counting the Free City of Kraków, then it would be between 1846 and 1918). So Czolgosz's parents were quite likely from Germany. Could the "although" clause be removed (or at least replaced with "Polish Catholic immigrants from Germany", or something? Tom (talk) 12:15, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

True. Yet as Leon was born in the US in 1873, there's good chance his parents immigrated before 1871 - meaning there was no German state either ... and they may have been from Prussia, for example. Currently, without any immigration documents or some sources from their country of origin this can not be resolved and the best thing to do is to reference the contradictory sources. Albrecht Conz (talk) 15:44, 8 September 2014 (UTC)

Avoiding possible misinterpretation[edit]

      This is an excellent article, but I would propose one change to it. One of the references (at the time of this writing it is #37) is labeled "1901 video of his execution." I believe this wording might mislead many readers to incorrectly conclude that the video depicts the actual execution rather than the filmed re‑creation that it actually is. I would like to add the word "re‑creation" to make this more clear. Is there anyone who would object, or who has a better idea?

My references:

Richard27182 (talk) 06:17, 11 July 2015 (UTC)

It has been a week since I posted the above and no one has objected or suggested any alternatives. So I have gone ahead and made the proposed change. (However I used the word "reenactment" instead of "re-creation.") If anyone disagrees with this edit, please discuss it here.
Richard27182 (talk) 08:43, 19 July 2015 (UTC)