Garfield v McKinley

On another board we are discussing the gate-crashers at the White House. There was some mention of racial profiling.

This reminded me of a half-remembered story. After either Garfield or McKinley was killed, there was an investigation. All the guards said that they were alert, but they had their eye on a black guy in the crowd rather than the crazy white guy.

Was this Garfield in the train station, McKinley in the Temple of Music or Colonel Mustard in the library?

It was the McKinley assassination, I believe. Secret Service agent George Foster admitted to concentrating on a man he described as a “dark complexioned man with a black moustache.” This was apparently a man of Italian heritage whose name I can’t find. There was also a black man present, James “Big Ben” Parker, who actually disarmed the real assassin. Some people seem to assume that Parker was agent Foster’s suspected “dark complexioned man,” but I don’t believe that’s the case.

At the time, anarchists would probably be a more suspicious group than African-Americans. And a lot of anarchists were southern and eastern European (Italian, Slavic, etc.). Italians were almost as reviled as Jews and Irish because they were a huge proportion of the wave of immigration in the late 19th/early 20th Century. They weren’t considered “white”.

Thank you.