Buffalo’s rich presidential history is a reflection of the influence and power the city had in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Two U.S. presidents hailed from here – Grover Cleveland and Millard Fillmore. A third presidency ended here with the assassination of William McKinley, while a fourth then began with Theodore Roosevelt’s inauguration.
Get to know the commanders-in-chief whose paths crossed with Buffalo through these 10 pieces of trivia:
1. The Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site is one of only a few sites outside of the nation’s capital where a U.S. president took the oath of office.
2. The Millard Fillmore House in East Aurora is the only home still standing that a president built with his own hands.
3. The Buffalo History Museum’s collection of artifacts includes the gun that anarchist Leon Czolgosz used to shoot President McKinley.
4. The exact spot where Czolgosz shot McKinley is marked by a small plaque on Fordham Drive, just off of Elmwood Avenue near the history museum. Buffalo memorialized the slain president with the McKinley Monument in Niagara Square.
5. Millard Fillmore was a busy man, concurrently serving as U.S. president and the first chancellor of the University at Buffalo.
6. Grover Cleveland served as both Erie County Sheriff and mayor of Buffalo prior to his rise to two non-consecutive terms at the White House.
7. Where is the presidential go-to spot for chicken wings? It depends on the commander-in-chief. Bill Clinton had pizza and wings from La Nova delivered to Air Force One during a 1999 visit here, while Barack Obama stopped at the Cheektowaga Duff’s during a 2010 visit.
8. President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train stopped in Buffalo; thousands attended a procession and public viewing downtown.
9. The portrait of every U.S. president and first lady from George Washington to Ronald Reagan is on display in Buffalo’s Karpeles Manuscript Museum.
10. Millard Fillmore is buried in Buffalo’s Forest Lawn Cemetery.