McKinley Museum: leave us alone, we don’t want your statue

Kevin L. Hoover
Mad River Union

ARCATA – You may want to sit down for this: someone is wrong on the Internet.

Yes, despite what you may have read on the popular online social media service known as "Facebook," the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum in Canton, Ohio, has not offered to take Arcata's McKinley statue when (and if) it is removed from the Plaza. And it certainly isn't willing to bear the expense of doing so.

McKinley Museum Director Joyce Yut. Photo by Christopher Kenney

"No, absolutely not," said Joyce Yut, the museum's director. "We have our own statues."

Yut is unenthused both about being asked about Arcata's statue, and the endless debate over the 25th president's character and morals. "We've been dealing with this for two years," Yut said. "We're just sort of tired of it."

While the McKinley Museum features educational resources, Yut showed little, that is, no interest in helping Arcata sort out disputed historical points about "Young Hickory" (one of McKinley's nicknames).

Yut instead recommended that Arcatans assimilate the "excellent, excellent" piece by Karl Rove, published in the Wall Street Journal April 4. Yut was apparently unaware that the mere mention of "Karl Rove" is not just anathema to many if not most Arcatans, but that the mere mention of the name of President George W. Bush's dirty trickster political strategist tends to temporarily suspend rational thought.

Yut was pleased to hear of a petition drive to reverse the Feb. 21 decision of the City Council to remove the statue from the Plaza, and echoed an objection voiced by many statue supporters. "You can't change history by tearing statues down," she said. "Keep up the good work and get that vote overturned."


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