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McKinley Presidential Library & Museum to Present Hidden Gems An On-Demand Package of Virtual Programming

The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum will present a series of programs called “Hidden Gems: An On-Demand Package of Virtual Programming” beginning April 6. This collection of exclusive history and science programs will highlight some of the “hidden gems” at the Museum. Participants will learn more about some of the rare items the Museum has safely tucked away in storage, as well as hidden gems that are “hiding in plain sight” in the exhibits.

The cost is $25 per household. The link will be available for purchase on the Museum’s website at www.McKinleyMuseum.org and can be viewed anytime, on-demand after purchase. This is also a great resource for teachers to use in their virtual classrooms. Please purchase one per educator.

Hidden Gems includes the following video presentations and demonstrations:

Ida McKinley’s Gowns
Join Executive Director Kim Kenney for a peek behind-the-scenes at one of the best “hidden gems” in our permanent collection – First Lady Ida McKinley’s exquisite gowns! Learn more about Ida’s personal style, the work that has already been done on the first four dresses, and our plans for a major exhibition in the future.

William McKinley — A Diamond in the Rough
While William McKinley may have seemed like an ideal candidate when he was elected president, his early years and family background were not what many people think of as presidential. Join Director of Education and Membership Ally Carlson for a look at William McKinley’s early life and how this small town boy became the man we all know.

Stellar Planetarium
Join Planetarium Director Suzie Dills as she shares the Hoover-Price Planetarium story and a close-up tour of the planetarium with a hidden surprise! You will also learn how to find gems in the night sky using a star map and star wheel.

The Last Ice Age in Ohio and the American Mastodon
Science Director Lynette Reiner will discuss the last Ice Age in Ohio and how it created true hidden gems for Ohioans to discover. This includes our very own American Mastodon which is one of the most complete specimens found in North America. The museum is very lucky to have authentic mammals and artifacts that have been unearthed that date 14,000 years ago, the end of the Wisconsinan Ice Age. You will also receive an Ice Age themed word search.

Rock Candy Demonstration
Watch as Science Director Lynette Reiner demonstrates how to make your own crystalized rock candy at home. The entire process takes up to 7 days to fully form. An easy to follow recipe will be included. Did you know? Rock candy is referenced in both Indian and Iranian writings from the 9th century. This indicates that rock candy has been around for over a thousand years and probably was invented in the eastern part of the world.

Hidden Gems from the Permanent Collection
A bicycle, a compass, a plate, a ring, and a clock – take a closer look at these seemingly banal objects from our collection, with Collections Manager Kait Bergert, and explore the history they represent: An elite model bicycle made by a Canton watchmaker; a compass used to measure out Canton from virgin forest; a clock gift to President McKinley that poses more questions than answers; a luxury plate that was only made for 5 years; and a treasured ladies ring set with worthless cut glass gems.

Not Just a Piece of Parchment…
When Archivist Mark G. Holland accidentally came upon a diploma for a Miss Catharine A. Rex from the Canton Female Seminary in mid-February, no one expected such a grand story to unfold. On a mission to discover all she could, Hannah Beach, a student at Mount Vernon Nazarene University and intern at the McKinley Presidential Library & Museum, sought the assistance of researchers Judy Pocock, Tom and Rochelle Haas, and intern Grace Doringo. Over the next month, Hannah was able to uncover the story not only of the life of Miss Catharine (Rex) McSweeney, but the seminary she attended in Canton, Ohio.

A Docent’s Guide to Hidden Gems in Plain Sight
Join our History Docents as they describe some of their favorite hidden gems from around the museum! If you don’t visit on a tour, you might not have learned these fascinating facts about our artifacts.

An I Spy Adventure in Collection Storage
In this fun activity, kids (and adults!) will try to find objects in our storage areas that don’t necessarily look like their modern equivalents.


The McKinley Presidential Library & Museum is located at 800 McKinley Monument Dr NW in Canton. The Keller Gallery is the Museum’s temporary exhibition space and features a variety of topics each year. The Museum also includes the McKinley National Memorial, McKinley Gallery, Street of Shops, The Stark County Story, Discover World, Ramsayer Research Library, and the Hoover-Price Planetarium. The Museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. The Museum is closed Sunday and Monday.