Monday, July 2, 2012

This Day in History July 2, 1881

As the video explains, it was this date in 1881 that President James Garfield was assassinated.  Charles Guiteau suffered from mental illness and began to stalk the president since things were not going as he had planned.  As the president was preparing to leave on summer vacation, Guiteau shot him at point blank range.  Guiteau was immediately apprehended, and the president was carried back to the White House with a bullet still lodged in his body (that the doctors had been unable to find).

President Garfield's condition continued to fluctuate.  Doctors continued to search for the bullet with unwashed hands (they didn't know that germs were an issue).  He suffered through many different kinds of infections.  It was on September 19, 1881, that the president finally succumbed to blood poisoning and pneumonia.  He probably would have survived had the doctors been more knowledgeable, and it is a testament to him that he lived as long as he did.  This is one of the true tragedies of American presidential history.

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