Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Presidents' Day #3 -- February 21, 2011

Presidents' Day commemorates all Presidents, some good, some not so good.

James A Garfield didn't have much time to prove whether he was a good president or a bad one. An Ohio native, like many other presidents, he reached the rank of Major General in the Civil War. In the 1880 election, he defeated another general, Winfield Scott Hancock, and became the youngest man elected president up to that time. Four months after his inauguration, Charles Guiteau shot Garfield twice in the Washington Baltimore and Ohio train station. Guiteau was called a disappointed office seeker, which gave impetus to Civil Service reform, but was basically a crazy person.

Garfield lingered for two months and might have recovered if his doctors had not tried so hard to find one of the bullets. After Garfield died, Guiteau admitted in his trial that he shot Garfield, but contended that the doctors had killed him. Unmoved, the jury convicted him and he was hanged.

When my family went to visit relatives in Ohio when I was young, we toured Garfield's home, Lawnfield.

I took the photo of the Garfield Monument in Golden Gate Park on 03-January-2009.

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