Monday, 19 September 2016

President James A. Garfield: Assassinated by a bloke in a dress

The Assassination of President James A. Garfield

On This Day In History in, September 19th, 1881, James A. Garfield, the 20th President of the United States of America died.
President Garfield had only been president for four months when he was shot by Charles J. Guiteau on July 2nd.
Guiteau was pissed at Garfield for not giving him a job. He wanted to be rewarded for doing virtually nothing to get Garfield elected as president and thought he deserved the position of consul in Paris.
It may have been a perfect job for Guiteau if he could speak any French and had any experience of that type of job. But he didn't. It also didn't help that he was a complete nutter.
Virtually all of President Garfield's movements, with the exception his bowel movements, were published in the newspapers. Guiteau followed these movements with interest and also the ones in the papers, and used them to plan the assassination.
Guiteau purchased a gun, totally legally, as all Americans can, and still do, as what's the harm in giving a psycho a gun? He followed Garfield several times, but chickened out when it came time blow his load.
Finally, when he was concealed himself in a ladies' toilet for, well, the guy was also a sicko and a pervert, when he happened upon the President. Not in the toilet, probably, as Garfield didn't frequent them. Guiteau pulled out revolver and bang bang, shot President Garfield twice - once in the back and once in the arm.
Guiteau was captured almost immediately. No doubt the dress slowed down his escape.
Never one to give up, Garfield fought for his life for the next few months until he succumbed to the gunshot wounds.
President Garfield was the second president to be assassinated. The first being Abraham Lincoln. Protection for US Presidents should have been put in place after Lincoln's assassination, but it was thought that the killing of Lincoln was just a fluke. It was a time of Civil war and a special case. Garfield like presidents before him, deemed an armed guard for the president to be a waste of time.
Did You Know:
After Garfield was shot, he exclaimed, "My God, what is this?" Either referring to the bullet wounds or the weirdo in the dress, no one is quite sure.
Guiteau shouted, "This thong is riding up my arse like a cheese wire through butter."
He then added, "I did it. I will go to jail for it. I am a Stalwart and Arthur will be president."
Plus, interestingly enough, Robert Todd Lincoln was present at the train station when Garfield was shot. Sixteen years before, he had witnessed his own father be assassinated.

note: there is no evidence Guiteau wore a dress.

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