This Week in History…
November 19, 1831: President James Garfield is born in Orange, Ohio.
James Garfield was shot by an angry constituent on July 2, 1881, just four months after his inauguration. Garfield initially survived the assassination attempt, but his condition worsened as doctors spent months searching in vain for the bullet in his body. Even inventor Alexander Graham Bell was called in and tried unsuccessfully to find the bullet with his new metal detector. Garfield passed away in September of 1881 from complications due to the wound, making his presidential term the second shortest in U.S. history.
November 19, 1863: President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.
Did you know President Lincoln wasn’t even the keynote speaker that day? Edward Everett, who was considered one of the North’s great orators, actually had top billing. Everett later wrote to Lincoln, “I should be glad, if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes.”
November 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated in Dallas.
Although Kennedy was the fourth president in United States history to be assassinated, at the time of his death, assassinating the president was not a federal crime. Had Lee Harvey Oswald gone to trial, his case would have fallen under local jurisdiction. It wasn’t until 1965 that it became a federal crime.