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HISTORICAL EVENTS

Death of 20th US President James Garfield

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James Garfield, 1880
James Garfield, 1880
-He was the last president born in a log cabin. He attended Western Reserve Eclectic Institute (later renamed to Hiram College) at Hiram, Ohio, and graduated in 1856 from Williams College. He returned to the Eclectic Institute as a professor of ancient languages and became the school’s president in 1857 at age 25. In the American Civil War he led the 42nd Ohio Volunteers and fought at the battles of Shiloh and Chickamauga. In 1863 he resigned as a major general to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives for 17 years. House Republican leader from 1876 to 1880, he was elected to the Senate by the Ohio legislature. On the 36th ballot, Garfield was nominated as a compromise presidential candidate with Chester Arthur as vice president, winning the election by a narrow margin. On July 2nd he was shot at Washington’s railroad station by a disappointed office seeker by the name of Charles J. Guiteau. He died on Sept. 19 after 11 weeks of public debate over the ambiguous constitutional conditions for presidential succession (later clarified by the 20th and 25th Amendments). He was succeeded by Vice President Chester A. Arthur.

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