2nd July
It was on this day...
1881 Crazed Assassin Shoots US President Garfield

President James Garfield was shot at the Baltimore & Potomac train station, by a Charles Guiteau, who was promptly arrested.

The president died, on 18th September 1881, of blood poisoning.

The White House didn't seem to have any security to speak of at this time in history. Guiteau had made frequent visits to the White House, and had actually met the president at the White House one time.

In the weeks leading up to the assassination, Guiteau would talk to the Secretary of State most days and demanded the ambassadorship to France - when this was rejected he became agitated and began stalking the president. On one occasion, it is alleged, he sat directly behind the president in church.

Guiteau defended himself at his trial and, despite claiming that 'God told me to do it', and plenty of evidence he was insane, he was convicted of the assassination. When he heard the jury's verdict he shouted at them:

"You are all low, consummate jackasses!"

He was hanged on June 30, 1882.

At his hanging he recited, in a high, childlike, voice:

"I am going to the Lordy, I am so glad."

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1937 Amelia Earhart and her navigator Frederick Noonan, go missing on their round the world flight attempt.

1961 Influential writer, Ernest Hemingway, commits suicide in Ketchum, Idaho. He was 61.

1964 President Johnson signs the Civil Rights Bill; afterwards he shakes Dr Martin Luther King's hand.

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