by Kaylee Beekman
February 19, 2016
James Garfield was the 20th president. He was born on November 19, 1831, and died on
September 19, 1881. His Presidential term was from March 5, 1881, to September 19, 1881. He
was assassinated. On July 2, 1881, Charles Guiteau shot Garfield as he was about to board a
train. Of all the 43 presidents, 4 have been assassinated. Most people are very familiar with the
assassination of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, but most people are unaware of the
assassination of James Garfield and William McKinley. I asked 10 high school students if they
knew of any other president besides JFK or Lincoln that have been assassinated. Only 1 out of
the 10 could name another president. I then asked the same 10 students to name where John
F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln were assassinated. 10 out of 10 people knew where Abraham
Lincoln was and 6 out of the 10 knew where John Kennedy was. No one knew where Mckinley
and Garfield were assassinated.
James Garfield is not a very popular or well-known president like George Washington,
Abraham Lincoln, or John F. Kennedy are. But, Garfield has a lot of unique things about him
even though we never exactly learn about him. He was the last President that was born in a log
cabin. Garfield’s mother was also the first mom to attend their son’s inauguration. Garfield is the
ONLY person in American history to be a US Representative, Senate elect, and a President
elect all at the same time.
I think that our history classes in high school teach us a lot about our history, but never
have enough time to cover everything. I think that sometimes we should take our extra time to
learn more on our own. I feel so much more informed about James Garfield, a President I did
not learn about in class, and I am so glad that I decided to learn about him.