Thursday, January 10, 2013

Garfield. The President No One Remembers, But Should

I'm probably the only person in the world who read "The Hunger Games" and "Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine, and the Murder of a President" back-to-back and I gotta say, sorry teens, "Destiny" was better.

The President in the title of the book is James A. Garfield--the US's 20th. Garfield was tragically shot by a lunatic--Charles J. Guiteau, a whack who even lived a number of years of his life in Grafton, Wisconsin--ending his Presidency after only a 4-month stint. And get this, Garfield didn't even RUN for President. He was just so damn extraordinary and such a skilled orator, that his peers (Republicans) chose him and then the public overwhelmingly elected him. Can you imagine THAT happening today? I can't.

Had Garfield been able to fulfill his visions, black Americans might have achieved the freedoms dreamed by Martin Luther King, Jr. ... 80 years before Mr. King even dreamt them! Garfield was a staunch abolitionist in his time and an ardent supporter of equal rights. If there was any good thing about his death, following the bitter Civil War with a nation still divided, Americans mourned as one at his passing.

Okay, I gushed enough about my new-found American hero; find out for yourself: I highly suggest you add to your reading list the sad, but very interesting tale of James A. Garfield authored by Candice Millard.

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