Friday, December 06, 2013

Two Presidents Killed by Bullets

I have been reminded these past weeks how that 50 years ago when I heard the news that President Kennedy had been assassinated I went to my dorm room and wept. We had bunk beds back in the day, and I stood with my face in the bedding of the top bunk sobbing. I had not voted for him---nor anyone---since the election took place when I was ineligible to cast a ballot, and during the campaign I had supported Nixon. Why? Because Kennedy was a Catholic and we feared that the Pope would be running the country.

This morning I wept again for an assassinated President. John has been reading to me a book on President James Garfield by Candice Millard (who also wrote River of Doubt about Teddy Roosevelt's exploration in the Amazon after his presidency). Over the past several weeks, we have come to love Garfield as no other President, and the days leading up to his death were so sad. Had he been given the best medical care of the day, he would have survived, but his primary doctor was arrogant and refused to listen to the experts. Garfield was truly one of the most qualified and thoroughly good men ever to be elected President. You don't have to be a historian to find this book absolutely fascinating. Here below is a photo of his family.