Political Spoils, Party Machines, and the Death of a President

#OTD, July 2, 1881, President Garfield is murdered for standing up to political corruption.
President James A. Garfield was born in 1831 in a log cabin to a poor  Ohio family. Life was hard for the poor young James. To survive as well as pay for his education, he took many “odd” jobs like tutoring, driving canal boats, and providing janitorial services.  After graduating from Williams College, in Massachusetts, Garfield took a job as a professor at Ohio’s Hiram College where he rose up in the ranks until he became the college president.
When the Civil War broke out, Garfield served with distinction and obtained the rank of major-general. During the war years, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and while serving in the House,  Garfield would skip out on meetings to watch America’s new game, baseball.
Garfield, the Republican choice for President in 1880, won with 214 electoral votes.
President Garfield pushed hard for civil service reform. After only 100  days in office, on this day, July 2, 1881, President Garfield was shot at the Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station by Charles J. Guiteau, a  disappointed office seeker. Garfield was murdered for challenging the  “spoils system” in the appointment of civil servants, a system made famous by the New York political machine.
President Garfield said the following beautiful statement about human history which is featured on my Sheridan History website.
“The world’s history is a  divine poem of which the history of every nation is a canto (one of the major divisions of a long poem) and every man a word. Its strains have  been pealing along down the centuries, and though there have been  mingled discords of warring and cannon and dying men, yet to the  Christian philosopher and historian – the humble listener – there has  been a divine melody running through the song which speaks of hope and  peaceful days to come.”