On this day in 1881, President James Garfield died in New Jersey. He had been shot months earlier by Charles Guiteau at the Baltimore and Pacific train station in Washington, DC train station. Garfield died eleven weeks later, most likely from an infection that was spread as doctors used their unsterilized fingers to probe the bullet wound. Guiteau, on the other hand, was immediately apprehended. He was convicted on murder and hanged on June 30, 1882.
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All of my posts on the Founding Era can be found here.
Fifty-four years ago today, nine African American students made their first attempt to enter Little Rock's Central High School. They were met by an angry mob and were turned away by the Arkansas National Guard, acting on the orders of Governor Orval Faubus. One of the students, Elizabeth Eckford (then 15), later recalled that "they moved closer and closer...Somebody started yelling...I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd — someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me."
The students did not successfully enter the school until September 25, when President Dwight Eisenhower issued Executive Order 10730 which federalized the Arkansas National Guard and ordered the Army’s 101st Airborne Division into Little Rock. They remained under federal protection for the rest of the year.
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On this day in 476, Romulus Augustus - the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire - was deposed by Odoacer, a German barbarian who installed himself as the king of Italy. Although Roman rule continued in the East, the city of Rome itself was under the rule of the barbarians, and the control of Rome over the West had effectively ended.
To learn more about the ancient Rome and the Roman Empire, try the following resources:
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My name is Angela Zorn. I work full-time as an educator at Bullitt Central High School in suburban Kentucky where I teach AP US History and AP US Government & Politics. In addition, I provide training & consulting services throughout the United States.