Chester A. Arthur Becomes President

By Kaleena Fraga

On this day: 

On this day in 1881 Chester A. Arthur became president after James Garfield succumbed to wounds from an assassin’s bullet. The shot itself didn’t kill Garfield–sloppy medical care resulted in the infection that ended his life.

The assassin, Charles J. Guiteau, argued before the judge that he should not be hanged for murder, since it wasn’t his bullet that killed President Garfield. He declared: “The doctors killed Garfield, I just shot him.”

We probably hear most about Chester A. Arthur through frequent NYT Crossword clues about his middle name (Alan!) but there is a new biography coming out that should shed some light on this largely forgotten (and accidental) president.

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