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Whenever we study the history of the United States, we come across a dark chapter that is about presidential assassinations. Undoubtedly, young people are more aware of only one US presidential assassination and that is President John F. Kennedy. And most elderly people know about the slaying of President Abraham Lincoln. These two presidential assassinations are embedded in our minds because they were more famous in their respective qualities. However, we miss out on two other important presidential assassinations. Their details are enlisted in this article below.

Table of Contents

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The assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
Getty Images, based on the depiction from a mechanical glass slide by T. M. McAllister of New York, c1865-75

Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) is the 16th and one of the most famous United States presidents. He is renowned for the removal of slavery from the US and the right to vote for black people. He was assassinated shortly after the end of the civil war while watching a play in the Ford Theater. The assassin was John Wilkes Booth who was a famous actor and a staunch supporter of the confederation.

It was the first presidential assassination in the history of the US that took place on 14th April 1865 at the Ford Theater in Washington DC. President went there to watch the show ‘Our American Cousin’ with his wife Mary. He was sitting in the state box when the murderer shot him dead in the head.

Booth was captured on 26th April 1865 and shot and killed.

The Assassination of James A Garfield

 assassination of James A Garfield
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President Garfield (November 19, 1831 – September 19, 1881) is the 20th president of American History. We don’t remember him and his assassination because he remained in office for only four months before his assassination. But Garfield was a civil war hero and he introduced the ‘spoils system’ during his stay in the office. According to this system, anyone can apply for a government job to the president directly.

Charles Guiteau was also one of the employment seekers and it is said he was mentally challenged. He also had the chance to meet the president in the White House. He was mad at the president because his demand to become the minister to France wasn’t met.

On 2nd July 1881, the president was leaving for Massachusetts from Washington DC by train. Guiteau shot the president at the train station right 16 years after the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. 12 doctors examined the president and used unsterilized instruments to find the bullet. This caused infection in the wound and he died on September 19, 1881. However, Guiteau was sentenced to death on June 30, 1882.


The Assassination of William McKinley

assassination of William McKinley
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President William McKinley (March 4, 1897–Sept. 14, 1901) was shot twice with a hidden gun in the abdomen on September 6, 1901. He was attending the Pan American Exposition at Temple of Music in Buffalo New York when shot by a self-proclaimed anarchist Leon Czolgosz. President McKinley did not die right after he was shot but he survived for eight more days. He succumbed to gangrene caused by the wound.

Leon was immediately captured by the crowd and received a beating but police intervened and arrested him. He had a trial and received the death criminal penalty.

The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

Assassination of John F. Kennedy
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Before the assassination of Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963) several other presidents received murder attempts but they survived. Kennedy was the youngest among all who were murdered. He was shot on November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas in his motorcade. Kennedy was passing by the onlookers in the streets of Dallas. He was also shot twice, in the neck and the back of his head. These two shots immediately took his life.

He was assassinated by a US marine, Harvey Lee Oswald who aimed the shot from the 6th floor of the Texas School Book Depository. he was arrested after a few hours of the presidential assassination by the Dallas Police. Later, he was killed by Jack Ruby in the basement of the Dallas police department.

Presidential murder attempts

In addition to the above successful presidential assassinations, several other American presidents saved the murder attempts. These unsuccessful attempts include the following victims.

Andrew Jackson in 1835

Abraham Lincoln was saved twice from attempted murder once in 1861 and then again in august 1864

Theodore Roosevelt in 1912

Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1933

Ronald Reagan in 1981

Richard Nixon in 1972

Gerald Ford in 1975

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