Murder of a President

About the Show

On 2 July 1881, a wildly delusional individual shot President James Garfield as he walked through a Washington railroad station. As the president lay grievously wounded, pandemonium broke out. This documentary recounts the story of the assassination and the excruciating final months of Garfield's life, tracing Garfield's unlikely journey from a log cabin in rural Ohio to the Oval Office. As he lay dying, the North and South came together to pray for his recovery. Alexander Graham Bell worked feverishly to invent a contraption that would locate the bullet still lodged in the President's torso. Also, the famed explorer, John Wesley Powell, helped construct the nation's first air-conditioning system to keep Garfield cool in the sweltering heat of summer. And when the end seemed near, engineers designed a special railroad car to take the President to the New Jersey shore so that he could die within sight of the sea.