Four of our American presidents were felled by assassins’ bullets—Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James A. Garfield in 1881, William McKinley in 1901 and John F. Kennedy in 1963:

LincolnOn April 14, 1865, the day he was assassinated, Abraham Lincoln signed legislation to create the Secret Service. On that fatal night, Lincoln did not want to go to the theater. He had seen Our American Cousin once before and was not eager to see it again. But Mary Todd Lincoln had promised his presence; so he attended.

After John A. Garfield was shot by Charles Guiteau, he spent 80 days on his deathbed while a team of doctors probed him with unwashed hands and unsanitary medical instruments. They tried to find the bullet with a metal detector invented by Alexander Graham Bell—but the device failed because Garfield was placed on a bed with metal springs, and no one thought to move him. To escape the Washington heat, Garfield was moved to a seaside cottage in New Jersey early in September. There he died on September 19, succumbing to death by doctors.

William McKinley became the third president to be assassinated in office. The assassin was an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, who shot the president in 1901 at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. Virtually the first words out of the president’s mouth after he was shot were to his secretary, George Cortelyou: “My wife—be careful, Cortelyou, how you tell her. Oh, be careful!” When he saw his assassin being beaten to the ground, he cried out, “Don’t let them hurt him!”

Tragically, a back brace that John F. Kennedy wore on the day of his assassination actually held him in place as a second and third shot fired by Lee Harvey Oswald riddled his body.

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Source: Written by Dr. Richard Lederer BoomerTimes & SeniorLife

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