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History's Happenings for July 2

President Garfield Shot
1881

President James Garfield

President James A. Garfield was shot today, in 1881, by a disgruntled seeker of political patronage named Charles Giuteau. He died 80 days later, on September 19, and was succeeded by Vice President Chester Arthur.

President Garfield's administration was the high-water mark of political patronage -- the corrupt practice of doling out governmental offices and favors on the basis of party loyalty, bribes or electoral service, rather than in the best interest of the country. Subsequent to Garfield's murder, the system was changed -- albeit not to perfection -- by founding the Civil Service to provide insulation between corrupt office seekers and the offices they seek, and to protect (sometimes overprotect) the jobs of experienced career civil servants from the vagaries of politics.

Garfield's was the second assassination of a U. S. President, after Lincoln.

Congress Adopts Independence Resolution
1776

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Sherman Anti-Trust Act Passed
1890

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Army Air Corps Created
1926

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Amelia Earhart Vanishes in Pacific
1937

Flyer Amelia Earhart

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LBJ Signs Civil Rights Act
1964

President Lyndon Johnson

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Supreme Court Restores Death Penalty
1976

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