Today in History: Charles Julius Guiteau

Guiteau letter

Today in History–December 31–the Library of Congress features presidential assassin Charles Julius Guiteau. On this date in 1881, Guiteau penned a New Year’s letter to his jailer while awaiting trial for the assassination of President James Garfield.  On July 2, 1881 Guiteau had shot the newly elected president who died seventy-nine days later of infections from the bullet wound. Guiteau’s trial was a national sensation and one of the first insanity pleas entered in a court of law. Discover more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to learn more from the resources linked to below.

Charles J. Guiteau Shot President Garfield from America’s Library

New Year’s greeting from presidential assassin Charles Julius Guiteau to his jailer 31 December 1881 (includes curator description)

Political cartoons referencing Charles J. Guiteau

Charles Jules Guiteau song sheet

Guiteau’s march to Hades sheet music

Charles Julius Guiteau, the Assassin” c 1881

Letters and facts, not heretofore published, touching the mental condition of Charles J. Guiteau since 1865. Submitted to the President of the United States by John W. Guiteau, in the matter of the application for a commission de lunatico inquirendo” 1882

Guiteau trial : closing speech to the jury of John K. Porter of New York, in the case of Charles J. Guiteau” 1882

Historical newspaper coverage of Charles Guiteau

Guided Primary Source Analysis: Phrenological Delineation of His Character