May 22, 2019

Today in History: Charles Julius Guiteau

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 … [Read more...]

Today in History: Reverdy Johnson

Today in History–May 21–the Library of Congress features attorney and statesman Reverdy Johnson, born on this day in 1796. Although personally opposed to slavery (he emancipated slaves inherited from his father), Johnson represented the slave-owning defendant in the 1857 Dred Scott U.S. Supreme Court case, which  decided that slaves could not be citizens. Learn more about this politician by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access related primary … [Read more...]