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  • ALMA POWELL: Audiovisual Collection
  • CENTRAL: Audiovisual Collection
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Murder of a president

Call Number


In English, with optional English subtitles.


Narrated by Michael Murphy ; featuring: Shuler Hensley, Kathryn Erbe, Will Janowitz.

Publication Information

[Boston] : WGBH Educational Foundation, [2016]


Title from container.

"Romance, madness, medicine, and the death of James A. Garfield"--Container.

Based on the book Destiny of the republic by Candice Millard.

Originally broadcast on PBS as an episode of American experience in 2016.

On the morning of July 2, 1881, President James Garfield was shot as he was walking through Washington's Baltimore and Potomac Railroad Station. This documentary recounts the story of the assassination and the excruciating final months of Garfield's life, tracing his unlikely journey from a log cabin in rural Ohio to the Oval Office. A brilliant scholar, courageous general, and fervent abolitionist, Garfield never wanted the job of president. But once in office, he worked tirelessly to reunite a nation still divided 15 years after the Civil War. As he lay dying, the North and South came together to pray for his recovery. His wife of 23 years barely left his bedside. The inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell, worked feverishly to invent a contraption that would locate the bullet still lodged in the President's torso. The famed explorer, John Wesley Powell, helped construct the nation's first air-conditioning system to keep Garfield cool in the sweltering heat of a humid Washington summer. And when the end seemed near, engineers designed a special railroad car to take the President to the New Jersey shore so that Garfield could die within sight of the sea.

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