I learned to appreciate James Garfield listening to Play the Man by Mark Batterson on RightNow Media.
Born in a log cabin in Ohio.
Only ordained preacher to become US President. (our 20th)
Only president that didn’t run for president.
The 1880 Republican National Convention, they were deadlocked after 35 ballots. They nominated James A Garfield, who hadn’t been running and had not been previously nominated. We was chosen as the Republican nominee and went on to win. Inaugurated in March 1881.
Was shot in his first year as president. After a extended illness (and infections) he died some 200 days after holding office.
I mean to make myself a man, and if I succeed in that, I shall succeed in everything else. James A. Garfield
Read more at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/james_a_garfield_150413
He was a teacher, preacher, college president, officer in the Civil War, scholar, politician, proponent of education for all, and family man. (and a hard worker, because of all that he did)
He was left-handed. As a teenager pulled canal boats along the canal in Ohio. Out-going. Friendly. Moderate Republican.
Last, but certainly not least, he found a proof of the Pythagorean Theorem. The Pythagorean Theorem can be proven in scores of ways and we’ve had it since the Greeks, but it is significant that Garfield found new, cogent proof in 1876.
He’s an inspiration.
Videos and Audio
2-hour plus excellent video from CSpan: Life Portrait of James Garfield
LibroVox has a reading of his “Presidential Farewell and Last Addresses,” which, sadly, was his Inaugural address.