Banner of the Illustrated London News August 13, 1881

“The President is somewhat restless…”: Headlines

By Jeffrey S. Reznick and Lenore Barbian

Making Headlines

Within days after the attempted assassination of President Garfield, news of his condition made headlines across America and, eventually, around the world.

Throughout his illness, the health of the President of the United States was the news story of the day…the week…and the month…as time passed and his condition neither improved nor declined markedly.  By the time Garfield appeared on the front page of the Saturday, August 13 issue of the Illustrated London News, outpourings of public grief over his situation were widespread.

Front page of the Illustrated London News depicting Garfiled lying propped up in bed surrounded by family and physicians.
“President Garfield Lying Wounded in His Room at the White House, Washington” Illustrated London News volume 79, number 2204.
National Library of Medicine #C05564

This post is one of a series reenacting the official bulletins released to the public by the physicians to President Garfield during his illness after the shooting on July 2, 1881.

Jeffrey S. Reznick, PhD, is Chief of NLM’s History of Medicine Division and author of two books and numerous articles on the cultural history of war and medicine. Lenore Barbian, PhD, is Associate Professor and Anthropology Program Director at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She is author of numerous articles, including “Remains of War: Walt Whitman, Civil War Soldiers, and the Legacy of Medical Collections”, co-authored with Jeff Reznick and Paul Sledzik, which received the 2013 best article award from the Archivists and Librarians in the History of the Health Sciences (ALHHS).

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