Much will be made about the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination this month (not to mention President Lincoln’s 148th this past April). Lest we forget, there were two other presidents assassinated in office who made substantial contributions to our country — James A. Garfield and William McKinley. While Garfield was in office for only 200 days, he supported and emphasized the importance of civil rights for African Americans and appointed African Americans to prominent federal positions. McKinley, holding office longer than both Lincoln and Kennedy, led our nation to victory in the Spanish-American War. Because of the heroic actions of African Americans in the war, he required the War Department (today known as the Defense Department) to promote them above the rank of lieutenant. He also espoused an open-door policy among nations that promoted free trade with China and pursued the annexation of Hawaii.
In remembering one, we need to remember all.
Richard W. Martin II, Coral Gables