Three Presidents, One Year

Three Presidents, One Year

Three Presidents, One Year

Imagine a year with three presidents. It’s happened twice: once in 1841 and again in 1881. We made an infographic about the second time it happened in 1881.  A time line of events and a primary source follow.

A Time Line of Events


Rutherford B. Hayes is a lame duck president, waiting for the end of his term.

MARCH 4, 1881

James A. Garfield is inaugurated as the 20th president.

JULY 2, 1881

After only four months as president, Garfield is shot in a Washington, DC train station.

JULY 1881

Alexander Graham Bell attempts to locate the bullet with his metal detector.

Image: Events related to the assassination of President Garfield, Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, August 20, 1881 (Library of Congress)


SEPTEMBER 19, 1881

President Garfield dies after an eighty-day fight to survive. Chester A. Arthur is sworn in as the 21st president.

One Eventful Year

The events of 1881 remind us that we can persist through times of uncertainty, and perhaps we can learn a thing or two from studying the past.

Our Book

If you enjoy our infographics, you’ll love our book!

Our Posters

Check out our full line of infographic posters for the classroom!


Davis, Kenneth C., and Pedro Martin. Don’t Know Much about the Presidents. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.

DeGregorio, William A., and Aaron Jaffe. The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents. Fort Lee, NJ: Barricade Books, Inc., 2017.

Kane, Joseph Nathan, and Janet Podell. Facts about the Presidents: A Compilation of Biographical and Historical Information. New York: H.W. Wilson, 2009.


Encyclopedia Britannica,

Library of Congress,

Miller Center, University of Virginia,

The White House,

Five Favorites: Mount Rushmore

Five Favorites: Mount Rushmore


Mt. Rushmore

Somewhere in the black mining hills of South Dakota there lives Mount Rushmore. Let’s explore five cool things at Rushmore and the surrounding area!


Take the Presidential Trail for a closer look

The trail is a loop, so you have a choice between two starting points. The path to the left (as you face Rushmore) is much easier on the way up. The path to the right is a steep walk with 422 stairs, but it’s paved and shaded most of the way. Much better walk this side of the loop on the way down.


Stop by the Sculptor’s Studio

The presidents had bodies in the original plan? Once inside the studio, you can’t miss the 1/12 scale model of Mount Rushmore. This is the place where sculptor Guzton Borglum worked from 1939 to 1941.


The Space Between the Rocks

We snapped this picture while on the Presidential Trail. We crawled into a space between two large rocks and looked up to see this.


Be sure to see the Crazy Horse Memorial

Down the road from the presidents, you’ll find another memorial–this one dedicated to the Lakota leader Crazy Horse. It’s a work in progress and much larger than Mount Rushmore. In fact, the presidents’ four heads could fit on Crazy Horse’s outstretched arm.


Test your driving skills (and nerves) on the Needles Highway

Jokes aside, this is one of the most beautiful drives we’ve ever experienced. It took about an hour or so. The environment in Custer State Park is just phenomenal. Get out and explore at stops along the way. But be ready, the road gets very narrow with a couple of one-way tunnels that really tested this Illinoisan’s nerve. Iron Creek Tunnel is about 9′ wide and 11” tall.

Our Book

If you enjoy our infographics, you’ll love our book!

Our Posters

Check out our full line of infographic posters for the classroom!