This Day In History, July 2nd

What happened on this day in history: President James Garfield is shot and dies months later of infection, Amelia Earhart disappears over the Pacific, and more events from July 2nd throughout history.

1839: The Revolt On The Amistad Begins

Fifty-three enslaved people abducted from Africa revolt and kill the captain of the Amistad. The mutineers then commanded the navigator to bring them home to Sierra Leone, but he steered the ship north, where it was captured by the U.S. Navy. Following a protracted public debate and a Supreme Court case, the mutineers were released and returned to Sierra Leone.

1881: U.S. President James Garfield Is Shot

James Garfield Assassination

Public DomainA depiction of Charles Guiteau’s attack on James Garfield.

President James A. Garfield is shot and fatally wounded by Charles Guiteau in Washington D.C. The president initially survived the attack but died on September 19 after doctors treated him with unsanitized equipment. His assassin was then hanged on July 30, 1882.

1931: Peter Kürten Is Executed

Peter Kürten, a German serial killer dubbed the “Düsseldorf Vampire” is executed by guillotine.

A sexual psychopath who claimed to sometimes drink his victims’ blood, Kürten had been found guilty of nine counts of murder and seven counts of attempted murder. “Never have I felt any misgiving in my soul,” he declared. “Never did I think to myself that what I did was bad, even though human society condemns it.”

1937: Amelia Earhart Disappears

Amelia Earhart

Library of CongressAmelia Earhart sitting in a plane in 1936, the year before she disappeared.

Amelia Earhart disappears alongside her navigator Frederick Noonan during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Shortly before they vanished, Earhart had radioed a Coast Guard ship to let them know that she was lost and running low on fuel.

But the ship was unable to find her plane and no trace of it, Earhart, or Noonan has ever been found — though some theorize that both were consumed by coconut crabs after crashing on a remote island.

1982: Larry Walters Takes Flight In A Lawnchair Attached To Balloons

Larry Walters ties 43 eight-foot weather balloons to a lawn chair and takes flight. Walters stayed aloft for 45 minutes until he shot a number of the balloons and slowly drifted back to earth, where he collided with a power line. Though Walters was unharmed, he died of suicide 11 years later in 1993.