In the United States presidential election of 1880, held on November 2,
Republican James A. Garfield was elected over Democrat Winfield Scott
Hancock. Garfield was an Ohio Congressman; Hancock was a Pennsylvania-
born career army officer. Both were Civil War generals, as was a third
candidate, Iowa Congressman James B. Weaver, nominated by the left-wing
Greenback Party in a challenge to the dominance of the two major
parties. In a campaign fought mainly over issues of Civil War loyalties,
tariffs, and Chinese immigration, Garfield and Hancock each took just
over 48 percent of the popular vote. Weaver and two other candidates
made up the remainder. The voter turnout percentage was among the
highest in the nation's history. In the end, the two main candidates'
popular vote totals were separated by fewer than 2,000 votes, the
smallest US presidential popular vote margin ever recorded. Garfield's
victory was decisive in the electoral college, as he won nearly all the
populous Northern states for a 214 to 155 victory.
Today's selected anniversaries:
Umar, the second Muslim Caliph after Muhammad's death, was
fatally stabbed by Piruz Nahavandi, a Persian slave.
French invasion of Russia: As Napoleon's Grande Armée began
its retreat, its rear guard was defeated at the Battle of Vyazma.
Almost 98% of the reported votes in a Greek plebiscite
supported the restoration of George II as King of the Hellenes.
The Soviet Union launched the Sputnik 2 spacecraft, carrying
Laika (pictured on stamp) the Russian space dog as the first living
creature from Earth to enter orbit.
Five members of the U.S. Communist Workers' Party were shot and
killed by members of the Ku Klux Klan and the American Nazi Party while
in a protest in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (astronomy) Describing motion in a forward direction, especially with
respect to other bodies in the same system.
2. (geology) Describing a metamorphic change resulting from a higher
pressure or temperature.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Democracy has to be judged not just by the institutions that
formally exist but by the extent to which different voices from diverse
sections of the people can actually be heard.