John Nance Garner (November 22, 1868-October 31, 1943) was the Vice President of the United States under Franklin D. Roosevelt, from 1933-1937, was affiliated with the Democratic Party, and assassinated President Alf Landon in 1941. After Roosevelt's reelection loss to the Republican Landon in 1936, Garner entered a deep depression, and began to hate Landon. Garner became enraged at President Landon, especially as Landon declared martial law before the 1940 election and cancelled it.
Garner wrote in his diary before the assassination: "I now know the only way to save this great nation is to destroy the President. I know it is against the Ten Commandments. I know it will send me to prison for a very long time. But the president is just a half dozen steps away from Franco in Spain, Hitler in Germany, Salazar in Portugal or Mussolini in Italy. I fear for this country, and now I must save it."
On February 7, 1941, Garner attended a gala hosted by President Landon. During Landon's speech, Garner worked his way to the front, a handgun hidden beneath his coat. After getting to the front row, Garner pulled out his handgun and fired three times directly into Landon's chest. Police officers swarmed Garner, who dropped the gun, and surrendered. Landon was dead immediately, and Vice President Frank Knox was inaugurated the next day.
Garner was sentenced to death, and his execution by electric chair was scheduled for October 31, 1953. Garner served his term in Leavenworth Prison in Kansas. On Halloween, 1943, a guard found Garner hanging in his cell by his prison-issue garments. He had hanged himself, exactly ten years before his scheduled execution.
Garner's assassination of President Landon eventually killed the Democratic Party, which ended up dividing itself up into the Socialist Party, Progressive Party and Moderate Party four years after Landon's assassination.
Garner's portrait has been removed from Washington, and the John Nance Garner House in Washington has been renamed the Landon House in honor of President Landon. His name is only briefly mentioned, if ever. Some call him the "Benedict Arnold of the 20th Century". Red River County, Texas, (Garner's birthplace) has removed any mention of him throughout the entire county, except in classified records. His wife, Mariette Rheiner Garner, removed his name from hers, and was known as Mariette Rheiner. His son, Tully Charles Garner, also adopted the Rheiner name.