One in four US Presidents have been assassinated or survived attempts on their lives
by Jack Thurston
Barack Obama is the 44th President of the United States. Four of his predecessors have been killed while in office and there have been near-miss assasination attempts on six others. There have been abortive or ham-fisted attempts on their lives of a further five Presidents. President Obama has, by my reckoning, at least a one in four chance of facing the same.
Abraham Lincoln was shot in the head while watching a play on April 14, 1865. He died the next day. James Garfield was shot on July 2, 1881 and died three months later of blood poisoning. William McKinley was shot on September 6, 1901 and died eight days later. John F. Kennedy was shot and killed on November 22, 1963.
There was an assassination attempt on Andrew Jackson in 1835. Both weapons misfired. While Theodore Roosevelt was seeking to return to the White House in 1912, he was shot in the chest but survived. On 15 February, 1933 six shots were fired at close range at Franklin Delano Roosevelt, only weeks before his inauguration. All shots missed but the Mayor of Chicago Anton Cermak was hit in the stomach and died a month later. In 1950 two assassins tried to kill Harry S. Truman, shooting their way into Blair House, where the President and his family were staying. In September 1975 Gerald Ford escaped not one but two assassination attempts, both by women. Ronald Regan was shot in March 1981, sustaining injuries to his chest and lung.
Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush have all been the targets of various abortive or ham-fisted assasination attempts that never got as far as putting them in mortal danger.
In 1968 Robert F. Kennedy was shot and killed shortly after winning the California Democratic Party primary. He was the front-runner to win the Democratic nomination. Had he not been slain, Kennedy stood a good chance against the Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the Presidential contest. Martin Luther King and Malcolm X were both assassinated at the height of their powers in the civil rights movement.
Mohandas Gandhi, Salvador Allende, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, Yitzhak Rabin, Benazir Bhutto…
Gun control, anyone?
More at Wikipedia.