On Good Friday evening, President and Mrs. Lincoln attended a performance at Fords Theater in Washington. At shortly after 10 oclock, John Wilkes Booth entered the presidential box and shot Lincoln in the back of his head. Lincoln died April 15. Also see Lincoln Assassination.
President Garfield was waiting at a train station for a trip to a college reunion; he was approached by a disappointed office seeker, Charles J. Guiteau, who fired two pistol shots into the president. The assassin proclaimed, "I am a Stalwart. Arthur is now president." Garfield hung on for 11 weeks before dying.
Three weeks before the presidential election, Roosevelt was shot in the chest while delivering a speech in Milwaukee by a deranged saloonkeeper. The bullet was slowed and deflected by a folded 50-page speech and a metal glasses case that were in Roosevelts coat pocket.
President Kennedy, the First Lady, and Governor John B. Connelly were traveling in a convertible limousine on their way to speak at a meeting of the Citizens Council when Lee Harvey Oswald allegedly inflicted fatal head wounds to the president with a high-powered rifle. Gov. Connelly was wounded. Oswald was shot and killed two days later by Jack Ruby.
While campaigning for the U.S. presidency, the Alabama governor was shot four times by Arthur Herman Bremer. Three other people were wounded as well. The assassination attempt left Wallace paralyzed from the waist down.
Just 69 days after taking office, President Ronald Reagan was shot in the left lung by John W. Hinckley Jr; three others also were wounded. Reagan made a speedy and politically stimulating recovery.
Attempts have been made by astrologers, who always love the chance to predict the past, to divine the power of the stars in presidential assassinations, including such arcane "facts" as the birth of the United States at 2:12 a.m. on July 4, 1776, in Philadelphia. Those who love horoscopes will continue to read them, even though astrology has not been able to predict an assasination attempt. Given current federal law, predicting an assasination may not even be legal.
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