Thursday, November 1, 2012

November 1: Harry Truman Assassination Attempt

On this date in History ..... 1950:

An assassination attempt on President Harry Truman fails.
The White House was under renovation and the Trumans were staying in Blair House. A pair of wanna-be-assassins simply strolled up the steps of Blair House to the front door and opened fire, not even knowing for sure if Truman was in the building.  They never made it inside the house. A White House policeman was hit but managed to kill one of the intruders before dying himself later that day.
Truman, who was upstairs, heard the commotion and watched part of the exchange from an upstairs window before law enforcement told him to get back inside. The other gunman was sentenced to death but a week before his execution, Truman commuted the sentence to life imprisonment, then Carter commuted the life sentence and the gunman was released in 1979.  He died in Puerto Rico at the age of 80 in 1994.

Both assassins were members of the Puerto Rico Nationalist Party and thought killing the President would advance the cause of Puerto Rico independence, even though Truman was supportive of Puerto Rico self-sufficiency. 

Click here to view the Newsreel of the event

Apparently unfazed by the attempt on his life, Truman kept his scheduled appointments for the day. "A President has to expect these things," he remarked dryly.    

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