Being the president is a dangerous job and assassination attempts on U.S. presidents are not uncommon. Presidents assassinated while in office include Abraham Lincoln, James A. Garfield, and John F. Kennedy. But did you know that presidents like Bill Clinton, Gorge W. Bush, and even Barrack Obama have faced assassination attempts as well? Take a look at these 25 Assassination Attempts On US Presidents You Might Not Know About.
Last Updated on
Andrew Jackson (1835)
Let’s start with one of the earliest recorded failed assassination attempts on an American President. It was on January 30, 1835, that a painter named Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot Jackson with a pistol. It misfired and Andrew began to beat his would-be assassin with his cane. Richard pulled out another pistol but it misfired as well and he was hauled away by security.
Abraham Lincoln (1861)
You may not have realized that prior to being assassinated, there were at least two other attempts on Lincoln’s life. The first was on February 23, 1861. Known as the Baltimore Plot, this was a plan to assassinate Lincoln en route to his inauguration. There is still some debate as to how real the threat was, but either way, Lincoln’s security team did a good job ensuring his safety by sneaking him into Washington at night.
Abraham Lincoln (1864)
As Lincoln was out riding his horse one August evening a rifle shot just barely missed his head but went through his hat.
William Howard Taft (1909)
On October 16, when Taft was meeting Mexican president Porfirio Diaz on the border of the two countries, Texas Rangers captured and disarmed a would-be assassin only several feet from the two presidents.
Theodore Roosevelt (1912)
While running to be re-elected, Roosevelt was shot in the chest during a speech by John Schrank, a saloon keeper from New York. The case for his glasses that he kept in his breast pocket slowed the bullet down although it still lodged between his ribs. He went on to finish his speech before going to the hospital. Theodore Roosevelt is one of a handful of presidents who were shot and survived.
Herbert Hoover (1928)
While on tour in Argentina, Hoover escaped an assassination attempt by Argentinian anarchists who tried to blow up his railroad car. The would-be assassin, Severino Di Giovanni, was arrested before he could plant the explosives.
Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933)
On February 15 in Miami, Florida, Giuseppe Zangara shot five times in the direction of Roosevelt. While the president-elect escaped unharmed four people were wounded and the mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, was killed. Zangara was executed shortly thereafter.
Harry S. Truman (1947)
Just before the independence of Israel, a militant Zionist group known as the Stern Gang sent several explosive letters to the White House. They were intercepted, however, before reaching the president.
Harry S. Truman (1951)
On November 1, two Puerto Rican activists, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, attempted to kill Truman at his temporary home, the Blair House (the White House was being renovated). After a shootout with police, Torresola was killed and Collazo was seriously wounded. Although Collazo was sentenced to death, Truman commuted his sentence to life in prison.
John F. Kennedy (1960)
While vacationing in Palm Beach, Florida on December 11, Richard Pavlick, a retired postal worker had the intention of smashing his dynamite packed car into Kennedy’s vehicle. He delayed the attempt, however, after seeing Kennedy’s wife and daughter bid him farewell. He was then arrested before he had the opportunity to try a second assassination attempt.
Richard Nixon (1972)
On April 13th, Arthur Bremer was stopped by security at an event where he intended to shoot Nixon. He went on to kill the governor of Alabama, George Wallace, a few weeks later.
Richard Nixon (1974)
On February 22nd, Samuel Byck planned to kill the president by crashing a plane into the White House. He ended up trying to hijack a plane during which he shot both the pilot and co-pilot (still on the ground), but officers shot him before he could move the airliner.
Gerald Ford (1975)
On September 5th, while Ford was in Sacramento, Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, tried to shoot Ford as he shook her hand. She was quickly restrained.
Gerald Ford (1975)
17 days later, in San Francisco, Sara Jane Moore fired at Ford but a bystander deflected her arm and the bullet missed.
Jimmy Carter (1979)
Raymond Lee Harvey, a drifter from Ohio, was arrested 10 minutes before Carter was scheduled to give a speech in Los Angeles on May 5th. He claimed he was part of a four-man operation that was attempting to assassinate the president. Charges were eventually dismissed as Harvey had a history of mental illness and no evidence could be found.
Ronald Reagan (1981)
On March 30th while walking back to his limousine following a speech in Washington, Reagan, and three others were shot by John Hinckley Jr. Reagan was rushed to the hospital and recovered while his would-be assassin was arrested. Hinckley claimed that his reason for trying to kill the president was to impress the teen actress, Jodie Foster. He was later sent to a mental institution.
George H. W. Bush (1993)
On April 13th, Kuwaiti police arrested 14 people in a plot to detonate a car bomb near Bush. It was determined that the men were linked to the Iraqi Intelligence Service under Saddam Hussein
Bill Clinton (1994)
On January 21st, Ronald Gene Barbour, a retired military officer, planned to assassinate Clinton while he was jogging. He returned to Florida without having fired the shots but was arrested shortly thereafter.
Bill Clinton (1994)
Later that same year, on September 12th, Frank Eugene Corder, a truck driver from Maryland, died while deliberately crashing a Cessna into the White House lawn. He had allegedly intended to hit the White House itself, but Clinton was not there anyway.
Bill Clinton (1994)
Just over a month later, on October 29th, Francisco Martin Duran began to fire shots at the White House but was tackled by tourists.
Bill Clinton (1996)
During a visit to the Philippines, the Secret Service rerouted Clinton’s motorcade due to suspicions of an attack on a particular bridge. A bomb was later found at the location. Osama bin Laden was seen as being behind the plot.
George W. Bush (2005)
On May 10th, while Bush was giving a speech Tbilisi, Georgia, Vladimir Arutyunian threw a live grenade at the president. Because he had wrapped his handkerchief tightly around it, the grenade did not explode. Although Arutyunian escaped, he was arrested several weeks later.
Barack Obama (2008)
Paul Schlesselman and Daniel Cowart, two white supremacists, were arrested on October 22nd for planning to drive their car towards Obama and opening fire.
Barack Obama (2009)
A Syrian man pretending to be an Al-Jazeera news reporter was arrested by Turkish authorities for planning to stab Obama at a summit in Istanbul in April.
Barack Obama (2011)
In November, Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez opened fire on the White House. Although nobody was injured, the incident led to the director of the Secret Service resigning due to the way the situation was mismanaged.