Tag Archives: Assassination

The Forgotten Richard Nixon Assassination Attempt – 1968

Yemeni Born Brooklyn Resident, Ahmed Rageh Namer Is Arrested For A Conspiracy To Assassinate President-Elect Richard Nixon – 1968

Ahmed Rageh Namer in custody as a Brooklyn detective holds a rifle confiscated from Namer's home

Ahmed Rageh Namer (in hat) is arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit murder, as a Brooklyn detective holds a rifle confiscated from Namer’s home. photo: AP

Some students of history are familiar with Samuel Byck’s  1974 deluded attempted assassination attempt of Richard Nixon by hijacking and flying a plane into the White House.  Or they may know about Arthur Bremer’s attempt on Nixon in 1972. Bremer failed to get near Nixon and instead successfully shot and paralyzed presidential candidate George Wallace a few weeks after his failed attempt at Nixon.

But most people are unaware that a Brooklyn man, born in Yemen named Ahmed Rageh Namer was arrested along with his two sons in 1968 and charged with conspiracy to kill President-elect Richard Nixon. Continue reading

“He Ruined My Wife!” The 109th Anniversary of The Crime Of The Century

Millionaire Harry K. Thaw Shoots Architect Stanford White At Madison Square Garden  June 25, 1906

The Beautiful Evelyn Nesbit Is At The Center Of It All

Evelyn Nesbit happy

In the annals of 20th century crime there are many cases that claim the title of the “crime of the century.” From the Lindbergh kidnapping case to the O.J Simpson saga, the public has always had an unquenchable thirst for following the media coverage of lurid crimes.

Madison Square Garden photo H.N. Tiemann

Madison Square Garden 1909 photo H.N. Tiemann

Harry Thaw’s murder of Stanford White at the roof garden theater of White’s creation, Madison Square Garden on June 25, 1906, was as big a story that has ever played out in the public eye. If it was not the “crime of the century,” it certainly qualifies for being in the top five.

A brief summary of the principal players in this drama and the events leading up to the murder goes like this.

In 1901, Stanford White, partner in the renowned architectural firm of McKim, Mead & White wants to meet artist’s model and showgirl Evelyn Nesbit, who is 16. White is known in certain circles for being a scoundrel and having many sexual affairs with actresses, models and other pretty girls. Stanford White photo Kings Notable New YorkersAfter meeting Nesbit under the approval of Evelyn’s mother, White becomes Evelyn’s benefactor over the course of several months paying for a multitude of things for Evelyn, her brother and mother. White arranges for Evelyn’s mother to take a trip back home to Pennsylvania while he promises to “look after Evelyn.” One night, while Evelyn’s mother is away and Evelyn is at White’s bachelor apartment, he plies Evelyn with liquor.  Evelyn passes out and White has his way with his virgin teen beauty. Evelyn wakes up in bed naked with White and is in shock after being raped. White begs Evelyn not to talk about what has happened. Continue reading

The Woman Who Almost Killed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Story Of Izola Ware Curry and The Stabbing of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Arrest Ms Curry stabbed Martin Luther King 1958

Dr. Martin Luther King’s attacker being booked

As we observe Martin Luther King Jr. Day we’ll recount a story many people are not familiar with.

It’s a forgotten story in which the Civil Rights movement narrowly escaped a crippling blow in 1958.  It’s also the story of the woman who tried to be an assassin and failed and is now very old, free, and living a mostly anonymous life here in New York City.

Ten years before being cut down by an assassin’s bullet in 1968, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. came within a fraction of an inch of losing his life in an assassination attempt in New York City.

At 3:30 pm on September 20, 1958 Dr. King was in Harlem on the ground floor of  Blumstein’s Department store at 230 West 125th Street signing copies of his new book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story. With about 20 people on line, a 42 year-old woman, Izola Ware Curry burst through the line, asking Dr. King if he was in fact Martin Luther King. When King affirmed he was, Curry said either “Why do you annoy me” or “I’ve been after you for six years,” and opened her purse, took out a letter opener, closed her eyes and suddenly plunged the steel blade into his left chest.

The stunned Dr. King remained seated in his chair with the blade buried deep into his chest. Curry tried to leave the store but was seized quickly by those standing near Dr. King and held for the police. It was later discovered Curry also had an automatic handgun hidden in her bra.

At the book signing there was no police protection for Dr. King and the first police officers who responded to the scene, Al Howard and Phil Romano, were nearby in their police car when they received a report of a disturbance at Blumstein’s. They arrived to see King sitting in a chair with the steel letter opener protruding from his chest. Officer Howard told King, “Don’t sneeze, don’t even speak.”

Officer’s Howard and Romano escorted Dr. King, still in the chair, down to an ambulance and rushed him to Harlem Hospital. After waiting for the proper surgical team to arrive to perform the delicate operation, the Chief of Surgery Aubre Maynard attempted to pull out the letter opener, but cut his glove on the blade. At 6:30 pm Dr. King underwent a two and a quarter hour operation. A surgical clamp was finally used to pull out the blade.

After the surgery Dr. King was listed in critical condition. He contracted pneumonia while convalescing, but recovered completely and was released from the hospital two weeks after the attack.

In his posthumously published autobiography King wrote, “Days later,when I was well enough to talk with Dr. Aubre Maynard, the chief of the surgeons who performed the delicate, dangerous operation, I learned the reason for the long delay that preceded surgery. He told me that the razor tip of the instrument had been touching my aorta and that my whole chest had to be opened to extract it. ‘If you had sneezed during all those hours of waiting,’ Dr. Maynard said, ‘your aorta would have been punctured and you would have drowned in your own blood.'” Continue reading

The Mystery Man Who Let John Wilkes Booth Escape

Lieut. Charles H Jones Witnessed Lincoln’s Assassination And Claimed Someone Came On Stage And Stopped The Pursuit of John Wilkes Booth

Lincoln assassination witness Lieutenant Charles H. Jones

Lincoln assassination witness Lieutenant Charles H. Jones

On April 14, 1865 Lieutenant Charles H. Jones came to Ford’s Theatre to see General Grant who was supposed to attend that evening’s performance of the play Our American Cousin.

But, General Grant had decided earlier in the day that he was going to visit his children in Burlington, NJ, so he was not at the theatre to the great disappointment of many in the audience including Lieutenant Jones.

Instead of seeing General Grant, Jones witnessed the shocking assassination of President Lincoln.

Lieutenant Jones in 1915 telling his account of the assassination said he saw something that no other history of the Lincoln assassination ever mentions: that a man came on stage a few seconds after Booth had fled the theatre through a side stage door and announced that the assassin had been captured. This announcement the mystery man made was not true, and it delayed the pursuit of John Wilkes Booth.

In an earlier 1908 account of witnessing the assassination Lieutenant Jones said he never entered the President’s box after Lincoln was shot, which contradicts the account he gave below. So does his eyewitness account have any validity?

From The New York Call April 14, 1915

When John Wilkes Booth sprang from the president’s box in Ford’s Theater, April 14, 1865, and challenged the world with his dramatic cry, “The south is avenged,” only one man Continue reading

How The 50th Anniversary Of President Lincoln’s Assassination Was Observed

With The JFK Assassination Anniversary Approaching, A Look At  How The Nation Remembered President Lincoln On The 50th Anniversary Of His Assassination – April 15, 1915

Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper April 29 1865

Leading up to November 22, 2013, there has been an abundance of media recalling the fateful weekend fifty years ago when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas.

Over the years many parallels and coincidences have been drawn between the assassinations of President’s Lincoln and Kennedy. Several of these are urban legends-  i.e. Lincoln’s secretary was named Kennedy; Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln. Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln, but there is no evidence Lincoln had a secretary named Kennedy. But some parallels are true: Both presidents were shot on a Friday in the presence of their wives. Both presidents were shot in the head. Both presidents were accompanied by another couple, etc.

Burlington Weekly Free Press April 15, 1915 - click to enlarge

Burlington Weekly Free Press April 15, 1915 – click to enlarge

For the 50th anniversary of Lincoln’s assassination the media coverage was not the front page kind that the Kennedy assassination is receiving now. Obviously in the 21st century we have film, TV radio, magazines, newspapers and of course the internet to propagate thousands of stories about JFK and the assassination.

In 1915 print reigned supreme as the main mass medium, with motion picture newsreels still in their infancy.

Surprisingly, in the days leading up to and after the date of the 50th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination, newspaper and magazine stories were not that widespread.

So how exactly did the nation remember the martyred president on the 50th anniversary of his assassination and what were the stories about?

Many newspapers covered the fact that President Woodrow Wilson issued an executive order that on Thursday April 15, 1915 to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln, that all the executive offices be closed. The American flag would be placed at half staff on all public buildings, forts, military posts and United States vessels.

New York Governor Charles S. Whitman also issued a proclamation that mirrored part of President Wilson’s executive order by  ordering the lowering of all flags on public buildings.

In the week leading up to the anniversary some newspapers such as The Washington Herald ran a series of long stories surrounding little known facts about Lincoln and his last days in office. The series included profiles of the assassin John Wilkes Booth and other key people, accounts of the assassination itself and the aftermath.

Like the current coverage of Kennedy’s assassination, a lot of the stories in 1915 are about the assassin and the conspiracy rather than about Lincoln. Continue reading

As President, Theodore Roosevelt Carried A Handgun

The 26th President Didn’t Take Chances In Public

Theodore Roosevelt Campaigning in CarTheodore Roosevelt said, “Speak softly and  carry a big stick.”

Roosevelt however didn’t carry a stick, but a .45 caliber Colt revolver.

After William McKinley’s assassination in 1901, Roosevelt didn’t want to be at the mercy of some random shooter without the opportunity for self defense.

In Theodore Rex by Edmund Morris, Random House, 2001, Morris describes how Roosevelt shocked the president of Harvard, Dr. Charles William Eliot when Roosevelt was being awarded an honorary degree.

“Dr. Eliot escorted him (Roosevelt) to a guest suite to change, and watched with fascination as he tore off his coat and vest and slammed a large pistol on the dresser. Eliot asked if it was his habit to carry firearms. ‘Yes, when I am going into public places.'”

Morris also tells about Roosevelt vacationing at his home in Oyster Bay, NY during the summer of 1902:

“The sight of a gun butt protruding from the presidential trouser-seat caused some consternation in Christ Episcopal Church.”

Can you imagine President Obama carrying a handgun?

7 Amazing, Little Known Facts Surrounding President McKinley’s Assassination

The Assassin’s Body: Destroyed or Preserved?  Silence in New York City and The McKinley Islands

The McKinley Islands? It could have been, had Congress passed a bill to rename The Philippine Islands after the assassination of the 25th President of the United States, William McKinley.

The Assassination

McKinley assassinationOn September 6, 1901 President McKinley was holding a reception in the Temple of Music at the Pan-American Exposition held in Buffalo, New York. Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, was in the greeting line and he approached McKinley with hand wrapped up to his right wrist in a handkerchief. As McKinley extended his hand to shake Czolgosz’s left hand, Czolgosz fired two shots at nearly point blank range, one that glanced off McKinley’s breastbone and never entered his body, the other penetrating his stomach.

After initial grave concerns by attending doctors and an operation to remove the bullet,  McKinley began showing signs of recovery after a couple of days. McKinley was declared in steady press releases by his doctors to be constantly improving in condition, when he suddenly took a  turn for the worse on September 13 and died from his wounds at the home of John G. Milburn, in Buffalo in the early morning hours of September 14, 1901.

Seven little known, interesting facts surrounding McKinley’s assassination

1. Only On Friday’s

Four Presidents’ have been shot to death: Abraham Lincoln (1865), James A. Garfield (1881), William McKinley (1901), and John F. Kennedy (1963). All four were shot on a Friday.

2. The Mystery Bullet

An immediate operation was performed to remove the bullet that was lodged somewhere in McKinley’s body. Continue reading