Charts & Graphs

Near Misses

Failed political assassinations of the twentieth century.

Target: Theodore Roosevelt

Where & When: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1912

Assassin: John Schrank

Weapon: .38 caliber pistol

Schrank shot Roosevelt en route to a speech. Not wounded fatally, Roosevelt continued on and gave the speech.

Target: Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Where & When: Miami, Florida, 1933

Assassin: Giuseppe Zangara

Weapon: .32 caliber revolver

Zangara fired at Roosevelt after he had given a speech, missing the president-elect but hitting and killing Chicago mayor Anton Cermak.

Target: Adolf Hitler

Where & When: near Rastenberg, East Prussia, 1944

Assassin: Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg

Weapon: Bomb (in a briefcase)

Stauffenberg deposited the bomb near Hitler, but when it detonated, the führer escaped with only minor injuries.

Target: Fidel Castro

Where & When: Havana, Cuba, 1961

Assassin: CIA

Weapon: Poison in his ice cream.

The CIA hired a waiter to put poison into Castro’s ice-cream cone; the poison was later discovered in the restaurant’s freezer.

Target: Imelda Marcos

Where & When: Manila, Philippines, 1972

Assassin: Carlito Dimahilig

Weapon: Bolo knife

Dimahilig tried to stab Marcos on live television while she presented awards for a national beautification and cleanliness campaign; Marcos fought him off in front of the cameras.

Target: Ronald Reagan

Where & When: Washington, DC, 1981

Assassin: John Hinckley Jr.

Weapon: .22 caliber pistol

Hinckley stalked Jimmy Carter before ultimately settling on Reagan; he had hoped the assassination would impress and attract the attention of Jodie Foster, with whom he was obsessed.