On January 30, in 1835, President Andrew Jackson narrowly escaped being the first President to be assassinated. President Jackson was leaving a funeral at the Capital Building when Richard Lawrence attempted to murder him. He pulled a pistol and fired, but the weapon misfired. Jackson attacked his would be assassin with his walking stick. Lawrence, who had brought a second pistol, pulled it and fired again, it also misfired! The odds of two guns misfiring consecutively were figured at around one in 125,000.
The incident left Jackson a touch paranoid. Lawrence was found to have no ties to Jackson’s political rivals, but Jackson was convinced that Lawrence had been hired by his Whig Party opponents to assassinate him. His Vice President, Martin Van Buren, was worried also and from there on out carried two loaded pistols with him when he visited the Senate.
In the heat of a vicious political campaign with no stellar candidates in sight on either side of the fence I wonder what happened to men who would charge a would be attacker with his walking stick. Can you just imagine Jackson’s surprise when the second pistol came out? I’ll bet my ass Jackson hit him again with the walking stick profusely when the second gun misfired! I’m not saying Jackson was a stellar candidate, but he had guts.
It is nice to know politics haven’t gotten any better through the years!