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1933 - Assassination Attempt on Franklin D. Roosevelt

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On 15 February 1933 in Belmont Park in Miami Cermak was shot during a spontanous speech of the newly elected president Franklin D. Roosevelt by the italian- american Giuseppe Zangara. United States. Photograph.
Imagno/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Assassination Attempt on FDR (1933): On February 15, 1933, President-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt had just sat down after giving a speech at the Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida when five shots rang out. Giuseppe Zangara, an Italian immigrant and unemployed bricklayer, had emptied his .32 caliber pistol while aiming the best he could at FDR while standing on a wobbly chair about 25 feet away. Although none of the shots hit FDR, Chicago's Mayor Anton Cermak was mortally hit in the stomach and four others received minor injuries.

In an interview with officials after the shooting, Zangara stated that he wanted to kill FDR because he blamed FDR and all rich people and capitalists for his chronic stomach pain. After Cermak died of his wounds on March 6, 1933 (19 days after the shooting), Zangara was charged with first-degree murder. Zangara pleaded guilty to the charge and was then sentenced to death. On March 20, 1933, Zangara died in the electric chair.

See full article: Biography of Franklin D. Roosevelt

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