Security Threats to the American President

Topics: President of the United States, Franklin D. Roosevelt, United States Pages: 8 (2586 words) Published: July 24, 2010

I. Introduction

A President of the United States of America always faces a range of threats. The sources of threats come both from National and International directions. Four presidents have actually died from assassination and another six were the subject of assassination. Especially today where America is recognized as the single existing world power and plays the role of the “policeman” of the world in international relations, the danger to its president’s life is great due to various enemies. Except in Obama’s case, an extra trait is considered; he is the first black president ever to be elected in the history of the American presidency.

In a time where America was and still is in a deep economic crisis and other serious international issues, Obama promised a radical change. According to PolitiFact, a service from St. Petersburg’s Times that assesses the truth behind politicians, Obama has made more than 500 promises during the course of his presidential campaign. Obama is under pressure to deliver and will be held accountable for all the “Change we can believe in” promises he has made to the American people. This introduces another more serious security threat to president Obama.

II. Assassinations of past American presidents

Abraham Lincoln was the first president to be assassinated. John Wilkes Booth was a supporter of Southern America and believed that the civil war of 1861 to 1865 was needed to maintain the freedom of the south. He did not like that the North was trying to abolish slavery. On April 14, 1865, He learned that president Lincoln will be attending a play called “Our American Cousin” at Ford's Theater. He fixed the president’s private box so that he would be able to get in and shot the president at around ten o’clock that evening. It is uncertain if Booth was killed or committed suicide.

James Garfield was the second president assassinated on July 2nd, 1881 by Charles J. Guitau, a mentally disturbed man. In this case, the president died of blood poisoning due to the poor treatment of his wounds by his physician. Guitau was convicted of murder and hanged on June 30th, 1882.

William Mckinley was the third president to be shot. He was shot two times by anarchist Leon Czolgosz while he was visiting the Pan-American Exhibition in New York on September 6th, 1901 and died a week later. Czolgosz declared that he shot the president because he believed that President Mckinley was an enemy to working people and was electrocuted on October 29th, 1901.

President John F. Kennedy was the fourth and last American president to be assassinated. Lee Harvey Oswald shot President Kennedy while he was riding in a motorcade in Dallas on November 23rd, 1963. Oswald was shot and killed by Jack Ruby before Oswald went to trial. Many argued that Oswald had an accomplice but the FBI disagreed.

III. Assassination attempts

Andrew Jackson was at a funeral for Congressman Warren Davis on January 30th, 1835. Richard Lawrence tried to shoot him with two different large-caliber pistols that misfired. He went to trial for attempted assassination but was found not guilty by reason of insanity. Lawrence spent the rest of his life in the insane ward.

Theodore Roosevelt was shot in the chest by John Schrank, a saloon-keeper from New York, on October 14th, 1912. Roosevelt’s term in the white house as president had actually ended at the time but he was running for another term against William Howard Taft in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Roosevelt was not seriously wounded. Shrank was declared mentally insane and was sentenced to the Central State Mental Hospital in 1914 where he died of natural causes 29 years later.

Franklin Roosevelt was giving a speech in Miami on February 15th, 1933, when Giuseppe Zangara fired six shots into the crowd. The Mayor of Chicago, Anton Cermak, was shot in the stomach but Roosevelt was not harmed. Zangara was convicted of...
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