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Martin Kelly

Andrew Jackson's Attempted Assassination

By January 30, 2013

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On January 30, 1835, Andrew Jackson became the first president who someone attempted to assassinate while in office. He was attending a funeral when Richard Lawrence, a painter with delusions of grandeur (or at least who believed himself to be Richard III), tried to shoot him with two separate derringers that both misfired. Jackson subsequently beat Lawrence into submission with his cane. Lawrence was later found not guilty by reason of insanity and placed in an asylum for the rest of his life. Ironically, the guns that Lawrence used were later tested and found to be in proper working order. According to the Smithsonian Institution, the odds that two derringers in perfect working order would both misfire as in this instance are 125,000 to one.

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