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The Promise of Change:  Assassination Attempt

Assassination Attempt

On February 15, 1933, an assassin nearly killed FDR.

The attack took place at a rally for the President-elect at Miami's Bay Front Park. After speaking to a crowd from atop the back seat of an open car, FDR slid down into his seat.

Suddenly, gunshots rang out. A deranged unemployed bricklayer named Guiseppe Zangara fired five bullets at FDR from close range. A bystander deflected his hand, but Zangara wounded four people and fatally shot Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak.

Roosevelt rebuffed Secret Service agents who wanted to drive him to safety. He had Cermak placed in his car and comforted him as they raced to a hospital. FDR's quiet courage made a powerful impression on the nation.

Under questioning, Zangara professed hatred for "all officials and everybody who is rich." Convicted of Cermak's murder, he was executed on March 20.

To learn more about the Assassin's Bullet, shown above, visit our Digital Artifact Collection.
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