20 March 1933 – Giuseppe Zangara

Giuseppe ZangaraItalian immigrant Giuseppe Zangara was sent to the electric chair for trying to kill the American President.

Having travelled over from Italy to find his fortune in America, he was hit by the depression of the 1920s and early ‘30s. Irritated by his misfortune he turned his anger on the then American President Hoover.

When he was defeated in the polls, Zangara’s ire focused on the successor President Franklin D Roosevelt.

Short arse

As Zangara was only 5ft he couldn’t see over the crowds, so he jumped onto a chair and fired a few indiscriminate shots. The bullets found homes in the mayor of Chicago and four other spectators, but the President escaped unscathed.

The Italian was tried for attempted murder and put away for 84 years and apparently the mayor said that he was glad he’d taken the shot, rather than the president.

Then, as if to test just how glad he was about it, fate dealt him and Zangara a lethal blow.

Although he survived for several weeks, it turned out that Mayor Anton Cermak had taken a fatal shot and when he died from his injuries it meant the State could go after the would be assassin for murder…which they did.

He was found guilty, sentenced to death and a mere 10 days after joining death row, Zangara was unceremoniously plonked on the electric chair in Florida.

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