When Richard Nixon Threatened to Nuke Vietnam
This story originally appeared on June 1, 2015. Washington now sees nuclear weapons as a last ditch resort … but it hasn’t always and the Pentagon has been more than happy come up with plans to lob the devastating bombs at America’s enemies. Sometimes, Washington used those plans to... Read more
The Gun That Killed John F. Kennedy
On Nov. 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald fired two 6.5-millimeter rounds from an Italian Carcano Fucile di Fanteria Mod. 91/38 rifle and killed U.S. president John F. Kennedy in Dallas, Texas. Kennedy was the fourth American president to be assassinated. Oswald, a 24-year-old former Marine, fired from the sixth floor of... Read more
The Guns That Killed Malcolm X
On Feb. 21, 1965, Malcolm X, leader of Muslim Mosque, Inc. and the Organization of Afro-American Unity, was assassinated during an Organization of Afro-American Unity meeting at the Audubon Ballroom in Manhattan. Malcolm X had been a civil-rights activist and leader of the Black Muslim community in New York City... Read more
The Gun That Killed Martin Luther King, Jr.
At 6:00 P.M. on April 4, 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. stepped onto the balcony outside his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis. Seconds later, a single .30-06 round mortally wounded the 39-year-old civil-rights leader. King had arrived at the motel on March 29. He was in... Read more
Michael Cavanaugh Flew in a Secret Air Force
In a seaside resort town on the coast of the gulf of Thailand an old warrior lives out his days, separated from the battles of his past by the insurmountable barrier of time but physically near their setting. Retired U.S. Air force colonel Michael Cavanaugh, 77, was a pilot... Read more
The Gun That Killed Adolf Hitler
On April 30, 1945, Adolf Hitler, leader of the Third Reich, killed himself with a 7.65-millimeter Walther PPK pistol. Terrified of falling into the hands of the Soviets, who were fighting their way through Berlin, Hitler first swallowed a hydrogen-cyanide capsule and then, at 3:30 P.M., shot himself, possibly firing a round... Read more
The Gun That Almost Killed Theodore Roosevelt
On Oct. 14, 1912, John Flammang Schrank shot Theodore Roosevelt in Milwaukee, Wisconsin while Roosevelt was campaigning. Roosevelt was running for a third term as president at the head of his newly formed Progressive Party. His opponents were Republican incumbent William Howard Taft and Democrat Woodrow Wilson. As Roosevelt was... Read more
It’s a Mystery What British Special Operators Did With This Silenced Pistol
An M1908 Webley pistol sporting an M1929 Parker Hale silencer is part of the British National Army Museum’s firearms collection. The museum’s catalogue entry on the pistol states that it was used by the British Special Operations Executive during World War II. Exactly what the SOE did with the... Read more
Indian Assassins Used a Popular Copy of a British Gun to Kill Their Prime Minister
On Oct. 31, 1984, Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi was shot dead by two of her bodyguards, Satwant Singh and Beant Singh, both Sikhs who sought revenge for Gandhi’s treatment of militant Sikh religious leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his followers. Gandhi had ordered Operation Blue Star, the Indian Army’s storming of... Read more
An Angry Russian Sneaked a Pocket Pistol Into a Book Fair to Assassinate the French President
On May 6, 1932, Russian emigre Pavel Timofeyevich Gorgulov — a.k.a. Paul Gorguloff — assassinated French president Paul Doumer using an FN Model 1910. Doumer, elected in June 1931, was visiting a book fair for World War I veteran authors at Paris’s Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. After purchasing several... Read more
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