Title: Assassination and Political Violence, Vol. 8
Subtitle: A Report to the National Commission on the Cause and Prevention of Violence
Date: October 1969
Notes: Ted writes his thoughts on reading this book in his journal in January 1979 and in letters from prison:
Ted Kaczynski’s 1978–79 Journal
Ted Kaczynski’s Letter Correspondence With David Skrbina

    [Front Matter]

      [Executive Order #11412]

      [Executive Order #11469]

      [Title Page]

      [Public Domain]

      Statement on the Staff Studies

      Task Force on Assassination and Political Violence




      A. Summary

      B. Organization

    Conceptual and Structural Analysis of Assassination

      A. Problems of Definition

      B. Categories of Assassination

      C. Preconditions for Assassination’

      D. The Impact of Assassinations on Government Institutions and Policy

  Chapter 1: Deadly Attacks Upon Public Officeholders in the United States

    A. Introduction

    B. Case Method Discussion of Assassinations

      Presidential Assassinations

      Gubernatorial Assassinations

      Senatorial Assassinations

      Congressional Assassinations

      Mayoral Assassinations

      Assassinations of State Legislators

      Judicial Assassinations

      Miscellaneous Assassinations

    C. Conclusions and Statistical Overview

  Chapter 2: Assassination Attempts Directed at the Office of the President of the United States


    A. Presidential Assassination Attempts

      Andrew Jackson

      Abraham Lincoln

      James A. Garfield

      William McKinley

      Theodore Roosevelt

      Franklin D. Roosevelt

      Harry S. Truman

      John F. Kennedy

      Robert F. Kennedy

    B. The Psychology of Presidential Assassins

      1. Similarities between Presidential Assassins

      2. A Comparison of the Presidential Assassin and the Normal Citizen

    C. A Psychiatric Perspective Upon Public Reaction To the Murder of a President.

    D. A Survey of Public Reaction to Assassinations

      1. Emotional Responses of Specific Groups to Assassination

      2. Summary

      3. Polarized Subgroup Analysis

    E. Political Consequences Traceable to Assassination of Presidents of the United States

    F. Strategies for the Reduction of Presidential Assassinations

      1. Protection of the President

      2. The Symbolic Content of the Office of the President, Other Governmental Institutions, and Assassinations

        The Presidency as Symbol

        The Press and the Presidential Symbol

        The Supreme Court



      3. Campaign Style and the Risk of Assassination

    G. The Presidency and Assassination: Suggestions and Conclusions

      1. The Presidency

      2. The Congress

      3. The Political Party System

      4. Campaign Methods

      5. The Federal System Generally

      6. Conclusion

  Chapter 3: Cross-National Comparative Study of Assassination


    A. Assassination: A Cross-National Quantitative Perspective

    B. Political Violence and Assassination

    C. Violence, Assassination, and Political Variables

      1. Level of Development and Political Violence

      2. Systemic Frustration—Satisfaction and Political Violence

      3. Rate of Socioeconomic Change and Political Violence

      4. Coerciveness of Political Regimes and Political Violence

      5. External Aggression, Minority Tension, Homicide, and Suicide

    D. Conclusions

  Chapter 4: Political Violence in the United States


    A. Historical Overview of Political Violence in the United States

      1. Vigilantism

      2. Abolitionsim and Anti-Abolitionism

      3. Reimposing White Supremacy in the South after the Civil War (the First Ku Klux Klan)

      4. Defense of American Nativism and Moralism-Native American Party—Know-Nothings—White Caps—Second Ku Klux Klan

      5. Agrarian Reform

      6. Labor Violence

      7. Political Violence in Contemporary America

        a. The Third Ku Klux Klan

        b. Black Extremist Groups

        c. The Extreme Right and the New Left

    B. Historical Comparison of the Intensity of Political Violence in the United States

      General Summary of the Newspaper Study

    C. Profile of Support Within the United States for Political Violence

      1. Analysis of Groups Whose Attitudinal Responses Indicate Support for Political Violence

      2. Political Vengeance

      3. Political Vengeance and Other Types of Violence: An Attempt at Validation of the Measure

      4. Analysis of the Social Structural Characteristics of the “Politically Vengeant”

      5. Demographic Correlates of Political Vengeance

      6. Vengence and the Political System: Party Identification and Policy Orientation

        a. America’s Presidential Elections

        b. Vengeance and Position on Political Issues

        c. Conclusions to Political Vengeance Analysis

      7. Analysis of Persons Who Indicate Support For The Use of Illegal Tactics or Violence in Response to Perceived Governmental Injustice

        Item-by-item analysis of responses to perceived governmental injustice.


    D. The Rhetoric of Vilification and Violence in Contemporary America

    E. Two Contemporary Violent or Potentially Violent White Vigilante-Type Groups

      1. North Carolina Ku Klux Klan (White Ghetto)

        White and. Black Ghettos: Similarities and Differences

      2. North Ward Citizen’s Council (Urban Backlash)

    F. Summary: Cultural Origins and Impact of Violence

    G. Conclusion


    Appendix A: Data on Assassination Events

      1. Data Collected by Leiden Group

      2. Data Collected by Feierabend Group

        Definition of Assassination Event


        Explanatory Notes: Assassination Code Index

      2. Data Collected by Feierabend Group

    Appendix B: The Rhetoric of Vilification and Violence

      1. White Racist Groups

      2. Right Wing Extremists


      3. Black Extremist Groups

      4. The New Left

      5. Schooling in Weaponry

    Appendix C: Alienation Today Conveyed Through the Words of Peter Young

    Appendix D: The Contemporary Ku Klux Klan

      1. The Traditional Perspective

        The 1960’s—Klan Membership and Violence on the Rise

      2. Violence and the White Ghetto, a View From the Inside Consultant to the Commission

        Background of Peter Young

      3. Summary of Tapes Made by Peter Young

        Interview with exalted Cyclops, Billy Flowers

        Interview With Grand Dragon J. R. Jones (September 1968) (Takes place the day after the Klan Rally summarized above.)

        Interviews With Klan Members, 1965

        Klan Sponsored Radio Program

        Tapes of “Segregationist” Records

        Summary of Music Selections

        Interview with Will Campbell, September 1968

        White Backlash

        Summary of Tony Imperiale Tape

        Imperiale Campaign Speech

        Responses to question from audience after speech

        Interview with Imperiale

        Two views from the “Opposite” Perspective

        Interview with Dan Watts (September 1968)

        Interview with Paul Krasner (September 1968)

    Appendix E: National Survey Questionnaire

  Special Research Report: Attitudes Toward Political Violence

    1. Method

    2. Dimensions of Psychological Orientation

    3. Discussion of Factor Analytic Traits

      Analysis of Other Items

    4. Response To Governmental Injustice

      The Governmental Injustice Items

      Actions That Individuals Would Take

      The Hypothetical Senator

      Tax Issue

      Vietnam Protest

      Political Complaints and Political Action

    5. Summary



    Supplement A: Political Violence and Terror in 19th and 20th Century Russia and Eastern Europe

      1. Introduction

      2. Types and Function of Terror

        Legitimacy and Violence

        “Sultanism” and the Transfer of Power by Assassination

        Renaissance: Tyranny and its Political Style

        Political Assassination: Systematic and Tactical


        Mass Terror

        Contradictions of Terror and Mass Terror

        Historical Pattern of Mass Terror

        Random Terror

        Focused Random Terror

        Dynastic Assassination

        Tactical and Strategic Objectives of Terror

        Terror and Isolated Assassination

      3. Terror in Russia

        Terror as a Political Style

        From Political Assassination to Tactical Terror

        Early Political Assassinations

        Beginnings of a Systematic Terroristic Struggle

        Opposition to Terror

        Nechayev and Burtsev

        Motivation and Some of the Determinants

        Ideology and Objectives of the Terrorists

        The Government’s Reaction to Terror

        The Size of the Terroristic Party

        Terror and Representative Institutions

      4. Violence and Terror against Foreign Rule in Eastern Europe

        Origin of the Polish Revolutionary Movement

        The Polish Socialist Party

        Absence of Terror in the Austrian Part of Poland

        The Nature of Terror in Poland

        Opposition to Terror and Direct Action

        Internal Political Terror

        The Termination of Systematic Terror

        Terror by the Armenian Dashnaks as a Defense and Struggle Against Turkish Massacres

        The Armenian Massacres

        The Dashnak Party

        Polish and Armenian Terroristic Tactics Compared

      5. Political Assassination in Balkan Politics

        The Nature of Political Assassination

        Dynastic Feuds and Assassinations

        The Black Hand and the Assassination of Archduke Ferdinand

        Professionalization and Institutionalization of Terror

        The Komitadji of Macedonia and Terroristic Action

      6. From the Terror of the Totalitarians to the Underground Struggle Against Conquerors, 1918–1945

        The Political Situation, 1918–1945

        Former Terrorist Parties and Revolution in Russia

        Former Fighters and Democracy in Poland

        Former Komitadji in a New Bulgaria

        Effect of Former Patterns of Violence on the Political Behavior of Leaders

        Significance of the Political Situation

        New and Old Patterns of Political Assassination

        Isolated Political Assassination and Tactical Terror in Poland

        Yugoslavia and the Ustasha; Assassinations of King Alexander and Stephen Radic

        The Rumanian Iron Guard and Terror-Assassinations of lorga, Duca, and Others

        Foreign Support

        The Soviet Union

        World War II: Tactical Terror and Resistance

        The Patterns of Resistance

        The Polish Underground and Legitimation of Terror

      7. Overview: Russian Balkan, and Polish Terrorism

        Causation of Terror

        Causes of Terror Against Autocracy and Foreign Rule

        Factor Analysis and Model A

        MODEL A: Causation of Tactical Terroristic Acts Against Foreign Rule or Autocracy

        Causation of Terror Against Democracy: the Preassassination Stage

        MODEL B: Causation of Individual Violence as a Tactic

        A General Hypothesis


        Duration of Tactics of Individual Terror Against Autocracy and Foreign Rule (Approximations)

        Duration of Terroristic Tactics Against Democracy and Moderate Governments (Approximations)


        Diffusion of the Terroristic Pattern

        Some Reflections

    Supplement B: Assassination and Political Violence in 20th Century France and Germany

      1. Introduction

      2. The Early 20th Century

      3. Political Violence in the Early Weimar Republic

        The Kapp Putsch, March 12–17, 1920

        The Ruhr Revolt, March-April 1920

        Leftist Outbreak in Saxony, October 1923

        The Munich “Beer Cellar Putsch,” November 8–9, 1923

        The Episode of Rhineland Separatism

      4. The German Political Crisis, 1929–33

      5. The Nazis in Power

        The Sanctioning of Internal Violence

        The Use of Violence in Establishing the Dictatorship

        Continued Anti-Semitic Excesses

        Murders Ordered by Hitler

      6. Anti-Hitler Plots and Assassination Attempts

      7. Germany Since 1945

      8. The Later Third Republic

      9. France After World War II

      10. Summary and Conclusion

    Supplement C: Political Assassinations in China, 1600–1968

      1. Introduction

      2. Political Assassinations in China, 1600–1968

        d. The Communist Period, 1949–68

      3. Politics and Political Assassination in Traditional China

        a. Security Measures

        b. Assassinations in the Warlord Period

        c. Gun Availability in Pre-Republican China

      4. On the Legitimation of Assassination of Chinese Officials

      5. The Impact and Effectiveness of Assassination in China

      6. A Postscript: Some Relevant Comparisons on Political Assassinations in China and the U.S.

    Supplement D: Assassination in Japan

      1. Introduction

      2. Causes of Assassination

      3. Impact of Assassination

      4. Effectiveness of Assassination

    Supplement E: Assassination in Latin America

      1. Introduction

      2. Causes of Assassination

      3. The Impact of Assassination on Political Systems

      4. Effectiveness of Assassination as a Political Technique

    Supplement F: Assassination in the Middle East

      1. Some Introductory Comments

      2. Overview

      3. Causes of Assassination

      4. The Impact of Assassination

      5. The Effectiveness of Assassination

      6. Conclusion

    Supplement G: Assassination and Political Violence in Canada

      1. Introduction

      2. Problem of Canadian Identity

      3. Historical Context of Political Violence in Modern Canada

        From Louis Riel to Modern Separatism

      4. Fertile Ground for Political Violence: Quebec Outline of the Sociopolitical and Ideological Situation in Quebec

        The First Wave

        The Second Wave

        The Third Wave

      5. Conclusion

    Supplement H: Assassination in Great Britain

      1. Introduction

      2. Assassination Attempts


        Prime Ministers

    Supplement I: Assassination in Australia

    Supplement J: Assassination in Finland

    Supplement K: Assassination in Sweden

    [Back Cover]

    [Archivists Note]

[Front Matter]

[Executive Order #11412]

The White House
June 10. 1968



By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, it is ordered as follows

SECTION 1. Establishment of the Commission (a) There is hereby established a National Commission on theCausesand Prevention of Violence (hereinafter referred to as the “Commission”).

(b) The Commission shall be composed of

SECTION 2. Functions of the Commission The Commission shall investigate and make recommendations with respect to

(a) The causes and prevention of lawless acts of violence in our society, including assassination, murder and assault;

(b) The causes and prevention of disrespect for law and order, of disrespect for public officials, and of violent disruptions of public order by individuals and groups: and

(c) Such other matters as the President may place before the Commission.

SECTION 4. Staff of the Commission

SECTION 5. Cooperation by Executive Departments and Agencies

(a) The Commission, acting through its Chairman, is authorized to request from any executive department or agency any information and assistance deemed necessary to carry out its functions under this Order. Each department or agency is directed, to the extent permitted by law and within the limits of available funds, to furnish information and assistance to the Commission.

SECTION 6. Report and Termination The Commission shall present its report and recommendations as soon as practicable, hut not later than one year from the date of this Order. The Commission shall terminate thirty days following the submission of its final report or one year from the date of this Order, whichever is earlier.

S/Lyndon B. Johnson

--Added by an Executive Order June 21, 1968

[Executive Order #11469]

The White House

May 23, 1969



By virtue of the authority vested in me as President of the United States, Executive Order No. 11412 of June 10, 1968,entitled “Establishing a National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence,” is hereby amended bv substituting for the last sentence thereof the following. “The Commission shall terminate thnty days following the submission of its final report or on December 10. 1969. whichever is earlier.”

S’ Richard Nixon

[Title Page]



A Report to the
National Commission on
the Causes and Prevention of

James F. Kirkham
Sheldon G. Levy
William J. Crotty

October 1969

For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office
Washington, D.C. 20402 — Price $2.50

[Public Domain]

Official editions of publications of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence may be freely used, duplicated or published, in whole or in part, except to the extent that, where expressly noted in the publications, they contain copyrighted materials reprinted by permission of the copyright holders. Photographs may have been copyrighted by the owners, and permission to reproduce may be required.

Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 74–603981

Statement on the Staff Studies

The Commission was directed to “go as far as man’s knowledge takes” it in searching for the causes of violence and the means of prevention. These studies are reports to the Commission by independent scholars and lawyers who have served as directors of our staff task forces and study teams; they are not reports by the Commission itself. Publication of any of the reports should not be taken Io imply endorsement of their contents by the Commission, or by any member of the Commission’s staff, including the Executive Director and other staff officers, not directly responsible fur the preparation of the particular report. Both the credit and the responsibility fur the reports he in each case with the directors of the task forces and study teams. The Commission is making the reports available at this tune as works of scholarship to be judged on their merits, so that the Commission as well as the public may have the benefit of both reports and informed criticism and comment on their contents.

Dr. Milton S. Eisenhower. Chairman

Task Force on Assassination and Political Violence


James F. Kirkham
Sheldon G. Levy
William J. Crotty


Robert C. Herr
Robert C. Nurick
Linda G. Stone


Vicky Clinton


Anthony F. Abell

Commission Staff Officers
Lloyd N. Cutler,Executive Director
Thomas D. Barr, Deputy Director
James F. Short, Jr., Marvin E. Wolfgang, Co-Directors of Research
James S. Campbell, General Counsel
William G McDonald, Administrative Officer
Ronald Wolk, Special Assistant to the Chairman
Joseph Laitin, Director of Information

National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence

Dr. Milton S. Eisenhower, Chairman


From the earliest days of organization, the Chairman, Commissioners, and Executive Director of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence recognized the importance of research in accomplishing the task of analyzing the many facets of violence in America. As a result of this recognition, the Commission has enjoyed the receptivity, encouragement, and cooperation of a large part of the scientific community in this country. Because of the assistance given in varying degrees by scores of scholars here and abroad, these Task Force reports represent some of the most elaborate work ever done on the major topics they cover.

The Commission was formed on June 10, 1968. By the end of the month, the Executive Director had gathered together a small cadre of capable young lawyers from various Federal agencies and law firms around the country. That group was later augmented by partners borrowed from some of the Nation’s major law firms who served without compensation. Such a professional group can be assembled more quickly than university faculty because the latter are not accustomed to quick institutional shifts after making firm commitments of teaching or research at a particular locus. Moreover, the legal profession has long had a major and traditional role in Federal agencies and commissions.

In early July a group of 50 persons from the academic disciplines of sociology, psychology, psychiatry, political science, history, law, and biology were called together on short notice to discuss for 2 days how best the Commission and its staff might proceed to analyze violence. The enthusiastic response of these scientists came at a moment when our Nation was still suffering from the tragedy of Senator Kennedy’s assassination.

It was clear from that meeting that the scholars were prepared to join research analysis and action, interpretation, and policy. They were eager to present to the American people the best available data, to bring reason to bear where myth had prevailed. They cautioned against simplistic solutions, but urged application of what is known in the service of sane policies for the benefit of the entire society.

Shortly thereafter the position of Director of Research was created. We assumed the role as a joint undertaking, with common responsibilities. Our function was to enlist social and other scientists to join the staff, to write papers, act as advisers or consultants, and engage in new research. The decentralized structure of the staff, which at its peak numbered 100, required research coordination to reduce duplication and to fill in gaps among the original seven separate Task Forces. In General, the plan was for each Task Force to have a pair of directors: one a social scientist, one a lawyer. In a number of instances, this formal structure bent before the necessities of available personnel but in almost every case the Task Force work program relied on both social scientists and lawyers for its successful completion. In addition to our work with the seven original Task Forces, we provided consultation for the work of the eighth “Investigative” Task Force, formed originally to investigate the disorders at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions and the civil strife in Cleveland during the summer of 1968 and eventually expanded to study campus disorders at several colleges and universities.

Throughout September and October and in December of 1968 the Commission held about 30 days of public hearings related expressly to each of the Task Force areas. About 100 witnesses testified, including many scholars, Government officials, corporate executives as well as militants and activists of various persuasions. In addition to the hearings, the Commission and the staff met privately with scores of persons, including college presidents, religious and youth leaders, and experts in such areas as the media, victim compensation, and firearms. The staff participated actively in structuring and conducting those hearings and conferences and in the questioning of witnesses.

As Research Directors, we participated in structuring the strategy of design for each Task Force, but we listened more than directed. We have known the delicate details of some of the statistical problems and computer runs. We have argued over philosophy and syntax; we have offered bibliographical and other resource materials, we have written portions of reports and copy edited others. In short, we know the enormous energy and devotion, the long hours and accelerated study that members of each Task Force have invested in their labors. In retrospect we are amazed at the high caliber and quantity of the material produced, much of which truly represents, the best in research and scholarship. About 150 separate papers and projects were involved in the work culminating in the Task Force reports. We feel less that we have orchestrated than that we have been members of the orchestra, and that together with the entire staff we have helped compose a repertoire of current knowledge about the enormously complex subject of this Commission.

That scholarly research is predominant in the work here presented is evident in the product. But we should like to emphasize that the roles which we occupied were not limited to scholarly inquiry The Directors of Research were afforded an opportunity to participate in all Commission meetings. We engaged in discussions at the highest levels of decisionmaking, and had great freedom in the selection of scholars, in the control of research budgets, and in the direction and design of research. If this was not unique, it is at least an uncommon degree of prominence accorded research by a national commission.

There were three major levels to our research pursuit: (1) summarizing the state of our present knowledge and clarifying the lacunae where more or new research should be encouraged; (2) accelerating known ongoing research so as to make it available to the Task Forces; (3) undertaking new research projects within the limits of time and funds available. Coming from a university setting where the pace of research is more conducive to reflection and quiet hours analyzing data, we at first thought that completing much meaningful new research within a matter of months was most unlikely But the need was matched by the talent and enthusiasm of the staff, and the Task Forces very early had begun enough new projects to launch a small university with a score of doctoral theses. It is well to remember also that in each volume here presented, the research reported is on full public display and thereby makes the staff more than usually accountable for their products.

One of the very rewarding aspects of these research undertaking has been the experience of minds trained in the law mingling and meshing, sometimes fiercely arguing, with other minds trained in behavioral science. The organizational structure and the substantive issues of each Task Force required members from both groups. Intuitive judgment and the logic of argument and organization blended, not always smoothly, with the methodology of science and statistical reasoning. Critical and analytical faculties were sharpened as theories confronted facts. The arrogance neither of ignorance nor of certainty could long endure the doubts and questions of interdisciplinary debate. Any sign of approaching the priestly pontification of scientism was quickly dispelled in the matrix of mutual criticism. Years required for the normal accumulation of experience were compressed into months of sharing ideas with others who had equally valid but differing perspectives Because of this process, these volumes are much richer than they otherwise might have been.

Partly because of the freedom which the Commission gave to the Directors of Research and the Directors of each Task Force, and partly to retain the full integrity of the research work in publication, these reports of the Task Forces are in the posture of being submitted to and received by the Commission. These are volumes published under the authority of the Commission, but they do not necessarily represent the views or the conclusions of the Commission. The Commission is presently at work producing its own report, based in part on the materials presented to it by the Task Forces. Commission members have, of course, commented on earlier drafts of each Task Force, and have caused alterations by reason of the cogency of their remarks and insights. But the linal responsibility for what is contained in these volumes rests fully and properly on the reserch staffs who labored on them.

hi this connection, we should like to acknowledge the special leadership of the Chairman, Dr. Milton S. Eisenhower, in formulating and supporting the
principle of research freedom and autonomy under which this work has been conducted.

We note, finally, that these volumes are in many respects incomplete and tentative. The urgency with which papers were prepared and then integrated into Task Force Reports rendered impossible the successive siftings of data and argument to which the typical academic article or volume is subjected. The reports have benefited greatly from the counsel of our colleagues on the Advisory Panel, and from much debate and revision from within the staff. It is our hope, that the total work effort of the Commission staff will be the source and subject of continued research by scholars in the several disciplines, as well as a useful resource for policymakers. We feel certain that public policy and the disciplines will benefit greatly from such further work.

To the Commission, and especially to its Chairman, for the opportunity they provided for complete research freedom, and to the staff for its prodigious and prolific work, we, who were intermediaries and servants to both, arc most grateful.


This Report is necessarily not the work of any one person; it draws together the contributions of many diverse scholars recruited by the Task Force. Accordingly, the Report has breadth of approach and diversity of viewpoint on the many facets of assassination and political violence.

For example, approaches include psychiatric post facto examinations of previous assassins; descriptive and historical treatments of assassinations; quantitative comparative analyses of the relationship between acts of political violence and assassinations and the occurrence of assassinations cross-nationally; interpretive discussions of aspects of United States culture which may support violence and, more specifically, violence directed against prominent individuals in the society; and contemporary reports of groups whose rhetoric and previous activities are associated with a variety of kinds of politically violent acts. Each approach contributes a different vantage point from which to examine assassinations and political violence.

The Task Force staff has brought the materials together and has presented them in three major parts: the report itself, Appendices to the report, and a Supplement to the Report. The Appendices contain materials that document in greater detail many of the points raised in the Report, including much of the unrefined data employed in the analyses contained within the Report. The Supplement presents more intensive historical and interpretative explorations of political assassinations in other countries and other regions of the world. These studies, along with the quantitative analyses of comparative aspects of violent behavior, assist in placing the experience of the United States in a world context.

In commissioning studies for the Task Force Report, the codirectors attempted to include reports by individuals distinguished in their understanding of the topic in question. The final Report of the Task Force is based on these studies, many of which are incorporated in whole or in part. In a few cases, the editing has been relatively severe. In all cases, at least some minor editorial changes have been made by the staff. In each instance, however, the original author has been identified and the extent of his contribution to the Report described as accurately as possible. In addition, some sections were written entirely by the staff, including much of the introductory and explanatory material. Thus, the result is neither a book of selected readings by different authors nor a presentation which is homogeneous in style and viewpoint. We have instead attempted to combine the different approaches and viewpoints within a systematic structure. This will enable us to treat the resulting product as a whole and draw conclusions based upon all the different approaches to the subject matter.

The codirectors of Task Force I, Assassination and Political Violence, wish to extend their sincere thanks to the Commissioners and the administrative staff of the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence for their constant help, support, suggestions, and contributions to this report. Essential to all the Task Force Reports, and to this report in particular, was the continuing loyal support of the Executive Director, Lloyd N. Cutler. In addition, we wish to acknowledge a special debt to the Commission’s codirectors of research, Dr. James F. Short, Jr., and Dr. Marvin E. Wolfgang, and the Commission’s indefatigable administrative officer, Col. William G. McDonald. To single out particular staff members, however, is necessarily unfair. All worked well beyond what could be reasonably expected in helping this and the other Task Forces.

This Report would not exist but for the consultants to the Task Force, and we should like at this point to acknowledge the contributions of each.

Reports submitted by the following were directly drawn upon in one form or another in the text of the Report; as with all consultant papers, some editing was done by the staff.

Consultant Project Title
Richard Maxwell
Brown Department of History
College of William and Mary
Violence in American History.
Ivo K. Feierabend
Rosalind Feierabend
Betty A. Nesvold
Franz N. Jaggar
Department of Political Science
San Diego State College
San Diego, Calif.
Political Violence and Assassination: A Cross-National Assessment--1948-1968
Lawrence Z. Freedman, M.D. Department of Psychiatry University of Chicago Assassins of Presidents of the United States: Their Motives and Personality Traits
Clinton E. Grimes
Judith H. Grimes
Department of Political Science
University of Idaho
Moscow, Idaho
Personalism, Partisanship, and Assassination
Feliks Gross
Department of Sociology
Brooklyn College
Political Violence and Terror in 19th and 20th Century Russia and Eastern Europe
Carl Leiden
Murray C. Havens
Karl M. Schmitt
James Soukup
Department of Government
University of Texas
Austin, Tex.
Assassinations Worldwide 1918–1969
James McEvoy III
Department of Sociology
University of California, Davis
Department of Political Science
University of California, Berkeley
Components of Political Violence
Rita J. Simon
Department of Sociology
University of Illinois
Urbana, Ill.
Political Violence Directed at Public Office Holders: A Brief Analysis of the American Scene
Peter B. Young
Summit, N.J.
Whose Law, Whose Order?
Doris Y. Wilkinson
Jerry A. Gaines
Department of Sociology
University of Kentucky
Lexington, Ky.
Sociological Insights into the Assassin
Jerome Bakst
Anti-Defamation League
New York, N.Y.
Political Extremism and Violence in the United States

Reports from the following are reprinted in the Supplement:

Harold Deutsch
Department of History
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, Minn.
Assassination and Political Violence in 20th Century France and Germany
Feliks Gross
Department of Sociology
Brooklyn College
New York, N.Y.
Political Violence and Terror in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Russia and Eastern Europe
Murray C. Havens
Department of Government
University of Texas
Austin, Tex.
Assassination in Australia
Carl Leiden
Department of Government
University of Texas
Austin, Tex.
Assassinations in the Middle East
Karl M. Schmitt
Department of Government
University of Texas
Austin, Tex.
Assassination in Latin America
James R. Soukup
Department of Government
University of Texas
Austin, Tex.
Assassination in Japan
Denis Szabo
Department of Criminology
University of Montreal
Assassination and Political Violence in Canada
Inkeri Auttila Assassination in Finland
Kias Lithner Assassination in Sweden
Daniel Tretiak
Advanced Studies Group
Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Waltham, Mass.
Political Assassinations in China, 1600–1968

The following also submitted papers or appeared at hearings before the Commission and provided valuable insights that contributed to the Report:

Dr. David Abrahamsen
Department of Psychiatry
Roosevelt Hospital
New York, N.Y.
Joseph Bensman
Department of Sociology
City College of New York
New York, N.Y.
Social and Instructional Factors Determining the Level of Assassination
Lynne Iglitzin
University of Washington
Seattle, Wash.
Violence and American Democracy
Seymour M. Lipset
Carl Sheingold
Department of Government and Social Relations
Harvard University
Cambridge, Mass.
Values and Political Structure: An Interpretation of the Sources of Extremism and Violence in American Society
Harold L. Nieburg
Department of Political Science
University of Wisconsin
Milwaukee, Wis.
The Political Uses of Assassination
Dr. David A. Rothstein
Michael Reese Hospital
Chicago, Illinois
Richard E. Rubenstein
The Adlai Stevenson Institute
Chicago, Ill.
Assassination and the Breakdown of American Politics
Dore Schary
National Chairman
Anti-Defamation League
B’nai B’rith
Joyce A. Sween
Rae L. Blumberg
Department of Sociology
Northwestern University
Reactions to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Stanford Research Institute
Henry Alberts
A Study of Game Theory and Probability Models as Employed in the Prediction and Prevention of Assassination
Edward A. Zeigenhagen
Department of Political Science
Wayne State University
Detroit, Mich.
Systematic Constraints and Political Assassination
Roy Nagle
Buffalo, N.Y.
Assassination of President McKinley

The original version of each of the foregoing papers is contained in the files of the Commission, as are the transcripts of the testimony.

One final word of appreciation: with almost no exceptions, the consultants to this Task Force were very generous with their time and professional abilities. Again with almost no exceptions, the amount of work each of the consultants contributed to this Task Force far exceeded the compensation received. In addition, both the Advanced Studies Group of Westinghouse Electric Corporation and the Stanford Research Institute generously donated their services. This Task Force received whole-hearted support from those whose help it sought. Nothing could have been accomplished without that support.

Special thanks is owed Robert C. Herr, who helped direct the work of the Task Force from its inception, and our research assistants, Robert Nurick and Linda Stone, who contributed not only notable ability, but continuing good cheer, notwithstanding the severe pressures of time and performance under which the Task Force operated. Our sincere appreciation is also extended to Victoria Clinton, the secretary of the Task Force, who maintained all its records in addition to assuming the main burden of its clerical work; she cheerfully worked nights and weekends to complete her many tasks.

We appreciate the diligent, painstaking, and patient work of Mr. Anthony F. Abell, who established the overall style for this volume and prepared the manuscript for publication.

The greatest debt of all is owed to Katherine Kirkham, Mary Lois Levy, and Nan Crotty, the wives of the codirectors. Each of us on very short notice left our wives and small children in other parts of the country to come to Washington, D.C., for the Commission. None of us could or would have imposed that hardship upon our wives without their loyal and enthusiastic support for the work we undertook.





A. Summary

The National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence was established by President Lyndon Johnson immediately after the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy. Senator Kennedy’s assassination occurred within months of that of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., and both followed by less than five years the assassination of President John Kennedy.

The Commission divided its staff into various Task Force groups. This Task Force was to investigate and respond to the questions and issues raised by the phenomenon of assassination and the related phenomenon of political violence. It sought among other things, to shed light on the patterns, if any, that exist in assassination and other acts of political violence; the relationship between assassinations and other forms of political violence; the social and political consequences of assassination; the relative incidence of assassinations and other acts of political violence in the United States vis-a-vis other nations; and the environmental factors that encourage groups or individuals to attack political leaders. This report presents and assesses the evidence available on each of these aspects of political assassinations.[1]

Assassinations have occurred throughout the history of the United States and have been employed on occasion to achieve political and ideological goals, although such use has been limited almost entirely to the Reconstruction period in the South.

The number of assassinations and acts of general political violence in the United States is high, compared with other nations, particularly when with more politically stable and economically developed countries. However, despite the assassinations that have taken place during the 1960’s, physical attacks against politically prominent individuals do not appear to be increasing.

The risk of assassination is considerably greater for elective as opposed to appointed public officials in spite of the fact appointed officials may wield greater power. Also, the risk of assassination is directly proportional to the size of constituency of the officeholder. The presidency is the most striking example. In relation to the number of officeholders, the position of President has been the object of by far the greatest proportion of assassination attempts.

Truly “political” assassinations, that is assassinations that are part of a rational scheme to transfer political power from one group to another or to achieve specific policy objectives, are rare in the United States. Assassinations did occur in the Reconstruction period in the South combined with terrorist activities employed in an effort to reinpose white supremacy after the Civil War. But most assassinations in the United States have been the products of individual passion or derangement.

As an example, each of the persons who attempted, either successfully or unsuccessfully, to assassinate Presidents of the United States, with the possible exception of the so-called Puerto Rican nationalists who attacked President Truman, evidenced serious mental illness. None of them were chosen representatives of political movements, although most claimed allegiance to broader political groups and cited political reasons for their act. Each assassin seemed to be acting out some inner pathological need. Despite this, the public, in reaction to the assassinations, has sometimes attempted to tie the assassins to political movements or conspiracies.

The presidential assassinshave a number of characteristics in common. Still, we are as yet unable to comprehend the individual and social forces at work sufficiently to be able to identify potential assassins in advance of their attacks. Characteristics common to assassins are shared by a large number of citizens. It is, however, both impossible at this point and probably undesirable in a democratic political system to attempt to identify and isolate potential assassins on any broad scale based on present knowledge.

As a result, prevention of assassinations must remain fundamentally a problem of physical protection. The Secret Service has the principal responsibility for protecting the President and is engaged in a continuing program to evaluate and upgrade its capabilities and to reduce the exposure of the President to risk.

Assuming the assassin to be mentally ill, there remains the question what factors tend to channel such mental illness into an assassination event. Our studies show that assassination correlates highly with general political turmoil.

Political turmoil and violence have characterized the United States throughout its history. Levels of political violence appear to crest during periods of accelerated social change. Agrarian reform abolitionism, the Reconstruction era, the fight to organize labor, and the periodic recrudescence of American nativism in its various forms were each accompanied by high levels of political violence. The 1960’s have witnessed a level of violence and political turmoil comparable to other high points of violence in the nation’s history.

Also, specific cultural and social factors in the United States may support political violence, including assassinations. Recent years have seen a number of movements that justify violence as a legitimate tactic in seeking political ends. There has been frequent use of rhetoric villifying institutions and individuals. Such rhetoric is frequently a precondition for physical assaults directed against politically prominent individuals. In addition, some segments of the population view our democratic government as ineffectual in meeting the needs of its people.

The likelihood of assassination should decrease as the level of political unrest within the country diminishes.

Neither panic nor complacency is an appropriate response to this Report. We should not surround our elected representatives with guards or otherwise risk isolating political leaders from their contact with the people. Our data suggest that isolated acts of assassination, unconnected with systematic terrorism, rarely bring fundamental change to a nation and have not had such impact in the United States, with the possible exception of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. On the other hand, our data suggest that isolation of political representatives from the people may have a long-range corrosive effect upon the perceived legitimacy of democratic institutions.

Nor should we seek specific legislation purporting to respond directly to the problem of assassination alone. The most effective defense against assassination in a society that seeks to preserve freedom of the individual is an overwhelming consensus that the government is legitimate and responsive to the people. A government supported by such a consensus will have the political strength and purpose to defend itself firmly and effectively at all levels against those who reject the ideals of democracy.

Thus, we report that the continuing urgent search for strategies to cope with fundamental causes of present disaffection in the United States, such as racial inequality, mounting crime, and the questioned use of military force in our foreign affairs, is of direct relevance to the overall problem of assassination. Such disaffection weakens the consensus upon which the strength of the government is based. We have not found a specific remedy for assassination and political violence in a democracy apart from the perceived legitimacy of the government and its leaders.

B. Organization

The introductory section of this report begins by discussing definitional problems associated with the study of assassination. It presents five categories of assassination, distinguishing between, for example, a palace coup, and the attack of an individual acting out private pathological needs. This part of the report helps to establish a framework in which to evaluate the American experience.

The section also describes preconditions, or factors conducive to assassinations, based on the patterns found in the historical and comparative studies of assassination in a variety of different countries. While, strictly speaking, the precondition to an assassination is a man with a weapon and sufficient motivation to murder a political leader, this section attempts to identify broader, more basic factors that shape an environment conducive to assassination.

The introductory section concludes with an overview of the impact of assassinations upon governmental policies and political institutions, again based upon historical and comparative studies. The conditions necessary for an assassination to provoke fundamental change are reviewed and the likelihood of these occurring at the time of a specific assassination is discussed.[2]

The remainder of the report is divided into four chapters. Chapter 1 describes all attempts on the lives of officeholders in the United States. The perspective is historical and the time period covered is from the inception of the Nation to the present. The offices analyzed are President, US Senator, US Congressman, Governor, State Legislator, Judge, Mayor, and other local offices...

Chapter 2 analyzes in greater detail presidential assassinations, describing the events connected with each assassination and evaluating, to the extent possible, the motives and emotional stability of the assassins. The chapter reports on public reaction to the assassination and the impact that presidential assassinations have had on political institutions and policy. The symbolic attraction of the office of President for assassins is explored, and several general recommendations are put forward to direct attention to the limits of the office, as well as the alternative points of decisionmaking avilable within the political system. The problems of physical protection of the President are dealt with from the perspective of the Secret Service, the agency charged with this task.

Chapter 3 employs cross-cultural comparative data to compare the American experience with assassinations in other nations. The data show that the United States ranks high in political assassinations. The analysis also describes the relationship between assassination and other forms of political violence. These data, in addition to providing a perspective on assassinations in the United States, contribute a framework and basepoint from which to begin a more intensive exploration of the historical studies of individual nations and regions contained in the supplement to this report.

While Chapter 3 employs quantitative data to discover patterns of political violence among nations, Chapter 4 explores the cultural factors that underlie the high incidence of assassinations and other politically violent acts in the United States. The chapter presents historical overviews of political violence, including both an historical review of the major political movements and groups associated with violence and an analysis of trends in politically violent behavior obtained from a sampling of newspaper accounts over a 150-year period. With this as background, the contemporary levels of violence in the United States are analyzed in several ways. From an original survey of data, the demographic characteristics of those persons in our society who express support for political violence are described. Then, several examples of the rhetoric of violence, drawn from the more extensive materials contained within the appendix to this report, are put forward. Such rhetoric is often a precursor of attacks directed against individuals. The chapter, and the volume, ends with a personalized exploration of two contemporary groups which pose typical problems for those concerned with political violence.

Conceptual and Structural Analysis of Assassination

A. Problems of Definition

Although this is a report about assassination, we do not undertake to define precisely what is meant by an “assassination/’ nor do we limit consideration in this Report to a particular consistent definition of “assassination.” There are at least three separate elements woven into the concept of “assassination” which identify it as a particular kind of murder: (1) a target that is a prominent political figure; (2) a political motive for the killing; (3) the potential political impact of the death or escape from death, as the case may be.

Most murders that would be called “assassinations” contain in greater or lesser degree all three elements, as for example, the killing of a head of state by an agent of a rival political party for the purpose of changing the regime. All three elements, however, do not necessarily coexist. A murder which contains any one of the foregoing three elements should properly be considered in any investigation of the phenomenon of assassination. For example, during the 1920’s in Germany, there were a great number of politically motivated killings of persons whose political stature was trivial, but these political killings and assaults had great significance. The terrorism during the Reconstruction era in the South often had nonpolitical figures as its object. In recent years, civil rights workers—not political figures by ordinary definition—have likewise been murdered or assaulted for political motives. Such acts of political terrorism are assassinations in some senses; they should be and are treated as such in this report.

At the other extreme, the head of state or a crucial political figure could be murdered by his estranged wife or simply by a burglar with no political motivation. Nonetheless, the impact upon the political system involved could be profound. Again, in some senses, these would be assassinations and are treated as such in this report.

In assessing the impact of assassination or the level of assassination in a given country, it could be argued that the relevant inquiry becomes, “What factors within a country produce high or low impact upon the removal of a political figure, whether by assassination or not.” As Carl Leiden[3] points out, the natural death of a political leader under certain circumstances can have a far more profoundly disruptive political effect than would the assassination of a political leader under other circumstances.

Also, how does one categorize attempts by mentally disturbed persons, such as the typical attacker of a President of the United States? A distinguished psychiatrist and contributer to the Commission, Dr. Lawrence Z. Freedman, has suggested that in some senses, with the possible exception of the attack upon President Truman, there have been no political assassination attempts directed at the President of the United States. The attacks are viewed as products of mental illness with no direct political content. This view is certainly arguable.

Our approach has been to avoid the definitional swamp by simply going around it, using routes dictated by common sense and practicality. In Chapter 1, we have treated all attacks against officeholders in the United States as worthy of our attention, although in most instances the attacks did not have a primary political motivation. In Chapter 2, we treat all attempts upon the lives of Presidents or of presidential candidates as assassinations.

In Chapter 3, our cross-national comparative study of assassination, we draw upon the work of two groups, one headed by Prof. Ivo Feierabend at San Diego State College, and the other headed by Professor Carl Leiden at the University of Texas.

Each group was in a position to make a valuable contribution to the study of assassination despite severe time constraints. Each had already begun gathering relevant data prior to the formation of the Commission. Each group had been working independently. In presenting their materials we adopted the definition of assassination used by each of these groups, although the definitions are not entirely the same. We did so because: (1) no reasonable alternative was feasible or desirable in terms of coordinating and reworking data which had already been gathered by the two groups, and which spoke of different times periods and (2) definitional consistency is irrelevant. Each group made cross-national comparisons only in terms of its own data: that is, all comparisons are based on a consistent definition.

Nor need the definitions used in Chapter 3 be consistent with those used in Chapters 1 and 2. The validity of comparisons of relative incidence of assassination and political violence is unaffected by the fact that the data banks used for comparative purposes may or may not have included all the Presidents of the United States or all the officeholders listed in Chapters 1 and 2 as “assassinations.”

In Chapter 4, we have treated low-level political violence as a proper subject for this Report—i.e., violence for political purposes, but not necessarily directed toward political figures. Again, whether the deliberate murder of a Pinkerton guard or a union leader in an earlier time would be considered a “true” assassination is a meaningless question. As we will demonstrate, low-level violence keys into high-level violence. Low-level violence has political implications and impact. Such conduct must be treated in any discussion of political assassination.

B. Categories of Assassination[4]

Acts of assassination can occur in different social and political contexts and may be committed for different reasons. While avoiding the problem of precise definition of assassination as such, it is useful to describe the various categories of assassination and examine the experience of the United States and other regions in the world in light of these categories.

1. The first category we can identify is assassination by one political elite to replace another without effecting any substantial systemic or ideological change. The purpose of such an assassination is simply to change the identity of the top man and the ruling clique.

This kind of assassination appears in the Middle East. Palace revolutions, or coups in Latin America would also come under this heading. Coups in Latin America, however, have not always ended in assassination. The object of the coup has usually relinquished his position and those taking power have been content to let him live.

This type has been successful in countries where the government has little de facto impact upon the vast body of the citizens outside the capital city. As long as governments can come and go with little impact or participation by peon or fellahin, as the case may be, palace revolutions appear to be a practical way of gaining power. This type of assassination has not appeared in the United States.

2. A second category is assassination for the purpose of terrorizing and destroying the legitimacy of the ruling elite in order to effect substantial systemic or ideological change.

Such assassination may be directed against high government officials or against mid-level officials to undermine the effectiveness of the central government at the local or provincial level. When such terror is directed toward a chief of state, the assassin may accomplish part of his goal even though the attempt is unsuccessful. For example, the members of the group which set out to assassinate the Czar in the 1880’s realized that they had no realistic chance of short-term success in changing the basic political structure of Czarist Russia. They pointed out, however, that if they forced the Czars to retreat into their palaces or surround themselves with guards, the symbolic separation of the leaders from their people would, in the long run, undermine the legitimacy of the Czarist government.

Our studies show that this kind of assassination is effective in achieving the long-range goals sought, although not so in advancing the short-term goals or careers of the terrorists themselves. Our studies show that, at least in modern history (post-1850), it cannot be said that in the long run any terrorist group was unsuccessful, except in those countries such as Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany where the ruling elite was willing to use massive counter-terror to suppress potentially terroristic groups. Once a terrorist group is well established, the only effective response is either counterterror or agreement to the basic demands of the terrorists—demands which may or may not be compatible with a democratic society. The Nazis, for example, rose to power on a wave of terrorism.

The best defense against terrorism is a government which has the broad popular support necessary to control terrorist activities through normal channels of law enforcement without resorting to counterterror. Terrorists often correctly perceive that their greatest enemy is the moderate who attempts to remedy whatever perceived injustices form the basis for terrorist strength. It is often these moderates who are the targets of assassination.

For example, Premier Stolypin of Russia, whose energy and force might have made the Duma a practical instrument of constitutional monarchy, fell to an assassin in 1911. Archduke Ferdinand, whose death triggered World War I, advocated federalism and limited autonomy for Serbian nationals within the Austrian Empire. The representatives of Serbian nationalism who killed him apparently feared that this moderate policy might undermine the support upon which they counted.

It should be pointed out that even the strategy of remedying the perceived injustices from which the terrorists gain their strength may not work or may be impractical, because that strategy may be consistent with the basic goals of the central government.

An example is the British presence in both Cyprus and Palestine. It was the British presence itself that was the perceived injustice. In both instances, terrorism was effective in spite of all counter-strategies. As can be seen, terrorism is particularly effective when the government is viewed by a substantial portion of the local population as a foreign conqueror or otherwise illegitimate.

This type of assassination terrorism appeared in the South directly after the Civil War. The imposed ruling class was viewed as illegitimate by a substantial portion of the population. Assassination of Northern Republican officeholders, combined with systematic terrorism practiced on Southerners sympathetic to the then “foreign elite,” eventually forced Northern capitulation. The so-called “Southern way of life” was reestablished, and lasted virtually unchallenged until the 195O’s.

Even where the government is neither foreign nor otherwise illegitmate, if terrorism has established itself, it may become so institutionalized and professionalized as a way of life that no concession is sufficient. A concession may please one group but offend another. This is apparently what happened in the case of the IMRO, or Black Hand, in the Balkans. Thus, it is important that potential terrorism be recognized and counteracted at an early stage.

3. A third category is assassination by the government in power to surpress political challenge.

This strategy, including mass counterterror, has appeared in Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. A recent example was the assassination of the leader of the Muslim Brotherhood by the Egyptian Government. Such strategy is not necessarily ideologically based. Machiavelli advised this strategy for the prince who has just come to power—to kill relatives of the previous prince and other potential challengers with promptness in order to make his power secure. Such a strategy is an indication and confession of weakness by the central government. This type of assassination has not occurred in the United States.

4. A fourth category is assassination to propagandize a political or ideological point of view. This is the so-called “propaganda of the deed,” popular with anarchists at the turn of the century.

Its purpose is to dramatize and publicize perceived injustice. Some of the assassins of Presidents of the United States may marginally fall within this category, as well as within the fifth category.

The success of such strategies cannot easily be measured, for the assassin does not purport directly to advance his ideaology except through publicity. A cause-and-effect relationship cannot be unravelled. For example, the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand may fall in part within this category-to publicize Serbian national aspirations. The effect, we can speculate, was to create upheavals far beyond those anticipated, and still there is no Serbian national state-although Yugoslavia perhaps comes closer than Austria. The speculation remains whether the assassins and the group they represented

would prefer Yugoslavia today to the rule of the Austrian Empire prior to World War I.

5. The fifth and last category is assassination unconnected with rational political goals which satisfies only the pathological needs of the mentally disturbed attacker. This represents the typical attacker of Presidents of the United States. Whether such assassinations achieve the goal of the assassin is a matter of psychiatric speculation. To the extent that such assassins seek attention, publicity, and importance, they consistently have achieved their goals in the United States.

C. Preconditions for Assassination’[5]

Cross-national comparative studies demonstrate that other forms of political violence correlate highly with and may be preconditions to assassination. That is, political turmoil itself may spawn assassination without regard to distinctions between types of turmoil.

We believe, however, that our studies of assassination in specific regions and countries throughout the world enable us to identify more precisely certain preconditions for assassination.

An analysis of the preconditions of assassination cannot ignore the issue of the kind of government towards which the assassination is directed. The study of assassination and terrorism in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries demonstrates that the preconditions for assassination under a democracy differ from preconditions under oppressive foreign or autocratic rule, where political expression is not allowed. Where there is oppressive rule, comparative studies suggest three antecedents to assassination: (1) the existence of a political party with an ideology and technique of direct action; (2) perception of oppression; and (3) presence of activists, i.e., persons willing to respond with violence to the conditions of oppression.

In a democracy, however, where physical oppression is absent, its equivalent must be created through (1) a weakening of shared democratic values, or a crisis in which the democratic institutions are incapable of taking effective remedial action; and (2) a pre-assassination process of defamation and vilification of democratic politicians and institutions. The remaining preconditions are also shared with the oppressive rule situation—(3) the existence of a party or groups of persons with an ideology and tactics of direct violence, and (4) the presence of persons with propensities for violence once the antecedents are present.

A number of the preconditions for assassination are latent in the United States. Some groups may perceive the government as oppressive, in which case the model describing oppressive rule is applicable. It is, however, a reverse sentimentalism to distort the overall picture of political conditions in the United States by dwelling on its admitted imperfections. The United States is a remarkably free country. Most of its citizens enjoy perhaps more real freedom, including the freedom from hunger and other material deprivations, than any other nation. Thus, it is the second model, preconditions for assassination in a democracy, which is of particular interest to us.

Specifically, the rhetoric of vilification of political leaders and the advocacy of violence may have a more profound effect than we have realized. The fact that our most tragic assassinations have been at the hands of persons who were mentally deranged, or not part of any political conspiracy, does not weaken the point. As Professor Feliks Gross points out, by way of example:

Before the assassination of President Gabriel Narutowicz in 1922 in Poland, in a pre-assassination stage, a vituperous defamation campaign was launched against him by the parties of the right. The assassination was an isolated, political act of killing, not a result of a terroristic tactic. The assassin, Eligious Niewiadomski, believed that he’had performed a heroic act and a patriotic duty. There was neither conspiracy nor organized terroristic party. But in the climate of vilification, once the political actor was “morally” branded, eliminated, and destroyed, psychological restraints and controls of a potential assassin were weakened or even removed, and in his view assassination was justified (Supplement, section A).

Professor Gross is not alone with his concern for the impact of such rhetoric. Dan Watts, editor of The Liberator magazine, a Negro, and an early advocate of black nationalism, made the same point in an interview with a consultant for this Task Force, that there should be a deescalation of violent talk before it leads to violent action (see Appendix D). On the other hand, a stabilizing strength peculiar to the United States is its unique capacity to absorb and adopt the rhetoric and symbols of radical challenge. To this extent, one can agree with and rejoice in one of the basic theses of Herbert Marcuse that the United States has a tremendous capacity to absorb and thus to emasculate radical challenges. One early exponent of the “hippie” movement complained that the movement was not a success in challenging basic American values because trying to change the United States was like “tilting with a marshmallow; you end up getting smothered.”[6] In effect, the movement has been in large part absorbed through diffusion of its symbols into the very establishment which the hippies challenged. This process has a two-fold benefit. In the process of absorbing the destructive radical challenge, the establishment in the United States also experiences renewal and change, not by a destruction of fundamental values, but by an evolutionary awareness and adaptation to the challenging point of view. It is this capacity for absorption and the good-humored refusal of mainstream America to allow itself to be teased into overreaction by irrelevant symbols—well publicized, short-term exceptions to the contrary notwithstanding-which contributes to America’s great capacity for keeping its basic democratic values intact while making the necessary adjustments and responses to continuing change.

D. The Impact of Assassinations on Government Institutions and Policy

It takes a congruence of unusual circumstances for assassinations to achieve fundamental long-run changes within a political system. An assassination of whatever category is not likely in itself to cause any basic alterations in institutional forms or policy.[7] Under a combination of unusual circumstances, however, the removal of a key figure-for example, a Lincoln or Franklin Roosevelt (unsuccessfully attacked just before he took office) in the United States, an Abdullah in Jordan—can have unanticipated and profound implications for the course of the society. The convergence of forces necessary to create high-impact assassinations occurs rather infrequently, however.

Carl Leiden[8]distinguishes between the implications of the assassination act for the survival of the system as against the considerably less consequential difficulties it might create for a particular ruling elite or party. He argues that only in a few very specific cases do assassinations have profound implications for the total political system.

An assassination can have a high impact when (a) the system is highly centralized, (b) the political support of the victim is highly personal, (c) the “replaceability” of the victim is low, (d) the system is in crisis and/or in a period of rapid political and social change, and (e) if the death of the victim involves the system in confrontation with other powers. (Supplement, section F)

Applying the foregoing criteria to the United States, we believe that there is little likelihood of an assassination in the United States having a fundamentally destructive impact. Our leaders are either constrained or supported, to the extent that they are either strong or weak, by the institutional framework within which they must operate. Although the federal government has great power, that power is divided among three branches, and the power to control individuals is also shared to a significant degree by the State and local governing bodies. Thus, our government is probably not “highly centralized,” that is, our government is not a single hierarchy of power which would be possible for one man to control.

Support of political figures in the United States may result from a charismatic inspiration of personal loyalty among supporters, for example, the two Roosevelts, Bryan, and Lincoln. But such personal support is effectively constrained by our institutions of government. It is impossible for political leaders in the United States to operate outside of institutional forms that set clear restraint on the powers of the office and the eligibility and tenure of its occupants. The political system of the United States also permits many competing centers of power as well as procedures for opposing and replacing those in office.

“Replaceability” of the victim of an assassination is, of course, a concern in the United States, in the sense that no man is a duplicate of another. Each President brings to the office unique qualities which may effect the way he handles a “crisis,” “a period of rapid political or social change,” or a “confrontation with other powers.” Nevertheless, the United States does have an ordered replacement system for its Presidents that has proved successful. The institution of the presidency, with all its powers, limitations, and resources, remains even as one man leaves the office and another succeeds to it. This will continue to be true so long as the United States remains a country governed by law, not by men.

We can take comfort from Professor Leiden’s summary statement that “assassination ... as a deliberate instrument of policy is a highly uncertain, risky adventure with little probability that systemic or other far-reaching changes will be brought about ”[9]

Chapter 1: Deadly Attacks Upon Public Officeholders in the United States

A. Introduction[10]

During all stages of our Nation’s history, violence has been one response offered to many of the controversial issues confronting our society. The establishment of independence, the relationship of settlers with the American Indian, the slavery and secession questions, and the trade union and civil rights movements are prime examples. Included in this history of violence are deadly attacks on persons holding public office. Chapter 1 is addressed to this particular kind of political violence.

It is important to state clearly at the outset the definition of assassination used in this chapter. We consider “assassinations” all deadly attacks upon public office holders in the United States by any person for any reason. Included is violence (in the form of direct physical assault, use of firearms, or conspiracies, the aim of which is death or injury) directed at persons both holding or actively aspiring to such office. The offices considered cover a wide range: Presidents, cabinet members, governors, senators, congressmen, mayors, state legislators, judges, tax collectors, state and district attorneys, etc. Not included are politically prominent leaders or workers for social causes or political movements and organizations who did not hold public office, were not actively aspiring to public office, or were not former officeholders.

In specific terms, this section reviews all reported deadly attacks upon public officeholders or aspirants to public office without regard for motive for the attack—whether “personal” or “political”—from revenue collectors to Presidents. But this section does not consider attacks upon persons such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, or George Lincoln Rockwell. By including all officeholders who have been the victims of attack, we gain confidence in the validity of our conclusions as to the nature and scope of the problem of deadly political violence in the United States. Virtually none of the deadly attacks against officeholders had a dominant rational political purpose; but most were in some way related to politics. Thus, the soundest approach is to include all such attacks in our investigation; no subjective judgements had to be made about whether the dominant motive for the attack was political, and the entire scope of such violence is before us. In excluding attacks upon all non-officeholders, we again avoid the problem of subjective judgment. Further, we avoid severe historical bias, because the names of the “politically prominent” of a given era tend to fade more rapidly from the pages of history than do the names of officeholders.

Table 1 lists all eighty-one of the recorded assassinations or attempted assassinations in chronological order. Working with this limited but useful definition of assassination, two conclusions can be drawn from the data in Table 1. First, the more powerful and prestigious the office, the greater the likelihood of assassination. Second, there is much greater likelihood that the occupant of or aspirant to an elected public office will be the victim of an assassination than will the occupant of an appointed position, even though the position may be a powerful one, such as Secretary of State, Justice of the Supreme Court, or Attorney General.

The relationships between the importance of the office and the likelihood of assassination are dramatically demonstrated by Table 2. This table compares the proportion of successful or attempted assassinations in four offices which differ significantly in degree of power or prestige.

Despite the crudeness of the estimates upon which the figures inTable 2 are based, the differences among the four categories are still sufficiently large that the relationship between importance or prestige of position and likelihood of assassination is demonstrated. One out of four Presidents has been a target of assassination, compared to approximately one out of every one hundred and sixty-six governors, one out of one hundred and forty-two Senators, and one out of every one thousand congressmen.[11]

We can suggest that the correlation between importance of elected office and likelihood of assassination is affected by the fact that the importance of the office and the size of the constituency are directly related. The President’s constituency is much larger than that of any other elected office. Similarly, a senator’s or a govenor’s constituency is greater than that of any congressman. Of the eight senators and eight governors who have been assassination targets, all but one were attacked by members of their own constituency.

The absence of assassination attempts on the vice president may also be consistent with this observation; the office of vice president has no elective independence from the presidency, and, in effect, has no constituency for purposes of this analysis. In any event, the office is sufficiently anomalous that lack of assassination attempts directed at the vice president does not necessarily invalidate the postulated relationship between assassination and size of constituency.

The second point is that persons in elected positions are more likely to be assassinated than are occupants of appointed offices. Of approximately four hundred and fifty cabinet members, and of approximately one hundred and two Supreme Court Justices, only one in each category has been the target of an assassin.

With the exception of attacks upon Republicans in the South during the Reconstruction era, only a very small portion of the deadly attacks against officeholders was rationally calculated to advance political aims of the assassin. With the possible exception of the attack upon President Truman by two self-avowed Puerto Rican nationalists, none of the presidential

assassinations or assassination attempts were made under the aegis of any organized political group or to advance any rational strategy for political change. Still, the unbalanced minds of the presidential assassins focused themselves on high political officeholders rather than nonpolitical targets, and the question of why those acts became political still remains.

Similarly, the attacks on other officeholders were related to politics without being “conspiratorial” or “political” in the sense of seeking power. Senator Charles Sumner, the antislavery senator from Massachusetts, was severely beaten on the floor of the Congress by Representative Preston Brooks of South Carolina three days after Sumner had made a strong speech denouncing slavery. Several other public officials were attacked in quarrels over political issues. A number of officeholders were attacked by constituents who harbored a personal grudge over political treatment they thought they had received.

Perhaps as many as eleven public officials were victims of assassination attempts by elements of organized crime. These were mostly lower-level officials who were either involved with the criminals or whose activities represented a threat to organized crime. We may speculate that such attacks were well planned and “political” in the sense of seeking to control legislative or executive conduct vis-a-vis the attackers. These may be the only examples that are comparable to the classic form of “assassination” in other nations, i.e., for direct political payoff.

Of all the assassinations and assassination attempts against officeholders in U.S. history, perhaps only one, excepting those related to organized crime, fits the classic picture of an assassination for a rational political purpose—that of Governor William Goebel of Kentucky in 1900. Goebel narrowly won a hotly contested three-way fight for the governorship between Populist Democrats (Goebel’s party), Conservative Democrats, and the incumbent Republicans. Three men associated with the Republican party were convicted of conspiracy to assassinate the Governor.

Other assassinations for rational political purpose might include the caning of Senator Sumner in 1856, the death in a duel of Senator Broderick in 1857 (both based on the passions of the impending Civil War), the assassination of Senator Huey P. Long, and the wounding of the five members of the House of Representatives by the self-appointed advocates of Puerto Rican nationalism.

Perhaps the murder in 1885 of John P. Bowman, former mayor of East St. Louis and a member of the Republican Party, should be added. He was killed by unknown persons, the New York Times stating, “The dead man had so many enemies, that police are puzzled where to begin.”[12]

Thus it can be seen that a deliberate effort to remove officeholders for rational political purposes is a rarity, even among the eighty-one attacks against officeholders in the United States.

In the next section of this chapter, we use a case method to analyze how the assassinations of different types of officeholders may have varied by the motivation and personal social characteristics of the would-be assasins, and by the context in which the acts have occurred. In the third section, we return to a statistical overview and examine rates of assassination over time and by geographical region. The special issues raised by assassination of a President are treated in detail in Chapter 2 of this report.

Table 1.-Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults{1}

Year Victim Method of Attack and Result Location of Attack Assailant and Professed or Alleged Reason
1835 Andrew Jackson President Attempted shooting, gun misfired Washington, D.C. Richard Lawrence; considered mentally unbalanced; said Jackson was ruining the country.
1856 Charles Sumner Senator, Massachusetts Assaulted, severely Washington, D.C. Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina; revenge for antislavery speech made by Sumner.
1857 David C. Broderick
Senator, California
Shot in duel, killed California David S. Terry; insults over political stand on slavery and legal feud.
1865 Abraham Lincoln
Shot, killed Washington, D.C. John Wilkes Booth; loyalty to the Confederacy; revenge for defeat; slavery issue.
William H. Seward
Secretary of State
Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. David Herold, Lewis Paine; part of Lincoln plot.
1867 G. W. Ashburn
Delegate to Georgia Constitutional Convention
Shot, killed Georgia Unknown; 10 prominent citizens implicated in the murder of the Republican delegate during Reconstruction.
Almon Case
State senator,
Shot, killed Tennessee Frank Farris; anti-Union guerrilla leader.
L. Harris Hiscox
delegate to New York Constitutional Convention
Shot, killed New York Cole; personal affair over Cole’s wife.
J. W. C. Horne
Judge, Georgia
Shot, killed Unknown Negro; judge shot over incident involving his son and a colored girl.
H. W. Fowler
Assistant collector of revenues
Shot, killed D. B. Bonfoey, collector of Revenues; no motives ascertained.
John P. Slough
Chief Justice, New
Mexico Territory
Shot, killed Capt. William L. Rynerson; feud and insults over Rynerson’s attempt to have Slough recalled.
1868 V. Chase
Judge, Louisiana
Shot, killed Band of Rebels; Chase was a Union man.
Robert Gray
Justice, Louisiana
Shot, killed Unknown(s).
State legislator; Pennington
State senator
Attempted shooting Unknown; ambushed while canvassing county together for Republican Party.
James Hinds
Representative, Arkansas
Shot, killed George M. Clark; was Secretary of Democratic Committee; Hinds was campaigning for Republicans, Clark was drunk at the time of shooting.
B. Saulet Sheriff, Caddo Parish, Louisiana Shot, killed Unknown(s).
Samuel W. Beall ex-Lieutenant Governor, Wisconsin Shot, killed George M. Pinney; Beall attacked Pinney over articles Pinney wrote; acquitted as self-defense.
1869 M. McConnel
State senator, Illinois
Shot, killed Unknown; believed to be over property litigation.
Benjamin Ayers
State Legislator, Georgia
Shot, killed Georgia Wilson; robbery believed motive
1870 William S. Lincoln Representative New York Cane assault Maryland Joseph Segar; lost contested seat for Representative from Virginia
John W. Stevens State senator, North Carolina Stabbed, hung, killed North Carolina Wiley and Mitchelle, apparently acted with consent of Democratic Party of Caswell County; Stevens was a Republica
Gaylord Clark District Judge, Texas Shot, killed Texas Frank William; sought judgeship for himself.
A. P. Crittedon Judge, California Shot, killed California Laura D. Fair, his mistress, when he attempted to break off relationship.
1871 Alden McLaughlin Customs Inspector, Texas Shot, killed Texas Smugglers; in the line of duty.
1873 William Pitt Kellog Governor, Louisiana Attempted shooting Louisiana Charles R. Rainey, Melvin H. Cohen; many disputed his election, open rebellion in parts of Louisiana.
Samuel Clark Pomeroy ex-Senator, Kansas Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. M. F. Conway; both men had been in Kansas politics at statehood; Conway blamed Pomeroy for his circumstances.
T. S. Crawford District County Judge
Arthur H. Harris District Attorney Monroe, Louisiana
Shot, killed Louisiana Assumed to have been ambushed by the Tom Wayne gang, with whom both had previously been involved in a case.
Edwin S. McCook
Territorial Secretary of Dakota
Shot, killed Dakota Territory P. P. Wintermute; dispute over railroad bonds.
H. P. Farrow
U.S. District Attorney, Georgia
Clubbed, wounded Georgia Unknown; had got indictments against five men; papers ranted against him and tried to intimidate jury.
1874 James O’Brian
ex-State senator
New York
Attempted shooting New York Richard Croker, George and Henry Hickey, John Sheridan; Tammany group dispute with O’Brian.
1875 E. G. Johnson
Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue and State legislator, Florida
Shot, killed Florida Unknown(s); shot in still house.
Belden ex-Parish Judge Louisiana Shot, killed Louisiana Sherburn; was judge at time; motive unknown.
Daniel O’Connell Aiderman, New York Gunthreat New York John T. Cox; personal matter over Cox’ sister.
G. A. Roderty tax collector, Grant Parish, Louisiana Shot, killed Louisiana John B. McCoy, ex-sheriff.
1877 Stephen B. Packard Governor, Louisiana Shot, wounded Louisiana W. H. Weldon; apparently part of group that challenged legality of election.
1881 James A. Garfield President Shot, killed Maryland Charles Guiteau; wanted political appointment.
State senator, Tennessee
Shot, wounded Tennessee John J. Vertress; political feud over way Smith voted, Vertress claimed Smith was bribed.
1885 John B. Bowman ex-mayor, East St. Louis, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Unknown; previous attempts made after several men killed in Republican-Democratic clashes at City Hall during his term.
1889 Stephen J. Field
Supreme Court Judge
Assaulted California David S. Terry; had threatened Field in legal dispute.
David S. Terry Judge, California Shot, killed California David Nagel, U.S. deputy marshall assigned to guard Field, shot and killed Terry.
W. L. Pierce Superior Judge, San Diego, California Shot, wounded California W. S. Clendennin; because of unfavorable decision handed down by Pierce.
1890 William P. Taulbee ex-Representative, Kentucky Shot, killed Washington Charles E. Kincaide; fued over articles Kincaide wrote linking Taulbee to scandal; Kincaide acquitted.
1892 R. D. McCotter State senator, North Carolina Shot, killed North Carolina Unknown; assumed to be personal, wife’s family did not like his behavior.
1893 Carter H. Harrison mayor, Chicago Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Patrick E. Prendergast; disappointed officeseeker.
Henry S. Tyler mayor, Louisville Kentucky Threatened with gun Kentucky P. J. Schwartz; did not want city limits extended to his property.
1896 Col. Albert Jennings
ex-State legislator,
New Mexico Territory
Shot, killed New Mexico Unknown; long conflict between cattle association and outlaws backed by opposite political party.
1900 William Goebel Governor, Kentucky Shot, killed Kentucky Caleb Powers; tried and convicted of conspiracy; disputed election.
1901 William McKinley
Shot, killed New York Leon F. Czolgosz; anarchist ideology.
1905 Frank Steunenberg
ex-Governor, Idaho
Dynamite killed Idaho Harry Orchard; labor union against which Governor called out troops involved.
1908 John F. Fort Governor, New Jersey Attempted bombing New Jersey Unknown; suspect either crackpot or parties angered by liquor law enforcement.
1910 William Gaynor Mayor, New Y ork City Shot, wounded New York John J. Gallagher; fired from city job, angered at Gaynor’s trip.
1912 Theodore Roosevelt President Shot, wounded Wisconsin John Schrank; had vision that McKinley wanted him to avenge his death; Schrank declared insane.
1913 B. P. Windsor Mayor, Mt. Aubcorn, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Fay D, State; quarrel over editorial
1917 Henry Cabot Lodge Senator, Massachusetts Assaulted Washington, D.C. Pacifists: A. Bannwart, Rev. P. H. Drake, Mrs. M. A. Peabody, outbursts because he did not support staying out of war; not serious attempt on life.
1921 Charles Henderson Senator, Nevada Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. August Grock; personal quarrel over money.
1924 Robert Young Thomas, Jr. Representative, Kentucky Assaulted Kentucky G. Baker; political opponent; Baker angered by Thomas’ remarks.
1926 Jeff Stone mayor, Culp, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Unknown; suspected political gangster bootlegging tie-in.
1933 Franklin Delano Roosevelt President Attempted shooting Florida Guiseppe Zangara; hated rulers and capitalists.
Anton Cermak mayor, Chicago, Illinois Shot, killed Florida Cermac was hit in hail of bullets aimed at Roosevelt.
1935 Huey P. Long
Senator, Louisiana
Shot, killed Louisiana Dr. Carl Weiss; apparent concern over Long’s power, and having his father-in-law’s judgeship taken away.
Thomas J. Courtney State’s attorney, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Unknown; suspected Capone gang.
1936 J. M. Bolton State legislator, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Assumed to be gangsters; alliance of crime and politics.
1939 Louis E. Edwards mayor, Long Beach, New York Shot, killed New York Alvin Dooley; angered that Edwards used influence to keep him from being elected to office in police organization.
1945 Warren G. Hooper State senator, Michigan Shot, killed Michigan Conspirators: Harry and Sam Fleisher, Mike Selik, Pete Mahoney; Hooper had been key witness in an investigation.
1947 John William Bricker
Senator, Ohio
Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. William L. Kaiser; personal grudge over money lost when Bricker was attorney general.
Hubert H. Humphrey
mayor, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Attempted shooting Minnesota Unknown; several attempts made conflicts over crimelabor unions.
Thomas Anglin
State senator, Oklahoma
Shot, wounded Oklahoma Jim Scott; personal; Anglin’s law firm represented Scott’s wife in divorce.
1949 Elihu H. Bailey
mayor, Evarts, Kentucky
Attempted dynamite Kentucky Unknown; mayor thought it was bootlegger he was fighting.
1950 Harry S. Truman
Attempted shooting Washington, D.C. Oscar Collazo, Griselio Torresola; Puerto Rican Independence
1954 Kenneth Allison Roberts
Representative, Alabama
Benton Franklin Jensen
Representative, Iowa
George Hyde Fallon
Representative, Maryland
Alvin Morell Bentley
Representative, Michigan
Clifford Davis
Representative, Tennessee
Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. Puerto Rican extremists: Lolita Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda, A. F. Corcera; attack on Congress by independence group.
1958 Paul A. Wallace
State senator, South Carolina
Shot, killed South Carolina Henry Rogers; assumed mad, hanged self in mental institution.
1959 J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. Governor, Virginia Attempted shooting Virginia Unknown; suspected segregationist, during school integration period.
1963 John F. Kennedy
Shot, killed Texas Lee Harvey Oswald; motivation unknown.
John Connally
Governor, Texas
Shot, wounded Texas Lee Harvey Oswald; accident assuming assassin was aiming at President.
1968 Robert F. Kennedy Shot, killed California Sirhan Sirhan, accused; foreign policy statements vis a vis the Middle East.

Tabic 2.-Likelihood of assassination by type of public office (1790–1968)

Office Number of man terms Estimates of the number holding office Number of assassinations attempted Percentage of universality
President 45 35 8{2} 23
Governors{3} 1,710 1,330 8 00.6
Senators{4} 2,271 1,140 8{5} 00.7
Representatives{6} 27,930 8,349 9 00.1

B. Case Method Discussion of Assassinations

Presidential Assassinations

In the one hundred and thirty-three years between the attempt made on the life of Andrew Jackson in 1835 and the successful assassination of presidential candidate Robert Kennedy in 1968, seven other Presidents or aspirants to the presidency have been assassination targets. Table 3 lists each of the men involved with a summary description highlighting the main facts surrounding each case.

We can draw several important conclusions about presidential assassinations. Party affiliation, public policies, term of office, and political strength provide few clues about the likelihood of assassination. The men who have been targets differ considerably. For example, Lincoln was the President of a divided nation during a civil war, Garfield was a compromise candidate of a faction-torn party, and McKinley was a popular President of a relatively unified and stable society. All were assassinated.

The list of assassination victims is not limited solely to Presidents who have exhibited strong leadership or enhanced the power of the office. Presidents Lincoln and Kennedy fit this model; Presidents Garfield and McKinley do not. Franklin Roosevelt was shot at before he had a chance to demonstrate his leadership qualities. There are no later reports of attempts on his life. And Woodrow Wilson, who was certainly as strong a President as Truman or Kennedy, was never a target.

Party affiliation does not appear to be relevant except in indicating the hegemony of one party or the other during particular historical periods. The period of Republican dominance from Lincoln to F. D. R. (1860—1932) shows only Republican victims (or, in the case of Theodore Roosevelt, a splinter Republican candidate), while the period of Democratic dominance (1932—68) shows only Democratic victims. This is hardly unexpected, however. Only two Democrats, Grover Cleveland (1884—88, 1892—96) and Woodrow Wilson (1912—20) held office during the first period, and only one Republican, Dwight David Eisenhower, held office (1952—60) during the second. Nor is there any particular era during which assassinations have frequently occurred. From Lincoln to John F. Kennedy, assassination attempts against Presidents or presidential candidates have occurred at fairly regular intervals of one every eleven to twenty-one years. Those of President Jackson (thirty years before Lincoln), and Robert Kennedy (only five years after his brother) deviated from this pattern. Until more time has passed, it is impossible to determine whether the short interval between the Kennedy assassinations has meaning or is simply an anomaly in an otherwise consistent pattern.

The political philosophy of a President or presidential candidate also appears to bear little relevance to an attack. McKinley and Garfield were moderate conservatives, while Kennedy and Truman were liberals; FDR was attacked at a time when his political philosophy was not yet identifiable (indeed, one might have classified him as somewhat conservative on the basis of his balance-the-budget and fiscal-integrity speeches during the presidential campaign of 1932). Of the six attempts in the 20th century, however, it is true that five attempts were made on liberal Presidents or presidential candidates and only one on a conservative President (McKinley). Most Presidents in this century have been of a liberal rather than conservative bent. If Theodore Roosevelt is considered as a liberal, liberals have occupied the White House for forty-three of the last sixty-nine years.

Table 3.-Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of Presidents and presidential candidates

Year Victim Political party Length of administration of time of attack Location Method of attack and result Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1835 Andrew Jackson Democrat 6 years Washington, D.C. pistol, misfired Richard Lawrence, declared insane; said Jackson was preventing him from obtaining large sums of money.
1865 Abraham Lincoln Republican 4 years, 1 month Washington, D.C. pistol, killed John W. Booth, loyalty to the Confederacy; revenge for defeat; slavery issue.
1881 James Garfield Republican 4 months Washington, D.C. pistol, killed Charles Guiteau, disgruntled officeseeker; supporter of opposite faction of Republican Party.
1901 William McKinley Republican 4 years, 6 months Buffalo, N.Y. pistol, killed Leon F. Czolgosz, anarchist ideology.
1912 Theodore Roosevelt Progressive (Bull Moose) Candidate (had served before, 1901–09) Milwaukee, Wise. pistol, wounded John Schrank, declared insane; had vision that McKinley wanted him to avenge his death.
1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt Democrat 3 weeks prior to 1st inauguration Miami, Fla. pistol, bullets missed the President Guiseppe Zangara, hated rulers and capitalists.
1950 Harry S. Truman Democrat 5 years Washington, D.C. automatic

weapon, prevented from shooting at President | Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola; Puerto Rican independence. |

1963 John F. Kennedy Democrat 3 years Dallax, Tex. rifle, killed Lee H. Oswald, motive unknown.
1968 Robert F. Kennedy Democrat Candidate Los Angeles, Calif. pistol, killed Shirhan Sirhan, accused

An interesting pattern that does emerge is that the assassination attempts seem to correspond with the general levels of civil strife. The greater such strife, the more likely the President in office will be attacked. In Chapter 4 we set forth a graph of the amount of political violence that occured in the United States since 1819, based upon a survey of newspaper reports of politically violent incidents since 1819. Every assassination attempt against a President or presidential candidate occurred at or near a peak of civil strife in this country, as shown by the graph.[13]

This pattern is given weight in Chapter 3 of this report, which indicates that the single best predictor of whether a nation will experience assassination attempts is whether that nation experiences high levels of other forms of civil strife. Turmoil in general seems to be a factor which releases, creates, or signals tendencies to assault the President within mentally unbalanced individuals in the population.

Although there may be other factors, the key element in each presidential assassination appears to be the state of mind of the potential assassin. In every case (with the possible exception of the attempt upon Truman) the assailants were alienated figures, and were even confused about the prospects and strategies of the causes they thought they represented.[14] All the assassins but the two who attacked President Truman—Lawrence, Booth, Guiteau, Czolgosz, Zangara, Shrank, and Oswald—showed strong evidence of serious mental disturbance. In addition, each case is conspicuous by the absence of an effective political organization. Even the two presidential assassination attempts which were conspiracies of two or more persons—the attempts against the lives of Lincoln and Truman—were poorly organized, haphazard affairs, and neither would have done much to bring about the triumph of the political causes the assailants favored. Indeed, the assassination of Lincoln was a complete failure in this regard.

We will treat presidential assassination and the special problems raised by such attacks upon the office of President in Chapter 2.

Gubernatorial Assassinations

Only one of the approximately thirteen hundred and thirty men who have held the office of governor from 1790 until the present has been killed. Five others who were targets for political assassination were either wounded or escaped unharmed.[15] In addition, one ex-governor and one ex-lieutenant governor were killed after they had left public office.[16] The first attempt, the killing in self-defense of the ex-lieutenant governor, was in 1868, the last was the wounding of Governor Connally in 1963. Table 4 summarizes the major facts surrounding each case.

The one governor who was assassinated in office was William Goebel. He was declared the victor by his supporters and the state legislature in a disputed election in Kentucky in 1900. Goebel had been declared the victor over the Republican incumbent (Taylor) only a few weeks before he was killed. Goebel shared many characteristics with Andrew Johnson—for example, his Populist-like support within the Democratic Party and his antipathy for the old landed aristocracy and “privileged class” that controlled the Democratic Party in Kentucky and throughout much of the South. After Goebel had gained the nomination, the “old school” Democrats left the Party and ran a candidate of their own. Goebel’s support came from the small landowners and nonpropertied classes.

Table 4.-Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of governors

Year Victim Method of attack and result Location of attack Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1868 Samuel W. Beall ex-Lieutenant Governor, Wisconsin Shot, killed Montana George M. Pinney; Beall attacked Pinney over articles Pinney wrote; acquitted as self-defense.
1873 William Pitt Kellogg Governor, Louisiana Attempted shooting Louisiana Charles R. Rainey, Melvin H. Cohen; many disputed his election, open rebellion in parts of Louisiana.
1877 Stephen B. Packard Governor, Louisiana Shot, wounded Louisiana W. H. Weldon; apparently part of group that challenged legality of election.
1900 William Goebel
Governor, Kentucky
Shot, killed Kentucky Caleb Powers; tried and convicted of conspiracy; disputed election.
1905 Frank Steunenberg ex-Govemor, Idaho Dynamite, killed Idaho Harry Orchard; labor union against which Governor called out troops.
1908 John F. Fort
Governor, New Jersey
Attempted bombing New Jersey Unknown; suspect either crackpot or parties angered by liquor-law enforcement.
1959 J. Lindsay Almond, Jr. Governor, Virginia Attempted shooting Virginia Unknown; suspected segregationist, during school integration period.
1963 John Connally Governor, Texas Shot, wounded Texas Lee H. Oswald; Governor was hit while riding with Kennedy when the latter was assassinated.

Three men were tried and convicted for Goebel’s death: Caleb Powers, Henry Youtsey, and James Howard. Powers was secretary of state under the Republican governor. Youtsey was a young lawyer who was employed by the state in the Auditor’s Office. He was a strong supporter of the Republican Party. Howard was known as an outlaw with a murder charge hanging over him. During the trial, both testified that they went to Power’s office on the morning Goebel was shot, but each claimed that the other did the actual shooting. Powers was charged with conspiracy and convicted along with Youtsey and Howard.

Of the five governors who survived assassination attempts, two, William Kellogg and Stephen Packard, were Republicans who held public office in the South during the Reconstruction period. Both Kellogg and Packard were governors of Louisiana who held office by virtue of the presence of Union troops and Negro police in Louisiana. The Kellogg and Packard cases are part of the one period in American history, the Reconstruction era, during which assassinations were an organized political response to perceived injustice. The Reconstruction period will be discussed in Chapter 4.

The other gubernatorial targets were John Fort of New Jersey (1908), who was the intended recipient of an envelope containing explosives, presumably because of his enforcement of the state liquor laws in the Atlantic City resort area; Lindsay Almond of Virginia (1959), who was the target of an unidentified sniper, presumably because of his recently-adopted “moderate” position on school integration; and John Connally of Texas (1963). It will probably never be known who was Oswald’s intended target—Connally, Kennedy, or both. Connally was Secretary of the Navy when Oswald’s application to the Navy to have his discharge changed to “honorable” was denied.

The most “sensational” assassination occurred in 1905 when Harry Orchard confessed to the killing of the ex-governor of Idaho, Frank Steunenberg. Steunenberg had been elected as a Populist in 1897, and had the support of the miners. During his term of office, however, a labor dispute arose in which there was a good deal of violence. In response to this violence, Steunenberg called for federal toops to restore law and order. The case attracted notoriety because it involved the leadership of the then powerful IWW, and particularly, the local head of the Western Foundation of Miners, William (Big Bill) Haywood. In his confession, Orchard charged that Haywood had paid him to kill Steunenberg. Orchard also confessed that he was paid to bomb several copper mines, to shoot a detective and a superintendent of a mine, and to assassinate Governor Peabody and several justices of the Idaho Supreme Court. All these successful or attempted acts of violence, Orchard claimed, were at the instigation of Haywood.

The defense, under the direction of Clarence Darrow, charged that Orchard was in the employ of the Mine Owners Association and that he killed Steunenberg only to satisfy a personal grudge. The defense claimed that Orchard had a part interest in a mine which he had been forced to sell below value, and that he blamed Steunenberg for his loss. Haywood was subsequently acquitted and Harry Orchard was sentenced to life imprisonment.

The assassination of William Goebel, and possibly that of Frank Steunenberg, represents violence of direct political motivation not found in presidential assassinations. The Goebel case in particular seems to fit the model of an assassination planned and motivated by representatives of a political movement to enhance the objectives of their cause. In the Steunenberg, case, the accusation of involvement of a well-organized political movement was made, but, as pointed out above, the alleged instigator of the plot was acquitted, having defended himself on the ground that the killing was done for personal reasons.

Senatorial Assassinations

Of the approximately eleven hundred men elected to the United States Senate, only two, David C. Broderick in 1859 and Huey P. Long in 1935, have been victims of assassination.[17]

Four others, two after their term of office had expired, were targets, but only one of them was seriously hurt.[18] He was Charles Sumner, the strong antislavery senator from Massachusetts, who was attacked on the floor of Congress by Representative Brooks of South Carolina. According to theTVew York Times, Brooks “repeatedly hit Sumner on the head until he collapsed in a pool of blood.”[19] Three days before his attack, Sumner had made a strong antislavery speech in which he singled out for special attention South Carolina’s senator, Andrew P. Butler, who happened to be Brooks’ uncle. According to the Times, the attack on Sumner was premeditated. A group of Southerners met the evening before and decided on their course of action. Their intention was to kill the senator from Massachusetts. Why they chose the floor of the Senate (if, in fact, this was their intent), is not explained by the Times story.

The other three assassination attempts had little or no rational political content. Senator Bricker (Ohio, 1947) was wounded by one of his constituents who had suffered financial losses fifteen years earlier when Bricker was attorney general of Ohio and who believed Bricker had not done all he should have to help him recover his money. Senator Henderson (Nevada, 1921) was shot and wounded the day after his term of office ended by August Grock, a Reno lawyer who had harbored a grudge against Henderson for twenty-five years because Henderson had refused to act as Crock’s attorney in a land suit. Grock had been under treatment for mental “troubles” for several years prior to his attack on Henderson. Ex-Senator Pomeroy (Kansas, 1873) was also wounded by an assailant with ahistory of mental illness. In this case, Conway (the assailant) had worked together with Pomeroy in state politics and was the first member of Congress from Kansas. But in his later years he apparently became mentally ill, broke his ties with former associates, left his wife, became despondent, and had no means of support. Just a few days prior to his attack on Pomeroy, Conway had tried, unsuccessfully, to borrow money from him.

Of the two successful assassinations, the victim in the first was David C. Broderick, a senator, from California, who was shot in a duel in 1859. Broderick was a Democrat who supported the Union. His Republican i opponent, in a three-way race (the Democratic Party in California was divided | on the slavery issue and each faction put forth a candidate) was State Supreme Court Justice David Terry.[20] Terry accused Broderick of misleading the public concerning his position on the slavery issue, and Broderick in essence called Terry a liar. Terry responded by challenging Broderick to a duel from which Terry emerged the victor. Broderick died of a bullet wound in his left lung. Terry was arrested, tried, and subsequently acquitted.

Table 5. -Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of Senators

Year Victim Method of attack and result Location of attack Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1859 Charles Sumner
Senator, Massachusetts
Assaulted, severely beaten Washington, D.C. Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina; revenge for antislavery speech made by Sumner.
1857 David C. Broderick Senator, California Shot in duel, killed California David S. Terry; insults over political stand on slavery and legal feud.
1873 Samuel Clark Pomeroy ex-Senator, Kansas Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. M F. Conway; both men had been in Kansas politics at statehood; Conway blamed Pomeroy for his circumstances.
1917 Henry Cabot Lodge Senator, Massachusetts Assaulted Washington, D.C. Pacifists: A. Bannwart, Rev. P. H. Drake, Mrs. M. A. Peabody; outbursts because he did not support staying out of war; but not serious attempt on life.
1921 Charles Henderson
Senator, Nevada
Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. August Grock; personal quarrel over money.
1935 Huey P. Long Senator, Louisiana Shot, killed Louisiana Dr. Carl Weiss; apparent concern over Long’s power, and having his father-in-law’s judgeship taken away.
1947 John William Bricker Senator, Ohio Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. William L. Kaiser; personal grudge over money lost when Bricker was attorney general.

The victim of the other successful senatorial assassination was the Senator from Louisiana, Huey Pierce Long. Long’s assassination, like that of William Goebel, is something of a departure from the American pattern. In reporting Long’s death, Nation described it as “a deliberate political act, one of the very few in its category in American experience.”[21]

Father Coughlin, a friend and political supporter of Long, recognized the difference between Long’s assassination and the assassinations of other public officials. He touched on at least one distinctive characteristic by noting that the real target in most of the presidential assassinations was as much the “office” as the particular officeholder. Huey Long was shot not because of the particular office he held, but because his assassin believed that his power had extended far enough to threaten in a very immediate sense the lives of the people he had been elected to represent.

There are other reasons why Long’s case is “different.” His assassin did not share the social and personal characteristics of many of the presidential assassins, and the public did not respond to him as they had to other political assassins. Carl Weiss, Long’s assassin, was a twenty-nine-year-old physician from a wealthy, educated, professional family. His father was also a doctor, and his father-in-law, who was one of the leaders of what remained of the anti-Long forces in Louisiana, was a judge from an old and prominent Southern family. Weiss, who was born in Louisiana, was a successful young man with no history of mental disturbance or imbalance, and with little apparent political interest.

In trying to explain how Carl Weiss came to commit an act that he must have known would (and did) cost him his own life, the press relied mostly on what they assumed to be Weiss’ growing concern over Long’s well-publicized plan to have legislation introduced which would gerrymander his father-in-law out of public office. Some suggested that Weiss was less disturbed by Long’s activities in Louisiana than by the increasing likelihood that Long would make a bid for national power before the 1936 presidential election. Weiss, just a few years before, had witnessed the rise of Hitler and the Nazi movement in Germany. He had been a student in Vienna when Hitler was named Chancellor. To someone with this background, Huey Long in 1935 could have appeared extremely dangerous.

Another unique factor of the Long assassination was the public reaction. While there may always be some who privately applaud the assassination of a public official, the usual response is one of shock, abhorrence, and denunciation. In this case, though, the assassin became a hero. Thousands of people, including prominent business, civic, and social leaders from all over the South, as well as a former Governor of Louisiana (John M. Parker), a Congressman, and the district attorney for Baton Rouge, attended Weiss’ funeral.

The public responded to Huey Long’s death with as much variety as they had responded to his public policies and political strategies. The fact that he was a controversial figure is still another reason why the Long case does not quite fit into what we have come to consider the American pattern.

Congressional Assassinations

Proportionately, there have been fewer assassinations of congressmen than there have been of governors or senators. Of the approximately eight thousand three hundred and fifty Representatives, only three have been assassinated and seven have been targets of unsuccessful attempts.

Of those seven, five were shot in one episode in 1954. Three members of the Puerto Rican National Party entered the visitors’ gallery in the Capitol and by their own admission began shooting in order to bring attention to the American people and the world that Puerto Rico was not free. None of the congressmen was seriously injured.

The two other occasions probably do not merit consideration under assassination attempts. The first occurred in 1836, when Representative William Stanbury drew a gun on Sam Houston after Houston began caning him on Pennsylvania Avenue because Stanbury had accused Houston of misconduct. Neither Houston nor Stanbury was seriously hurt. In 1924, Representative Thomas of Kentucky was attacked by his Republican opponent, George Baker, when Baker became angered at remarks made by Thomas during the congressional campaign.

Three congressmen (two after they had completed their term of office) were fatally wounded by assassins. Two of them, Representative Hinds from Arkansas, and ex-Congressman W. S. Lincoln from New York, were killed during the Reconstruction period.

Hinds, a former Democrat who had supported Lincoln in 1860, had been a delegate to the Arkansas Constitutional Convention in 1867, and was sent by the Republican ticket to Washington in 1868. His assassin was George Clark, who was secretary of the Democratic committee of Monroe County. Clark was drunk at the time of the shooting and when arrested was in a condition bordering on delirium tremens. W. S. Lincoln, an ex-Congressman from New York, was caned by Joseph Segar, an unsuccessful applicant for a seat in the House as a member-at-large. Segar attacked Lincoln with a cane in a Baltimore train depot the day after a Baltimore paper had carried a story ridiculing his claim to a seat and his general conduct around the House in connection with the matter.

William Taulbee of Kentucky was shot and killed in 1890 by Charles Kincaide, the Washington correspondent for the Louisville Times. His is the most recent case of the killing of a representative. Taulbee’s case is notable mainly because his assassin gained acquittal on a self-defense charge. Taulbee had apparently been threatening and actually assaulting Kincaide for several months because Kincaide had published a story linking Taulbee with a scandal in the Patent Office. One day, after Taulbee had attacked Kincaide in the main hall of the Capitol, Kincaide shot Taulbee “in self-defense.” Sentiment, as reflected in the Washington newspapers and by the names of persons who offered to put up bail for Kincaide, was against the congressman and on the side of the assassin. Kincaide was acquitted.

Table 6.-Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of congressmen

Year Victim Method of attack and result Location of attack Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1868 James Hinds
Representative, Arkansas
Shot, killed Arkansas George M. Clark; was Secretary of Democratic Committee; Hinds was campaigning for Republicans, Clark was drunk at time of shooting.
1870 William Slosson Lincoln
Representative, New York
Cane assault Maryland Joseph Segar; lost contested seat for Representative from Virginia.
1890 William P. Taulbee ex-Representative, Kentucky Shot, killed Washington Charles E. Kincaide; feud over articles
Kincaide wrote Unking Taulbee to scandal.
Kincaide acquitted.
1924 Robert Young Thomas, Jr. Representative, Kentucky Assaulted Kentucky G. Baker; political opponent; Baker angered by Thomas’ remarks.
1954 Kenneth Allison Roberts Representative, Alabama
Benton Franklin Jensen Representative, Iowa
George Hyde Fallon Representative, Maryland
Alvin Morell Bentley Representative, Michigan
Clifford Davis
Representative, Tennessee
Shot, wounded Washington, D.C. Puerto Rican extremists: LoUta Lebron, Rafael Cancel Miranda’ A. F. Corcera; attack on Congress by independence group.

Mayoral Assassinations

Ten mayors from cities in five states (Illinois, New York, New Jersey, Kentucky, and Minnesota) have been targets of assassination. Of this number seven were killed and three were unharmed.[22]

Not including Anton Cermak, only two of the ten targets were mayors of large cities: William Gaynor of New York was shot by a watchman who was fired from his job on the New York City docks for incompetence (1910), and Carter Harrison of Chicago was shot and killed by a disgruntled officeseeker (1893).

Three of the other four victims were also mayors of cities in Illinois. In 1885, the former mayor and leader of the Republican Party in East St. Louis, John B. Bowman, was shot and killed by an assassin whom the police were never able to locate. After having been elected to three successive terms of office, Bowman was defeated when he sought a fourth term. He remained an important political figure in the area, and at the time of his death the New York Times said: “The dead man had so many enemies, the police are puzzled where to begin.”[23]

In 1878, while Bowman was mayor, the local Democrats had tried to capture City Hall by force. Bowman met their advances “with shot and shell, and in the clashes between the two parties, several persons were killed and wounded.”[24] Bowman was reelected after the riots. Although the assassin was never found, both the local newspapers and the Times were convinced that one of Bowman’s numerous political enemies in both parties had hired someone to kill him. In the course of their investigation, the police learned that several earlier attempts were contemplated on Bowman’s life. In each instance, the assassin was hired by opposing political factions.

The other two deaths of Illinois mayors were those of B. P. Windsor, the mayor of Mt. Auburn, who was shot by the editor of the local newspaper after a quarrel (1913), and Jeff Stone of Culp, who was killed by gangsters who controlled the bootlegging operations in the area (1926). His assassin was never found.

In 1939, Louis Edward, the mayor of Long Beach, a suburb of New York City, was killed by Alvin Dooley, a police officer. Dooley had been president of the local Policeman’s Benevolent Association, and had failed to gain reelection. He claimed that it was the mayor’s prestige that prevented his reelection. As mayor, Edward had forced Dooley to pay part of his salary to Dooley’s estranged wife.

The assassinations of big city mayors Carter Harrison and William Gaynor contain the same mixture of personal and political elements that were involved in the death of the mayors of the smaller communities. When Harrison’s assassin, Eugene Patrick Joseph Prendergast, turned himself in at a local police station, he said: “I am Eugene Patrick Prendergast. I worked hard for Carter Harrison in his campaign. He promised he would make me corporation counsel. He failed to do this and I shot him.”[25]

Prendergast also said that he had been justified in killing the mayor because, “he broke his word with me about track elevators.” During the campaign, Harrison had said that he favored abolishing railroad crossings at street grades (there had been a number of accidents at the railroad crossings and the plan was to elevate the railroads), but after the election, nothing more was heard about this proposal. Most of the Chicago newspapers used the occasion of the mayor’s death to attack Governor Altgeld and Harrison for their policy of laxness toward labor agitators and anarchists. Harrison had been mayor when the Haymarket Riot occurred. According to Louis Adamic, Harrison went milling in the crowd, and since no trouble was brewing, he instructed the police that no intervention would be necessary and he went home. After he left, the police charged the crowd and the bomb went off.” Adamic concludes, “the police were apparently under the orders of one other than the Mayor.”[26]

Table 7.-Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of mayors

Year Victim Method of attack and result Location of attack Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1885 John B. Bowman ex-mayor, East St. Louis, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Unknown; previous attempts made after several men killed in Republican-Democratic clash at City Hall during his term
1893 Carter H. Harrison
mayor, Chicago, Illinois
Shot, killed Illinois Patrick E. Prendergast; disappointed officeseeker
Henry S. Tyler mayor, Louisville, Kentucky Threatened with gun Kentucky P.J. Schwarz; did not want city limits extended to his property.
1910 William J. Gaynor
mayor, New York City
Shot, wounded New York John J. Gallagher; fired, from city job, angered at Gaynor’s trip.
1913 B.P. Windsor mayor, Mt. Auburn, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Fay D. Slate; quarrel over editorial.
1926 Jeff Stone
mayor, Culp, Illinois
Shot, killed Illinois Unknown; suspected political-gangsterbootlegging tie-in.
1933 Anton J. Cermak mayor, Chicago, Illinois Shot, killed Florida Cermak was hit in hail of bullets aimed at Roosevelt.
1939 Louis E. Edwards mayor, Long Beach, New York Shot, killed New York Alvin Dooley; angered that Edwards used influence to keep him from being elected to office in police organization.
1947 Hubert H. Humphrey mayer, Minneapolis Minnesota Attempted Shooting Minnesota Unknown; several attempts made; conflicts over crime-labor unions.
1949 Elihu H. Bailey mayor, Evarts, Kentucky Attempted dynamite Kentucky Unknown; mayor thought it was bootelegger he was fighting.

During his time in office, Harrison resisted pressures from propertied groups to suppress the “radical elements” in Chicago. He showed a willingness to permit radicals to carry on activities until they actually violated the laws.[27] Harrison and the newspaper he owned, the Chicago Times, praised Governor Altgeld when he pardoned three of the anarchists implicated in the Hay Market Affair. For acts such as these (he also gave members of the Socialist Party jobs in municipal government), Harrison was continuously attacked by wealthy groups in Chicago.

His death took on political significance, for, despite the fact that his assassin had no connection with the socialist-anarchist elements, the newspapers and leaders of the community made the connection. For example, the Tribune ran an editorial which said:

Those not in authority, the people at large, well may stop to consider to what extent the mad act of Prendergast was due to the mistaken leniency of the State Executive towards red-handed anarchy, and his dangerous recklessness in the use of the pardoning power and the release of scores of murderers and other criminals who were convicted and justly punished.[28] The circumstances of Harrison’s death were also compared with those of President Garfield’s (a dozen years earlier), and the dangers to public figures from disgruntled officeseekers were widely publicized.

New York Mayor William Gaynor (who died three years after he was shot) was also the victim of a disappointed jobseeker. In this case, the assassin had been fired from his job as a watchman on the New York City docks for incompetence, and had appealed without success to the mayor to reverse the decision of the Civil Service Board. According to the New York Times, Gallagher claimed in his confession that he had been haunting the mayor’s office for three weeks and kept repeating, “he took away my bread and meat.”[29] Gallagher shot Gaynor aboard a ship that was to take the Mayor to Europe. The bullet which lodged itself in Gaynor’s larynx was never removed, and although he lived and was politically active, his health was apparently impaired and his life shortened.

The assassination attempt considerably increased Gaynor’s chances of gaining the Democratic presidential nomination in 1912. Even before the attack, Gaynor had been viewed as a likely candidate, and his “brush with death” increased those chances—at least as reported by the New York press.

Two of the three mayors who survived attack by an assassin, Elihu Bailey (Evarts, Ky., 1949) and Hubert H. Humphrey (Minneapolis, 1947), were targets of criminal elements who were opposed to the clean-up campaigns launched by the mayors against gambling, bootlegging (Evarts is in a dry county), and organized crime. Neither Humphrey, who was shot at three

times, nor Bailey, who found twenty-four sticks of dynamite under his bedroom window, was hurt by the attempt: their would-be assassins were never found.

In Louisville, Ky., in 1893, P. J. Schwarz, a property owner, pulled a revolver and told Mayor Henry Tyler that he was going to kill him because he (Schwarz) thought that the city limits of Louisville would be extended to include property he owned. The mayor seized Schwarz’s weapon and the police carried Schwarz away. The local papers reported that a crank had made an attempt to kill the Mayor.

Thus, of the ten mayors who were victims or intended victims, one had the misfortune of sitting next to a President, three were victims of disgruntled officeseekers, and three were considered threats to the operations of organized crime.

Assassinations of State Legislators

Of the twelve state legislators who were victims or intended victims of assassinations, ten were killed and two were either wounded or escaped unharmed.

During the Reconstruction period, three ,state representatives were killed and two had attempts made on their lives. The three who were killed were pro-Union men elected to Southern legislatures (Ashburn of Georgia, Stevens of North Carolina, and Case of Tennessee) while the states were still under military control. In none of the cases was the assailant found, although the man who killed Senator Case of Tennessee (Frank Fanis), was a well-known member of a guerrilla band, notorious for the atrocities it committed against Union sympathizers during and after the war.

On the morning of Senator Case’s murder, Farris rode into Troy (Case’s hometown) with a Union man, Morris Kinnan, and while talking with him in a friendly manner in the public square, pulled a gun and shot him. No effort was made to arrest Farris, who then rode off to Case’s home, and, after learning from his wife that he had gone into town but was expected back shortly, met him en route and killed him. In reporting the assassination of Senator Case, the New York Times wrote:

That the murder of Senator Case was a well-known and pre-arranged affair is evident from the arrival of the two confederates just in time to give Farris aid if necessary.... The outlaws of Ohion County and the adjacent region have been committing outrages with impunity for a long while. The swamps of Reel Foot Lake furnish them a secure hiding place. A young man of this place, while on a recent visit to Jackson, was threatened with a mob for speaking favorably of General Sherman. A rebel boasted not long since that there were 1,700 men organized to prevent the enforcement of Brownlow’s Law in West Tennessee.[30]

On the day preceding the deaths of Kinnan and Case, a deputy sheriff who was a staunch Union man had been shot and killed by the same group of guerrillas.

A year later in Alabama, the Speaker of the House, Senator Harrington, and another state senator (Pennington) were ambushed while they were canvassing for the Republican Party. They escaped without injury, but the would-be assassin was never found.

Table 8. -Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of State legislators

Year Victim Method of attack and result Location of attack Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1867 G. W. Ashburn delegate to Georgia Constitutional Convention Shot, killed Georgia Unknown; ten prominent citizens implicated in the murder of the Republican delegate during Reconstruction.
L. Harris Hiscox delegate to New York Constitutional Convention Shot, killed New York Cole; personal affair over Cole’s wife.
Almon Case
State senator, Tennessee
Shot, killed Tennessee Frank Farris; anti-Union guerrilla leader.
1868 Harrington
State legislator;
State senator, Alabama
Attempted shooting Alabama Unknown; ambushed while canvassing county together for Republican Party.
1869 M. McConnell
State senator, Illinois
Shot, killed Illinois Unknown; believed to be over property litigation.
Benjamin Ayers
State legislator, Georgia
Shot, killed Georgia Wilson; robbery believed motive.
1870 John W. Stevens
State senator, North Carolina
Stabbed, hung, killed North Carolina Wiley and Mitchelle; apparently acted with consent of Democratic Party of Caswell County; Stevens was a Republican.
1874 James O’Brian
ex-State senator, New York
Attempted shooting New York Richard Croker, George and Henry Hickey, John Sheridan; Tammany group dispute witness O’Brian.
1875 E. G. Johnson
Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue and State legislator, Florida
Shot, killed Florida Unknown(s); shot in still house.
1881 Smith
State senator, Tennessee
Shot, wounded Tennessee John J. Vertress; political feud over way Smith voted, Vertress claimed Smith was bribed.
1892 R. D. McCotter
State senator, North Carolina
Shot, killed North Carolina Unknown; assumed to be personal; wife’s family did not like his behavior.
1896 Col. Albert Jennings Fountain
ex-State legislator, New Mexico Territory
Shot, killed New Mexico Unknown; long conflict between cattle association and outlaws backed by opposition political party.
1936 J. M. Bolton
State legislator, Illinois
Shot, killed Illinois Assumed to be gangsters; alliance of crime and politics.
1945 Warren G. Hooper
State senator, Michigan
Shot, killed Michigan Conspirators: Harry and Sam Fleisher, M. Selik, Pete Mahoney; Hooper had been key witness in an investigation.
1947 Thomas Anglin
State senator, Oklahoma
Shot, wounded Oklahoma Jim Scott; personal; Anglin’s law firm represented Scott’s wife in divorce.
1958 Paul A. Wallace
State senator, South Carolina
Shot, killed South Carolina Henry Rogers; assumed mad, hanged self in mental institution.

Two other assassinations of state legislators occurred in the same decade but were unrelated to the problems posed by Reconstruction policy. L. Harris Hiscox, a delegate to the New York State Constitutional Convention, was shot and killed by General Cole because, according to Cole, Hiscox had tried to seduce his wife while he was away. And in Illinois in 1869, State Senator McConnell was shot in his home by an unknown assailant. According to the Chicago newspapers, the assassination was prompted by McConnell’s involvement in litigation concerning valuable property in Chicago.

The next assassination of a state legislator occurred in the South in 1892 when Senator McCotter of Pamlico County, N. C., was ambushed and killed by a group of men. It is assumed that the men belonged to the White Caps (a variation of the Ku Klux Klan), because some time before his death a delegation of White Caps had visited McCotter and warned him to stop seeing “the other woman” and return to his wife. None of the assassins was found.

Three of the remaining four assassinations of state legislators were connected in one way or another with organized crime. Colonel Albert Fountain, a former state legislator of the Territory of New Mexico, was killed (along with his young son) in an ambush. The Territory of New Mexico was the scene of a good deal of open warfare, and the death of Colonel Fountain in 1896 marked the climax of a long-standing feud between him and a Democratic Party judge. The fight was over control of cattle rustling and the prosecution of politically protected rustlers in the Territory. Before Fountain’s death, both men (Fountain and Judge Fall) had hired their own gunmen to protect their interests.

In 1936, an Illinois state representative from the West Side of Chicago was shot and killed by what newspapers labelled “men from the rackets.” In 1945, State Senator Warren Hooper of Michigan was shot before he could appear as a key witness in an investigation of bribery charges against members of the State legislature. The bribery charges were connected with passage of legislation favorable to parimutuel betting in Michigan.

The most recent assassination of a state legislator occurred in South Carolina in 1958 when County Court Clerk Henry Rogers shot State Senator Paul Wallace while Wallace was listening to election returns indicating that he had gained renomination on the Democratic Ticket. Rogers was committed to the State mental hospital, and hanged himself two weeks after he killed Wallace.

The three unsuccessful assassinations of state legislators after the Reconstruction period followed the same pattern as the successful ones: connections with organized crime or purely personal motives. In 1874, former State Senator O’Brian (of New York) swore out a warrant against four criminal gang members for assault and battery. He never pressed charges, presumably because these same men were already under indictment for the murder of a minor state official who had intervened between O’Brian and the assailants to protect O’Brian.

Personal motives were represented in the shooting on the floor of the Senate in Texas of Tom Anglin by a fellow legislator, Jim Scott. Anglin’s law firm had represented Scott’s wife in a recent divorce proceeding.

State Senator Smith of Tennessee was killed by John Vertress, an attorney who accused Smith of having accepted a bribe. The legislature was considering an investigation into Vertress’ charges, and after Vertress shot Smith, the resolution to conduct the investigation was adopted.

The assassinations or attempted assassinations of state legislators share characteristics with the assassinations of both mayors and congressmen. Both state legislators and mayors have been attacked as a result of their ties or conflicts with organized crime, something not found in the murders of higher public officials. Both congressmen and state legislators were assassinated because they were Republicans seeking or holding office in the South during the Reconstruction period.

Judicial Assassinations

The facts that surround the murders of ten state judges provide more evidence about sordid forces that precipitate violence against officeholders than does the information collected about other categories of assassination victims.

Some appear to have little, if any, political content. For example, in 1870, a judge in San Francisco was shot by his mistress after he had broken off their affair in anticipation of his family’s return. Another was shot as a result of mistaken identity.[31]

On the other hand, three judges were shot and killed between 1867 and 1875 as a result of intraparty conflict. Chief Justice Slough in the Territory of New Mexico was killed by William Rynerson, a member of the Territorial Senate, after Rynerson demanded that Slough retract insulting remarks made after Rynerson had passed a resolution in the Senate ordering the removal of Slough. Judge Gaylord Clark of the District Court in El Paso, Texas, was killed by Frank William; William had sought the office for himself. Clark was named because party leaders thought his appointment might more adequately serve to unite the radical and conservative wings of the Republican Party. In Louisiana in 1875, a former parish judge was shot by the incumbent.

Three other judges were shot and killed in Louisiana between 1868 and 1873. Judge Crawford of Monroe Parish was killed by an escaped murderer whom Crawford had sentenced to life imprisonment. The same assassin also killed the man who prosecuted him, District Attorney Arthur Harris. Judge Chase of St. Mary’s Parish was killed by a band of rebels because of his stand in support of the Union. Judge Robert Gray was shot in his home by “unidentified assailants.”

In 1889, Judge Pierce of San Diego, Calif., was shot and seriously wounded by a man whose case he had heard earlier and had decided against.

The last known member of the judiciary who was a victim of assassination was Judge David Terry of the California Supreme Court. This is the same David Terry who, thirty-two years earlier, had killed Senator Broderick in a duel. Judge Terry had made verbal threats against Supreme Court Justice Stephen Field. When Justice Field decided to visit his native state of California, the Justice Department sent a U.S. marshal along to protect him (presumably against Terry, who by this time was sixty-six years old).

Both Field and Terry had been powerful political figures in California for years. About ten years earlier, Field sought to be the favorite son candidate for the presidency; Terry, who was one of the delegates, was powerful enough to block his nomination. Terry claimed that Field was a corrupt judge who sold his decisions.[32] The enmity between Field and Terry increased after Field had ruled against Terry’s wife when she sued to receive part of Senator Sharon’s estate by claiming that she had been Sharon’s common-law wife before her marriage to Terry.

Table 9.-Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of judges

Year Victim and result Location of attack Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1867 John P. Slough
Chief Justice, New Mexico Territory
Shot, Killed New Mexico Captain William L. Rynerson; feud and insults over Rynerson’s attempt to have Slough recalled.
J. W. C. Horne Judge, Georgia Shot, killed Georgia Unknown Negro; judge shot over incident involving his son and a colored girl.
1868 V. Chase
Judge, Louisiana
Shot, killed Louisiana Band of rebels; Chase was a Union man.
Robert Gray
Justice, Louisiana
Shot, killed Louisiana Unknown(s)
1870 A. P. Crittedon Judge, California Shot, killed California Laura D. Fair, his mistress; when he attempted to break off relationship.
Gaylord Clark
District judge, Texas
Shot, killed Texas Frank William; had wanted judgeship for himself.
1873 T. S. Crawford Parish Judge Monroe, Louisiana Shot, killed Louisiana Assumed to have been ambushed by the Tom Wayne gang, whose previous trial the judge presided over.
1875 Belden
ex-Parish Judge, Louisiana
Shot, killed Louisiana Sherburn, was judge at time; motive unknown.
1889 W. L. Pierce
Superior Judge, San Diego, California
Shot, wounded California W. S. Clendennin; because of decision unfavorable to him handed down by Pierce.
Stephen J. Field
Supreme Court Judge
Assaulted California David S. Terry; had threatened Field in legal dispute.
David S. Terry Judge, California Shot, killed California David Nagel; U.S. deputy marshal assigned to guard Field, shot and killed Terry.

When Field’s train arrived in Lathrop, Calif., Field and Deputy U.S. Marshal David Nagle went into the dining room at the train station for breakfast. Soon after, Judge Terry and his wife entered the room. Mrs. Terry recognized Justice Field and left.[33] Terry then went over to the table where Field was sitting and slapped him across the face. Nagle arose from his seat and shot Judge Terry through the heart. In the newspaper accounts following Terry’s death, Nagle was described in the following manner:

There is not the slightest doubt that Nagle went, as his associates say, with his finger on the trigger and meant to make short work of Terry, who represented all that was objectionable to him in politics as well as in personal characteristics. Nagle, like many veteran gunfighters, had faith in the old fashioned single action Colt six-shooter.[34]

But the newspapers also claimed that Terry was “prepared to make a deadly assaulton Judge Field.”[35] Nagle was tried and acquitted, and Field continued to serve as a member of the Supreme Court.

Miscellaneous Assassinations

In this last category we report the assassinations of men who occupied a variety of public offices that are considered generally lower in prestige and power than those in previous sections (see table 10).

With the exception of the aiderman in Brooklyn, whose life was threatened because of an affair with his sister-in-law, and the secretary of the Territory of the Dakotas, who was killed in a dispute about the status of railroad bonds, the other eight targets fall into one of two categories: law enforcement officials and tax collectors.

In the first group, Sheriff Saulet of Caddo Parish, La., was shot in bed by an unidentified assailant in 1868. In 1873, District Attorney Arthur Harris was shot and killed by a man whom he had prosecuted for murder (the case is mentioned in the previous section on judges). Also in 1873, H. P. Farrow, a U.S. district attorney in Georgia, was severely beaten by “unknown assailants” who, it is presumed, were motivated by the fact that Farrow had just obtained an indictment against local white citizens involved in the bloody riots following the election of a Republican governor in Georgia in 1872. In 1935, Thomas Courtney, a state attorney in Illinois, was killed by men believed to have been members of Al Capone’s gang. No one was ever brought to trial.

Between 1867 and 1875, four tax collectors were killed in the South. A customs inspector at Corpus Christi was killed by smugglers just before he was scheduled to testify about smuggling activities across the Mexican-Texas border. A deputy collector of Internal Revenue was shot and killed at a still in Florida by unknown assailants; and two others were murdered in Texas and Louisiana by unknown assailants for unexplained reasons.

In this category more than in any other, the number of attempted murders of public officials that our research has been able to uncover is probably less than the number of actual events. But even if the figures reported for this category were to be multiplied tenfold, they would still represent a comparatively small number.

Table 10.-Chronological list of political assassinations and assaults of appointed and minor officials

Year Victim Method of attack and result Location of attack Assailant and professed or alleged reason
1865 William H. Seward
Secretary of State
Shot wounded Washington, D.C. David Herold, Lewis Paine; part of Lincoln plot.
1867 H. W. Fowler assistant collector of Revenues. Shot, killed Texas D. B. Bonfoey; collector of Revenues; no motives ascertained.
1868 B. Saulet Sheriff, Caddo Parish, Louisiana. Shot, killed Louisiana Unknown(s).
1871 Alden McLaughlin
custom inspector. Texas
Shot, killed Texas Smugglers, in the line of duty.
1873 Arthur H. Harris district attorney, Monroe, Louisiana. Shot, killed Louisiana Assumed to have been ambushed by Tom Wayne gang, whom he had previously prosecuted in a case.
H. P. Farrow
U.S. District Attorney, Georgia.
Clubbed, wounded Georgia Unknown; had gotten indictments against 5 men; papers ranted against him and tried to intimidate jury.
Edwin S. McCook Territorial Secretary of Dakota Shot killed Dakota Territory P. P. Wintermute; dispute over railroad bonds.
1875 G. A- Roderty tax collector. Grant Parish, Louisiana. Shot, killed Louisiana John B. McCov, ex-sheriff.
Daniel O’Connell
Aiderman, New York
Gun-threat New York John T. Cox; personal matter over Cox’s sister.
1935 Thomas J. Courtney State’s attorney, Illinois Shot, killed Illinois Unknown; suspected Capone gang.

C. Conclusions and Statistical Overview

We return in this last section of Chapter I to a statistical overview and note first the distribution of the eighty-one attempted and successful assassinations discovered. Figures 1 and 2 show the number of assassinations over time and by geographic region.

Figure 1. Political assassinations and assaults by decade and population{7}{8}{9}

Two facts stand out most sharply. Over two-thirds of the assassinations occurred in the southern part of the United States, and over one-third occurred during the Reconstruction period (that is, in the census period between 1865 and 1874). Table 11 shows that, of the twenty-nine acts of political violence which occurred during the Reconstruction period, approximately three-quarters took place in the South. A comparison of the number of acts of political violence occurring only in the South in the twelve census periods shows that one census period accounted for at least three times as many attempted or successful assassinations as any other—the Reconstruction period.[36]

Figure 2.-Political assassinations and assaults by geographical region and population{10}{11}

The pattern between 1865 and 1875 does not occur anywhere else. In the South, after the Civil War and for as long as federal troops were stationed there, the men who were elected to public office were not considered “legitimate” incumbents of those offices. The level of office was immaterial. Governors, senators, state legislators, etc., were being elected on the Republican Party ticket, primarily, by former slaves and by persons migrating to the South after the war who opposed the traditional Southern white governing classes.

Those who had held public office prior to the Civil War were largely ineligible for such positions because many of them had not yet been “pardoned” for their participation in the War. Also, many Southern white voters were disenfranchised through political manipulation. The governors of Louisiana, such as Kellogg and Packard, held office because of the presence of Northern troops, former slaves who were made policemen, and recently emigrated Northern Republicans.

Thus, many of the’men who held public office in the South during this period were not considered to be legitimate incumbents by those they supposedly represented. This is demonstrated by the fact that these men failed to gain reelection when Northern troops were withdrawn and Southern life returned to “normal.”

Outside of the Reconstruction period, there seems to be no other distinctive period in American history marked by political violence. The South, both before and after the Civil War, has had more incidents of political violence than any other region, but there is no particular time pattern attached to it.

We turn next to another aspect of the examination of the eighty-one cases. Table 12 summarizes the motives for assassination either given by the assassin or observed by others.

All the presidential assassinations fit category one with the possible, but not probable, exception of President Kennedy. Oswald’s motives are unknown. None of the gubernatorial, senatorial, or presidential assassinations fit category three, involvement with organized crime.

The pattern suggests that the higher the office, the more impersonal and more political the motive for assassination. The lower the office, the more personal the motive. All the presidential cases, with the exception of the attempt upon President Truman, could also to a greater or lesser degree have been coded under category six—“mental derangement of the assassin.” Their somewhat arbitrary inclusion in category one, however, does not distort the point made here. Even if the violence of the assassin was a product of mental derangement, the object of the violence was selected and focused by political issues.

After reviewing, case by case, the acts of political violence in section 2, we find no indicators that isolate specific individuals as targets of assassins. Scientists today would be no more likely to predict which Presidents, governors, or senators—let alone holders of lesser offices—might be assassinated than they would in any previous time. Particularly in the case of the higher elected offices, assassination seems to be a function of how a particular officeholder is perceived by an assailant who is by and large outside the main social and political stream of the society, and who is responding to cues that others are not likely to recognize.

Table 11. Political assassination and assaults by geographical region and decade

Time period and population Northeast Southeast North Central South
Central West Total
Assaults and assassinations
6,761 1 3,925 3,351 3,025 {14} 1
1850 Assaults and Assassinations Population 8,626 4,679 5,403 4,303 178 0
1860 Assaults and Assassinations Population 10,594 J 5,364 9,096 5,768 1
1870 Assaults and assassinations Population 2 12,298 9
1880 Assaults and assassinations Population 1
17,364 4
1,767 7
1890 Assaults and assassinations Population 17,401 2
1 10.972 2
1900 Assaults and assassinations Population 1
10,443 26,333 1
1910 Assaults and assassinations Population 2
12,194 2
17,194 1
1920 Assaults and assassinations Population 29,662 2
34,019 1
9,213 3
1930 Assaults and assassinations Population 34,427 2
1 38,594 22,064 12,323 3
1940 Assaults and assassinations Population 1
17,823 2
14,378 4
1950 Assaults and assassinations Population 39,477 7
1960 Assaults and assassinations Population 44,677 2
51,619 2
TOTAL 7 38 11 25 10 81

Table 12. -Motives for Assassination

Summary of reasons given or observed for assassination Frequency
1. In the name of a public issue (i.e., independence for Puerto Rico, slavery, etc.) 20
2. Incumbent perceived as illegitimate 12
3. Involvement with organized crime (as either opponent or collaborator) 11
4. Disgruntled officeseeker 6
5. Accident (i.e., Mayor Cermac, Governor Connally) 3
6. Miscellaneous (including events that occurred prior to incumbent holding office for which he is target; mental derangement of the assassin; matters of “honor”) 19
7. No reasons offered or observed 10

Chapter 2: Assassination Attempts Directed at the Office of the President of the United States


As pointed out in Chapter 1, the presidency has been the object of a disproportionate number of the assassination attempts directed against officeholders in the United States. With the exception of the attempt on the life of President Truman by Puerto Rican nationalists, each presidential assassin has shown signs of serious mental illness; none was the agent of a plot or conspiracy rationally calculated to achieve political goals.

In this chapter, section A consists of short descriptions of each presidential assassination attempt. Section B is a discussion of the psychological characteristics of each of the would-be assassins to determine what patterns emerge. Section C presents a psychiatric perspective upon public reactions to presidential assassinations. Section D describes the reactions of the American public to assassinations, based upon survey data. Section E is an analysis of the political consequences traceable to the assassination of Presidents of the United States. Section F explores possible strategies of prevention: first, strategies to reduce the attractiveness of the office of President to potential assassins, and second, strategies for the physical protection of the President. Section G sets out the conclusions drawn from the previous sections.

A. Presidential Assassination Attempts[37]

Andrew Jackson

The first victim of an assassination attempt was Andrew Jackson. He miraculously escaped death on Jan. 30, 1835, when both pistols of his assailant, Richard Lawrence, misfired.

Lawrence attacked Jackson as he was walking through the rotunda of the Capitol after having attended a funeral service for a congressman. Lawrence, who had stationed himself in the rotunda, fired at Jackson from a range of approximately thirteen feet. The cap went off with a loud report, but the

powder did not ignite and the pistol did not fire. Lawrence dropped the first pistol and transferred the other to his righthand. Meanwhile, Jackson rushed at Lawrence with his cane upraised. Lawrence fired the second pistol into Jackson’s chest at pointblank range. It also misfired. Subsequent examination of the pistols showed that they were properly loaded. Their misfiring was attributed to humidity and near-miraculous good fortune.

Jackson was no stranger to violence, and his attack in response to the first shot was typical. Jackson had killed a man in duel in 1806, and had been shot in the shoulder during a brawl in 1813. After he entered the White House, Jackson was hit in the face by a former Navy lieutenant who had been discharged for misappropriating government money. The then elderly Jackson grabbed his cane and chased the man, who ran away. Having been unable to punish him personally, Jackson refused to prosecute his assailant. He said that he always followed his mother’s advice never to use the law in response either to assaults or slander; these matters should either be taken care of personally or not at all.

Richard Lawrence was a native Englishman who had moved to Washington with his parents when he was about twelve years old. Little is known of his family life. He was well-behaved as a child and moderate in his habits as an adult. He became a competent house painter and painted landscapes as a hobby. He never married.

At the age of thirty-two, approximately two and one-half years prior to the assassination attempt, a marked change took place in Lawrence’s personality. He lost interest in his work and became threatening, violent, and abusive. He began to have delusions. On occasion, he imagined himself to be King Richard III of England. At other times, he claimed to have two great estates in England, or a realm that extended to Rome and Holland. He believed that he had claims for large sums of money against the United States, and began attending sessions of Congress to keep check on the progress of these claims. He came to believe that Jackson, in conspiracy with steamship companies, was preventing him from obtaining this money. In addition, his mind focused upon a hot political issue of the day, Jackson’s veto of the bill to recharter the Bank of the United States. Lawrence apparently believed that killing the President would benefit all workingmen by causing the bank to be rechartered.

At the time of his trial, there was a great deal of hostility toward Lawrence among some of Jackson’s supporters who suspected that he was part of a Whig conspiracy. Nonetheless, the prosecutor, Francis Scott Key, courageously cooperated with the defense, and helped establish a liberal test for insanity. Lawrence was to be found not guilty by reason of insanity if the deed was the “immediate, unqualified offspring of the disease,”—even if at the time of the attack he comprehended the nature of the act and knew the difference between right and wrong. The jury found Lawrence not guilty by reason of insanity, and he spent the rest of his life in mental institutions.

Abraham Lincoln

On April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth entered the Ford Theatre box from which. President Lincoln was watching a play. The man assigned to guard Lincoln s box had abandoned his post in favor of a neighboring bar. Booth shot the President in the head with a single-shot derringer. Lincoln immediately lost consciousness, and never recovered.

Lincoln was a tall, physically powerful man who engendered personal feelings of respect and affection. He was killed in the midst of the Nation’s celebration that marked the end of the Civil War. The Nation’s mood on the day Lincoln was shot is depicted in the tone of an editorial that appeared in the TVew York Daily Tribune:

A new world is born, and the Sun of Peace rises in splendor to send abroad over the land its rays of warmth and light. Never before had a nation so much cause for devout Thanksgiving; never before had a people so much reason for unrestrained congratulations and the very extravagance of joy.[38]

With the exception of the Puerto Rican nationalist attack on President Truman, Lincoln’s assassination is the only one that can be considered a genuine conspiracy. It appears, however, that the conspiracy was entirely Booth’s creation. The other conspirators were a motley few, and the plot did not have the sanction of Southern leaders.

Booth’s father, Junius, was an Englishman. After his marriage, he fell in love with a flower girl and, when he learned she was pregnant, he left England with her and settled in America. John Wilkes was the ninth of ten children born to them. He was illegitimate until his thirteenth birthday, when Junius married his mother after finally obtaining a divorce from his first wife. Booth’s father and other brothers were absent for long periods of time on theatrical tours, and he grew up largely under his mother’s tutelage. He was unruly and undisciplined.

Booth was said to have been an excellent companion. As he grew older, he was very attracted and attractive to women, and reputedly had many affairs. Although he was apparently engaged at the time of the assassination, his most stable relationship was with a prostitute who, during his absences, lived in her sister’s brothel, and presumably practiced her trade while he practiced his.

Booth never completed the equivalent of a high school education. He was apparently unable to apply himself either to formal schooling or later to the formal discipline of acting technique.

Booth decided in his late teens to follow the family career and become an actor. He apparently had a great natural talent, but never developed it properly. Beginning in the shadow of his more famous and accomplished father and older brothers, Booth received mixed or unfavorable reviews until a tour in the South brought him acclaim and an adopted homeland.

Approximately a year and a half before the assassination, Booth’s voice began to grow hoarse and weak. Whether this was a result of inadequate voice training or the first symptom of mental illness cannot be known. He began to identify more and more with the Southern cause. He never became a soldier, although he once donned the uniform of a socially prominent Richmond company to witness the hanging of John Brown. On one occasion he nearly strangled his own brother-in-law for slighting Jefferson Davis. He apparently came to believe that Lincoln had achieved the presidency through fraudulent voting and intended to make himself king.

Booth originally planned to kidnap Lincoln and hold him for ransom in exchange for captured Southern soldiers. The practice of exchanging prisoners had been halted by the North because it worked in favor of the South, with its limited manpower. This plan was not far-fetched under the prevailing conditions, but was frustrated by circumstances. For instance, Booth originally insisted upon capturing Lincoln in a theater to dramatize the deed. When the war ended, the plot was changed to the assassination of the President, vice president and secretary of state. The man who was to kill the Vice President wavered at the last moment, and did not make an attempt. Secretary of State Seward was viciously attacked, but survived. Only Lincoln was killed.

After shooting the President, Booth leaped to the stage and shouted, “sic semper tyrannis”— the motto of the State of Virginia. He broke his leg in the jump to the stage, but escaped for the moment. He wrote that he had acted as an agent of God and that he had only done God’s will. Twelve days later he was cornered by Union troops, who surrounded a barn in which he was hiding. He refused to surrender, and the barn was set on fire. He died from a bullet in the head, either by his own hand or by the hand of a Union sergeant who claimed to have shot Booth, also as an agent of God.

The passion engendered by the assassination precluded any semblance of a fair trial for the alleged,conspirators. All the conspirators, and probably some who were not conspirators, were tried before a military commission and executed.

James A. Garfield

Charles J. Guiteau shot President James A. Garfield in the back with a pistol on July 2, 1881. They were in a train station where Garfield was leaving for a vacation some four months after having assumed office.

Garfield was a vigorous, forty-eight-year-old soldier, educator, and Congressman, with a full gray beard and the frame of a longshoreman.[39] A darkhorse compromise candidate, he had been nominated after a bitter fight between the Stalwart (conservative) and Half-Breed (liberal) wings of the Republican Party. He was nominated on the thirty-sixth ballot, after the two leading contenders, Blaine, the Half-Breed, and Grant, the Stalwart, were unable to obtain a majority of the delegates’ votes. Garfield, who leaned to the Half-Breed side, had stayed clear of the feud. To balance the ticket, Chester A. Arthur, a Stalwart, was chosen as his running mate.

Garfield’s nomination and subsequent election by a plurality of less than 10,000 votes, made clear the necessity to unite the two dissident factions within the party. However, shortly after taking office, segments of the press and his party saw Garfield as favoring the Half Breeds at the expense of party unity. His nomination of James Blaine, the Half-Breed convention nominee, as secretary of state appeared to support this view.

Guiteau was born in 1841. His mother died when he was seven. His father, Luther W. Guiteau, had a strong interest in the Republican Party and religion, believing with Reverend John H. Noyes, founder of the Oneida community, that the second coming of Christ had already occurred in A.D. 70. He led a useful, respectable, middle-class life for his seventy years.

There was a history of mental illness in the family. One of Guiteau’s uncles died insane, the sanity of two of his sisters was questionable, and a niece and nephew, Charles’s first cousins, were placed in asylums.

Guiteau, like Oswald, seemed to have spent much of his life seeking some organization or cause to which he could dedicate himself, but each new-found cause seemed to give him neither success nor peace of mind.

Guiteau attempted to enter the University of Michigan, but found he did not have enough credits; he enrolled in high school to meet the requirements. Instead of studying, however, he read the Bible and tracts about the Oneida community which his father sent him. The following summer he joined the Oneida community, an early religious utopian experiment in communism. The community practiced both economic and sexual communism. Copulation was encouraged, but marriage was considered an exploitive ownership relationship.

Guiteau stayed lor five years, and then left to found a newspaper to be known as the New York. Theocrat. He anticipated immediate success and wrote his father, “I claim that I am in the employ of Jesus Christ & Co., the very ablest and strongest firm in the universe.”[40] His venture failed, and four months later he was readmitted to the Oneida community. He remained for approximately a year, and then left again. This time he turned against the community, and urged criminal proceedings in an anonymous pamphlet entitled, “An Appeal to All Lovers of Virtue.” The pamphlet deplored the sexual license of the Oneida community which he himself had enjoyed.

He studied in a law office, and was licensed to become a lawyer under the lax practices then prevalent. His practice consisted in large part of accepting collection cases on commission, dunning the debtors, and then pocketing the money himself.

He married a sixteen-year-old girl, but the marriage was unsuccessful and they were ultimately divorced on the grounds of Guiteau’s adultery. Guiteau began to travel around the country, cheating railroads out of their fares, running out on boarding-house bills, borrowing money whenever he could, and failing to repay. He made a precarious living by publishing religious tracts and lecturing on religious subjects. His ideas were stolen mostly from Reverend Noyes, but according to Guiteau they came directly as an inspiration from God. He also tried, without much success, to sell life insurance.

In 1880, Guiteau focused his wandering attention upon politics. He wrote a speech (apparently never used) for Grant, the Republican candidate of the Stalwart faction, and then changed to Garfield when Garfield received the nomination. When Garfield was elected, Guiteau attributed Garfield’s success to his speech and felt himself entitled to the Austrian ambassadorship. He later tempered his ambitions to a consulship in Paris. At first Guiteau’s requests were treated courteously although his ambitions had no reasonable basis. Ultimately, he became a pest, and was refused access to the White House.

At this time it occurred to Guiteau that God wanted him to save the country from ruin by eliminating Garfield and restoring the Stalwart faction of the party to power in the person of Chester A. Arthur, the vice president.

Guiteau bought a forty-four caliber pistol with borrowed money. He paid an extra dollar in order to get a fancier handle, because he thought it would look better in a museum. The owner of the gunshop showed Guiteau how to load the revolver and suggested a spot where Guiteau could practice.

Guiteau had several opportunities to kill Garfield. Once, in a train station, he refrained because Mrs. Garfield was with Garfield. On another occasion, it was such a hot, sultry night that Guiteau felt too tired. On the day he finally determined to kill Garfield, Guiteau hired a hack to wait for him and take him immediately to the jail lest angry mobs harm him.

His trial was a circus, and Guiteau reveled in the limelight. He took the position that he had acted as an agent of God and was thus guiltless. He was found guilty and sane, and was hanged in front of a large crowd.

Public opinion ran very high against Guiteau. There were two widely approved attempts to kill him while he was in custody. Plots were imagined as having been spawned by the Stalwarts. Guiteau’s sister, in writing of the assassination, conceded that Guiteau had fired at and had wounded the President, but that Garfield had actually been killed by a second assassin hidden in a dark doorway. According to Guiteau’s sister, this man was a representative of the Stalwarts, who had treated her noble brother so shamefully and ungratefully.

William McKinley

On Sept. 6, 1901, Leon F. Czolgosz shot William McKinley as the President was about to shake Czolgosz’s hand at a reception in the temple of music at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo. While Czolgosz was in the reception line he took a pistol out of his pocket and wrapped his hand and the pistol with a handkerchief so that his hand appeared bandaged. The shots were fired at such point-blank range that there were powder burns on McKinley’s vest. McKinley died eight days later.

McKinley was an extremely popular President. He was killed less than a year after his reelection to a second term in which he carried every state in the Union outside of the then “solid South” and four silver-mining states. Unlike Garfield, his popular vote was over a million more than his opponent’s, and his advantage in electoral votes was almost two to one. During McKinley’s first term, the triumph of the United States over the Spanish fleet, the liberation of Cuba, and the acquisition of the Philippines made the United States a world power for the first time.

However one views the foreign policy of the United States during McKinley’s first term, most historians credit him with having brought a new internal unity to the United States.

Czolgosz, the fourth of eight children, was born to Polish immigrant parents four months after they had arrived in the United States. His mother died when he was twelve. He was quiet and shy, with no close friends except Waldek, his older brother.

As a young man, Czolgosz was obsessively neat and possessed an extreme dislike for cruelty, even to the point of refusing to kill insects. He was a steady worker at a Cleveland wire mill from the time he was sixteen until he was twenty-three. During this time, he was a devout Catholic, and on the occasion of a strike at the wire mill, he and his brother prayed fervently, but without favorable result. Thereafter, Czolgosz began to suspect that priests were fooling him, and he ultimately broke with the Church.

At the age of twenty-two, he began to become remote and listless, and at twenty-five he apparently suffered a nervous breakdown. His older brother recalled that he had “gone to pieces.” He never returned to a steady job. He retired to the tamily farm where he read and brooded. He feuded with his stepmother (his father had remarried some years before), and began preparing his own food and eating it in his room- according to Dr. Hastings, “probably because he was under the delusion that his food was being poisoned or at least tampered with.”[41]

The assassination of King Humbert I in mid-1900 by an anarchist fascinated Czolgosz. He began reading about anarchism and went to Cleveland to listen to a lecture by Emma Goldman, a leading anarchist, whose speech, incidentally, did not advocate violence. Czolgosz tried to join an anarchist group, but acted so strangely that he was thought to be a police spy. The group published a warning against him just five days before he killed McKinley.[42]

Czolgosz had no remorse for his action. He said that he removed an enemy of the good working people and that one man should not have so much service and another man none.

The country was outraged. Although Czolgosz said he was acting alone, and appeared to have done so, an extensive anarchist plot was believed to have existed. Prominent anarchists were arrested, including Emma Goldman, who was subsequently released. Even Dr. E.C. Spitzka, the most important of the psychiatrists who unsuccessfully testified in 1881 that Guiteau was insane, hinted at a female conspirator (Emma Goldman) by asserting that Czolgosz’s covering his pistol with a handkerchief reilected a feminine touch.

The press wrote many inflammatory editorials attacking anarchist leaders and anarchist ideology. For example, the New York Herald wrote:

There is reason to believe that other anarchists stand ready to complete the work of Czolgosz if the President recovers. This fact will be established if all the ramifications of the conspiracy to kill the President can be brought to light. The authorities are already in possession of evidence pointing in this direction but there is nothing yet to indicate who the men are who will make the next attempt. It is hoped that some of the anarchists now under arrest may reveal the substantial plan.[43]

And The Washington Post observed:

We parade as a matter of patriotic pride those dangerous political dissipations which should be a cause of patriotic sorrow and alarm. We open our arms to the human sewage of Europe; we offer asylum to the outcasts and malefactors of every nation ...[44]

Local vigilante committees were organized to seek out and attack well-known anarchists and to destroy anarchist communities. Congress, influenced no doubt by Theodore Roosevelt’s impassioned plea for legislation,[45] passed a series of laws that added anarchists to the list of excluded immigrants and restricted the activities of those already in this country.

Czolgosz did not testify at his trial, which took place four days after McKinley’s funeral. The trial lasted only eight hours and twenty-six minutes, including time for impaneling the jury. The jury brought in the guilty verdict after only thirty-four minutes. No appeal was filed, and Czolgosz was electrocuted. When Czolgosz was being strapped into the electric chair he said, “I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people—the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime.”[46] He was twenty-eight years old.

Theodore Roosevelt

On Oct. 14, 1921, in Milwaukee, John N. Schrank shot Theodore Roosevelt in the chest from a range of about six feet. Roosevelt was emerging from dinner at a hotel and was on his way to give a speech.

Roosevelt, the Rough Rider and hero of San Juan Hill, was vice president when McKinley was assassinated and was elected to another term in his own right. Although he had pledged after the assassination to follow McKinley’s policies to the letter, his administration was notable for taking a strong new stand on “trust-busting.” He refused the nomination for a second full term, supporting Taft, who was elected. Taft’s more conservative policies displeased Roosevelt, and, after four years, he again sought the nomination. When the Republican convention rejected his bid, he accepted the nomination of a third party, the Bull Moose.

Shrank would most likely have killed Roosevelt, had the bullet not spent much of its force passing through Roosevelt’s metal glass case and the fifty-page manuscript of a speech he was to give, which was folded double in the breast pocket. According to Donovan, “The bullet had struck him in the right breast an inch below and slightly to the right of the nipple and bored inward and upward about four inches, fracturing the fourth rib.”[47] Seeing that he was wounded, Roosevelt coughed into his hand. When he saw no blood, he determined that the bullet had not penetrated his lung and therefore, the wound need not interrupt his speaking schedule. He thereupon intervened with the lynch-minded crowd on Shrank’s behalf, went to the lecture hall, and excoriated big business and Republican bossism, with his shirt soaking up blood. Only thereafter did he consent to hospital treatment. “It takes more than that to kill a Bull Moose,”[48] said Roosevelt.

Shrank was born in Bavaria. His father died soon after his birth. His mother remarried and gave Shrank’s aunt and uncle the task of rearing the child. The aunt, uncle, and Shrank emigrated to the United States when he was thirteen. Shrank tended bar in his uncle’s New York saloon, and at twenty-eight, became the owner. Shrank was orderly and polite, but a loner. He once said, “I never had a friend in my life.”[49] He did have a girl friend at one time, but she died along with more than one thousand other persons on the steamship“General Slocum,” which burned in the East River.

At the age of thirty, Shrank sold the saloon and thereafter worked only from time to time, otherwise reading, writing, and wandering around New York City. Hastings speculates that perhaps at that time he had become too mentally ill to shoulder the responsibility of keeping the saloon.

As early as 1901, McKinley’s ghost appeared to Shrank in a dream and accused Roosevelt of the assassination. Shrank, somewhat atypically, apparently did not identify himself with any particular group or movement. He did develop for himself, however, a political philosophy which he announced in essays. The most important point of his philosophy was that the no-third-term tradition never be violated. On the eleventh anniversary of President McKinley s death, while Roosevelt was campaigning on the Bull Moose platform, the ghost of McKinely again appeared to Shrank, touched him on the shoulder, and told him not to let a murderer become President. This apparently confirmed Shrank’s conviction that he must be the agent of God to see that Roosevelt did not live to win what Shrank construed to be a third term—though, of course, it would not be a third full term, since Roosevelt had only been elected once in his own right.

Having determined to kill Roosevelt, Shrank set out to stalk him on his campaign tours. In more than two thousand miles and twenty-four days of travel in eight states, Shrank managed to be in the same city at the same time as Roosevelt in only three instances—Chattanooga, Chicago, and Milwaukee. In Chattanooga, Shrank said his nerve momentarily failed him. He refrained from shooting Roosevelt in Chicago for fear of damaging the reputation of that city He finally acted in Milwaukee.

After Shrank’s arrest, the court appointed five psychiatrists to examine him. They unanimously reported that he was insane. There was no further trial, and Shrank spent the rest of his life in Wisconsin mental institutions.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

On Feb. 15, 1933, Guisseppe Zangara attempted to assassinate Franklin D. Roosevelt, then President-elect, while Roosevelt was giving a speech at Bayside Park in Miami, Fla. Zangara, although he arrived an hour and a half before the speech, was too late to get a good seat. When he tried to shoulder his way forward, he was prevented from doing so by a resentful spectator. Just as Roosevelt was leaving, one of the audience left his chair and Zangara, seizing the opportunity, stood on the chair (he was only five feet tall) and fired. The shots missed the President-elect, but fatally wounded Mayor Anton Cermak of Chicago, who was standing near Roosevelt’s car. As Secret Service men tried to rush Roosevelt’s car from the scene, Roosevelt insisted that the car be stopped to take aboard the wounded Cermak.

Zangara was born in Italy in 1900. When he was two, his mother died and his father remarried before long. When Zangara was six he began school, but after two months his father took him out of school and put him to work. Thereafter, he always resented the fact that he had been unable to go to school, blaming “the capitalists.” In addition, he attributed the stomach trouble which plagued him throughout his life to his having had to work at such an early age.

Just after World War I he served for five years in the Italian Army. Sometime during this period he bought a pistol in order to assassinate the King of Italy but was discouraged by the guards and crowd surrounding the king. At the age of twenty-three, shortly after his discharge from the Italian Army, he emigrated to the United States. At first he worked well and without incident as a bricklayer. He prized solitude, had no interest in entertainment, and never went out with gills. He rejected the suggestion of an uncle that he return to Italy to find himself a wife.

He complained constantly of stomach trouble. When he was twenty-five, his appendix was removed, but it turned out to be in fairly good condition.

The operation failed to alleviate the stomach condition which Zangara believed was aggravated by cold weather. An autopsy after his execution did not show any abnormality in Zangara’s gastrointestinal tract.

Until 1931, Zangara worked without incident, although he frequently expressed resentment over the privileges of the rich and the poor lot of the laborer. Some two years before, the assassination attempt, Zangara stopped regular work and did only odd jobs. He traveled to warm regions in hopes of curing his stomach troubles.

In the winter of 1932—33, he was apparently determined to kill President Hoover. However, the cold weather in Washington deterred him. When he learned that President-elect Roosevelt planned to be in Miami, Zangara took this opportunity to assassinate him in a warm climate.

Zangara was found to be sane and electrocuted. He apparently bore no personal ill will toward President Roosevelt, but attempted to kill him simply as the chief of state. He said he would have killed either Hoover or Roosevelt, but once Mr. Hoover had left the office, he would have had no further desire to kill him.

He felt no remorse, He wrote an autobiography when in jail which concludes, “I go contented because 1 go for my idea. I salute all the poor of the world.”

Or the day of his execution he sat himself in the electric chair, saying he was not scared of it. He was incensed at the “lousy capitalists” because no one was there to take a picture of him. When strapped in the electric chair, he said, “Go ahead. Push the button.”[50]

Harry S. Truman

On Nov. 1, 1950, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola stormed Blair House, intending to kill President Truman. In the melee, twenty-seven shots were fired. Both Torresola and White House policeman Leslie Coffelt were killed. Collazo and two other White House policemen were wounded. President Truman, awakened from his nap, came to the window to see what the noise was about. A guard below shouted for him to get back.

Collazo and Torresola were natives of Puerto Rico and ardent Puerto Rican nationalists. Their attempt on President Truman was not out of personal hatred (Truman in fact had done much to advance self-determination in Puerto Rico), but rather to dramatize the cause of an independent Puerto Rico.

Collazo was thirty-four at the time. He had been born in Puerto Rico, the youngest of fourteen children. His father died when he was six years old, and Collazo went to live with an older brother. Collazo’s father had been a small landholder and Collazo always blamed United States imperialism for destroying his father in particular and small Puerto Rican landholders in general. When Collazo was eighteen, he joined the Puerto Rican nationalist party of Albizu Campos. He apparently never ceased to work for the cause of an independent Puerto Rico, and felt that the United States was exploiting his country.

Apart from his ardent support of Puerto Rican nationalism, Collazo could be an example of making the best of life under most difficult circumstances. In his teens, at the very depth of the depression, Collazo came to the United States and worked long, hard hours for little pay. He married and supported his wife, who remained in Puerto Rico. He gave a home to his young daughter. In later years he selflessly helped other Puerto Ricans who had emigrated to New York to make the difficult adjustment.

His last job was that of metal polisher in a firm that made purses. His employer counted him as one of the eight or ten best workers he had. Collazo was elected by his fellow workers to represent them in union negotiations, and was respected by both sides. He divorced his first wife on grounds of unfaithfulness and several years later married a fellow metal polisher who had two daughters by a previous marriage. Collazo was a good family man, and was apparently well-loved by his stepdaughters, who ultimately changed their name to Collazo out of affection for him.

Torresola, except for his ardent Puerto Rican nationalism, was cut from different cloth. Although he was married, he was reputed to be something of a gigolo. He had been fired from his job at a stationery and tobacco shop, and for six months before the assassination attempt had been living on relief in New York.

The attack upon President Truman is unique in that, with the possible exception of the Booth plot, this is the only assassination attempt that meets many of the “formal” requirements of an organized, politically motivated plot. Yet, the attempt does not bear great resemblance to a serious political act.

Perhaps the most unrealistic quality was the man chosen as the assassination target. Shortly after he became President, Truman had sent a special message to Congress recommending that four proposals for changing the status of Puerto Rico, including outright independence, be submitted to the Puerto Ricans for their choice. In 1946, he appointed Jesus T. Pinnero as the first native governor of Puerto Rico, and the following January, under his prodding, Congress granted Puerto Ricans the right to select their own governor and other national officers other than auditor and judges of the Puerto Rican Supreme Court. In 1949, Congress made provision for Puerto Rico to write its own Constitution, to be approved by a referendum among Puerto Ricans. This enabling act was signed by Truman on July 3, 1950. As the first step in the process, a registration of voters was set for November 4 of that same year. Thus, throughout his presidency, Truman showed sympathy for self-determination in Puerto Rico.

From the evidence available, one can only conclude that there was very likely a plot, though a singularly inept one. The evidence lies in other violent acts in support of Puerto Rican independence at about the same time as the assassination attempt, and in documents suggesting a conspiracy. A nationalist coup in Puerto Rico, planned for Nov. 3, 1950, began prematurely in southern Puerto Rico on Oct. 29, 1950, and spread quickly to towns around the island. In San Juan there was intense fighting, and the governor’s palace was fired on. Government action quelled the revolt by October 31, the day before the attempt on Truman’s life. P. Albizu Campos, president of the nationalist party, was arrested, and his car was found to contain arms.[51]

Other signs of a plot come from documents and statements. At the time he was killed in the shooting outside Blair House, Torresola had in his pocket a letter from Albizu Campos which read as follows:

My dear Griselio—If for any reason it should be necessary for you to assume the leadership of the movement in the United States, you will do so without hesitation of any kind. We are leaving to your high sense of patriotism and sane judgment everything regarding this matter.

Cordially yours,

Pedro Albizu Campos.[52]

Collazo claimed after his arrest that it was news of the revolt in Puerto Rico that led to the plan to create a demonstration in Washington, although their first impulse was to go to Puerto Rico to help the rebels. They decided instead to create a violent incident in Washington because it seemed to be a better way of shocking Americans into turning their attention to conditions in Puerto Rico.

Two days later they went to Washington, where they studied a map of the city in a classified directory they found in their hotel room. Then they hired a taxi and had the driver cruise in the vicinity of Blair House (the President’s temporary residence during the remodeling of the White House), in order to observe the positions of the guards. Sometime during this two-day period, Torresola gave Collazo a two-hour lesson in the shooting and reloading of his automatic pistol.

Early in the afternoon of November 1, they approached Blair House from opposite directions. Collazo fired first and his gun jammed, a mishap that doomed whatever slight chance for success the plan might have had. The President was never in any danger.

In the subsequent trial, Collazo refused to allow his lawyers to plead insanity. The defense chose to attempt to convince the jury that Collazo had planned only to stage a demonstration in front of Blair House without intending to kill anyone, and that Torresola—who had been killed in the melee—had started the shooting. The jury rejected this assertion and found Collazo guilty of the murder of Coffelt, and the attempted murder of the President and the two White House guards. He was sentenced to death, but President Truman commuted that sentence to life imprisonment. Collazo and Torresola may have been the least mentally disturbed of all the would-be presidential assassins. A psychiatrist who examined Collazo twice concluded that he was not mentally ill. Nonetheless, their plan of action and the relationship of the act to their goals shows little grasp of reality.

There was widespread reaction to their attempt indicating that Puerto Ricans supported neither the would-be assassins nor their political aims. A letter signed by 119,000 Puerto Ricans was delivered to President Truman by the resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico. It declared that, “during 450 years never before have we seen such an arbitrary act of violence as the one carried on recently by a small group of fanatic nationalists.”[53] Puerto Rican children raised money for the children of Coffelt, the guard Torresola killed.

American journals, notably the liberal ones which presumably were most sympathetic to the plight of the Puerto Rican people, labeled Collazo and Torresola fanatics and declared that their compatriots were shocked by their action. The New Republic argued that the nationalists did not represent the people.[54] Commonweal said, “So far as one can tell, going at it without firsthand knowledge, the nationalists’ revolt was abortive because it was unsupported.”[55]

Nonetheless, in a real sense Collazo and Torresola were patriots. The judge who sentenced Collazo to death said, “The Court has no reason to believe that you are not sincere. The Court doesn’t think you are an inherently evil man. The Court, as an individual, is sorry for you.”[56] Collazo was asked if he had anything to say before being sentenced and he replied, “Anything that I had done I did it for the cause of liberty of my country, and I still insist, even to the last, that we have the right to be free.”[57]

John F. Kennedy

On Nov. 22, 1963, Lee Harvey Oswald fired three rifle shots in Dallas at a car containing President and Mrs. Kennedy and Governor John Connally of Texas. President Kennedy was killed; Governor Connally was wounded. More is known about this assassination and the assassin than about any other presidential assassination. The details are contained in the Report of the President’s Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy (the Warren Report). There is no reasonable basis for retracing the meticulous steps of the Warren Commission.

Oswald did not have a normal family life. His father died two months before he was born. His mother remarried when Oswald was five, but the marriage only lasted three years. Oswald was a loner; he had few friends. In early adolescence he was diagnosed as an “emotionally quite disturbed youngster” while in public school in New York City.

Oswald apparently tried to submerge his identity in organizations and causes. He joined the Marines at the earliest possible age. He did not succeed; he was resentful of authority, and ultimately obtained an early discharge, ostensibly on hardship grounds to help support his mother. He did return home to his mother upon discharge from the Marines, but then left for Russia. He tried to defect, but the Russians would not accept him as a citizen, although they did allow him to remain as an alien. In Russia Oswald married, but the marriage was not a success; his wife often taunted him for his sexual inadequacies. Oswald did not make a success of his defection to Russia and returned to the United States with his wife.

At first Oswald was steadily employed but was soon unable, for whatever reason, to hold a job. At about this time, he attempted to kill General Edwin A. Walker, firing at and narrowly missing him with a rifle. He apparently attached himself to another cause, this time the revolution in Cuba, but his association with the cause had little basis in reality. He was the sole member of his Fair Play for Cuba Committee, for which he passed out handbills in New Orleans.

Oswald resented the fact that his Marine discharge had been changed from honorable to general in response to his attempted defection. He complained to John Connally, whom Oswald thought was still Secretary of the Navy, although Connally had resigned shortly before.

Oswald, unlike other assassins, denied that he had harmed anyone, although he was seen to have shot Officer Tippit. He is also unique among attackers of a President in using a rifle rather than a pistol.

Oswald was in turn assassinated by Jack Ruby before Oswald’s motives and intended target could be determined.

Robert F. Kennedy

On June 4, 1968, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, brother of President Kennedy and candidate for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party, was assassinated. He was shot in the head with a pistol from pointblank range. A young Jordanian national named Sirhan Bishara Sirhan[58] has been convicted of the crime and his appeal is pending.

B. The Psychology of Presidential Assassins

1. Similarities between Presidential Assassins

All those who have assassinated or attempted to assassinate Presidents of the United States (with the possible exception of the Puerto Rican nationalist attempt upon President Truman) have been mentally disturbed persons who did not kill to advance any rational political plan. One psychiatrist, Dr. Donald W. Hastings, states that all but Collazo and Torresola were insane. Indeed, Dr. Hastings goes so far as to diagnose their mental illness as, “schizophrenia, in most instances a paranoid type.”[59][60]

Such a diagnosis, however, does not tell us why such persons become assassins, or how to identify and distinguish the assassination-prone personality.[61] Furthermore, seven persons—the number of the actual assassins or would-be assassins (excepting Collazo and Torresola)—do not constitute a sufficient sample from which to generalize with any confidence. Yet these men do have a striking number of similarities.

All were male, white, not tall, and slender. Lawrence, Shrank, and Zangara were foreign born. Czolgosz was born a few months after his parents emigrated to the United States, and Booth’s parents came to the United States after Booth’s mother had become pregnant with their first child. Booth’s older brother. Only the parents of Guiteau and Oswald were native born.

On the other hand, neither socioeconomic class nor employment seems to establish a common thread. The families of both Guiteau and Booth can be called middle class, as can Shrank as owner of a bar and tenement property. Booth moved in high social circles in the South. The remainder could be called craftsmen or members of the working class.

All for whom we have information experienced an absence or disruption of the normal family relationship between parent and child.

John Wilkes Booth was an illegitimate child. His father did not marry his mother until John was thirteen. His father and older brothers were away for long periods of time on theatrical tours while he was reared, an unruly child, by his mother.

Guiteau’s mother died when he was seven. Czolgosz’s mother died when he was twelve. Shrank’s father died when Shrank was a child, and his mother remarried, moved to another town, and left Shrank to be reared by an uncle and aunt. Zangara’s mother died when he was two, and his father remarried a woman with six daughters. Oswald’s father died just after Oswald was born. His mother remarried when Oswald was about five years old, but the marriage ended in divorce in three years.

The only possible exception, paradoxically, is Lawrence, whose delusions of wealth and high estate fit most perfectly with the popular notion of the madman. As far as can be determined, he alone of all the assassins had the benefit of both parents throughout his childhood

There is an hypothesis that the absence of a strong father figure may contribute to an assassin’s frame of mind. In as many cases as not, the disruption of the family was the early death of the mother, not the absence of the father. However, this does not necessarily defeat the hypothesis. For example, Guiteau’s father, deeply involved in the heteradox religious views of Noyes, may have had little time for his son. Zangara’s father took him out of school at the age of six and put him to work. Because of this, Zangara may have felt alienated from his father. What one writer has called “extreme ordinality” may be added to a list of common characteristics.”[62] Ordinality is the position of a child amongst his siblings by order of birth. Of the eight presidential assassin discussed, including Collazo, two (Shrank and Zangara) were “only” children. Guiteau, Collazo, and Oswald were the youngest in families of three, fourteen, and three children, respectively. Booth was the ninth youngest of ten children. We have no data as to Lawrence’s siblings, if any. Only Czolgosz was a middle child, the fourth of eight. Psychiatrists have suggested that ordinality is significant in the development of the personality, and it would seem that ordinal position of the assassins is extreme enough to warrant consideration.

Almost all the assassins were loners who had difficulty making friends of either sex, especially in establishing lasting relationships with women. Booth is an exception, at least in part. He was reputed to be excellent company among men and irresistible to women. He undoubtedly had affairs, and he apparently considered himself engaged to be married at the time of Lincoln’s assassination. Nonetheless, the number of affairs he had suggests some inability to establish a mature relationship. When he died, he was found to have the pictures of five different women with him, including one of his fiancee. His most stable relationship was apparently with a prostitute.

Guiteau was somewhat similar to Booth, although he seems to have had no close male friends. For a total of six years he lived in the Oneida community, which practiced sexual communism. Guiteau, by his own admission, had casual liaisons with a number of women there. His subsequent marriage ended in divorce on the grounds of adultery.

Lawrence, Czolgosz, Shrank, Zangara, and Oswald fall most closely into this pattern. All seem to have been quite withdrawn, with very few friends of either sex. Shrank had a girl friend at one point, but she was killed in an accident several years prior to his assassination attempt. We know of no other women in his life. Lawrence never married. Zangara avoided the company of women and never married. Czolgosz wrote that he had no friends except for brother Waldek. Oswald proposed to one girl while in Russia and married another, but was unable to make a success of the marriage.

A striking similarity is the fact that, from one to three years prior to an assassination attempt, each of the assassins apparently became unable to hold a job, although there is no evidence of physical disability in any case.

Lawrence was a competent house painter whose hobby was landscape painting. Two years before his attempt on President Jackson, he quit work and moved in with his sister. Booth did not appear to quit work voluntarily, but approximately a year before the assassination a hoarseness and deterioration of his voice forced him to reduce his acting schedule substantially. Guiteau did not work in the ordinary sense. He lived as a petty swindler, lawyer, pamphleteer, evangelist, and insurance salesman. Nonetheless, there seems to have been a period of deterioration after Guiteau began to focus on politics. At times, just before the assassination, he appeared in public without socks and with his coat collar turned up to hide the fact that he was not wearing a shirt.

Czolgosz left his job at the wire mill where he had been a steady, reliable worker. His brother refers to the fact that he appeared to have a nervous breakdown and to grow listless.

Shrank also quit regular work. When he was twenty-eight, his uncle gave him the family saloon, where he had been tending bar. Two years later Shrank sold the saloon and began drifting, concentrating on reading and writing.

Zangara worked as a bricklayer until about three years before his attempt on Franklin Roosevelt, when he sought to cure his imagined stomach trouble in a warmer climate.

Oswald did not hold a steady job after he returned to the United States from Russia.

Another common characteristic is the tendency to identify with a cause or an ideologically based movement, but being unsuccessful or unable to participate with others in this cause or movement.

Booth identified strongly with the Southern cause. However, he could not or did not participate in the Southern war effort. He put on the southern uniform to witness the hanging of John Brown. Booth found the experience very moving, and considered John Brown’s demeanor and manner of death heroic and admirable. He never wore the uniform again.

Guiteau felt that he was divinely inspired. He tried on two occasions, once for five years, and once again for a year, to become part of the Oneida religious community. He ultimately identified with the Republican Party and particularly its Stalwart (conservative) wing. In neither case was he successful in becoming part of the organization with which he identified.

Czolgosz was originally a devout Roman Catholic. He became disillusioned with the Church and felt that priests were fakes. He later identified with the anarchist cause, but again he was unsuccessful in relating to or becoming part of the organization.

Shrank and Zangara do not fall into this pattern as neatly as the others. Although Shrank did not appear to identify with any particular group, he did develop a series of essays on political theory with respect to the United States, the most important principle of which was the “no-third-term” concept. Zangara joined the Italian Army at approximately the same age as Oswald joined the Marines. He served for five years, and then emigrated to the United States.

Oswald fits the pattern; he attempted to join the Marines when he was too young, and then enlisted at his earliest opportunity. He was not or could not let himself be accepted in the Marines. In Russia he was again unsuccessful in

identifying with and becoming part of the Russian “experiment.” Disillusioned, he returned to the United States. His final movement. The Fair Play for Cuba Society of New Orleans, was entirely his creation; he was the only member.

Some of the assassins seem to have been ambivalent with respect to their victim. Guiteau had several opportunities to murder President Garfield, but declined for apparently trivial reasons—the presence of Mrs. Garfield, the oppressive nature of the weather. Shrank followed the Roosevelt campaign, yet in twenty-four days, he managed to cross paths with the presidential candidate on only three occasions.

Ambivalence may also have characterized the other assassins. The misfiring of both of Lawrence’s pistols raises the suspicion that Lawrence purposely misloaded them, but experts at the time testified that they were properly loaded.

In every instance the assassin felt no remorse, but felt his act was justified by some transcendent principle of law, divine guidance, or the like. The only possible exception is Oswald, whose assassination by Jack Ruby ended any opportunity to examine his motives directly. The police who held him, however, said that he was a “cool customer.” He did not appear to show remorse.

In almost every instance, the assassins seemed to focus on a specific narrow, political issue in addition to harboring a general hostile fixation on the presidency. Lawrence, though basically seeking redress of imagined personal grievance, focused on Jackson’s veto of the charter of the United States Bank. The newspapers of the day charged that this act would ruin small business and put people out of jobs. Booth killed to vindicate the position of the South, but also alleged that Lincoln had been elected through vote fraud. Guiteau killed to advance the Stalwart (conservative) wing of the Republican Party. Again the papers had suggested that Garfield, in favoring the Half-Breed (liberal) wing, was destroying the party.

Neither Czolgosz nor Zangara fits this pattern. Although they killed on behalf of the underdog or the working class, apparently they did not focus on one particular narrow issue.

Shrank, on the other hand, followed the typical format. He was generally hostile toward the presidential candidate, and also focused on the narrow issue that Roosevelt was improperly violating the no-third-term precedent. Opposition newspapers had played up the issue by referring to Roosevelt as “the third-termer” rather than by name. The newspapers stopped this practice after Shrank’s attack.

Collazo, whose attack on President Truman was based on Puerto Rican nationalism, was examined by a psychiatrist and found to be sane. However, he does fit many of the above criteria: white, small of stature, and showing no remorse. In some regards he does not follow the pattern. His (second) marriage was successful; he was able to hold a job and retain the affection of his family, and became a real part of the movement with which he identified himself.

Although we cannot unravel the significance of the similarities between the assassins, we could make this statement: we could predict after President Kennedy’s assassination that the next assassin would probably be short and slight of build, foreign born, and from a broken family—most probably with the father either absent or unresponsive to the child. He would be a loner, unmarried, with no steady female friends, and have a history of good work terminated from one to three years before the assassination attempt by a seeming listlessness and irascibility. He would identify with a political or religious movement, with the assassination triggered by a specific issue which relates to the principles of the cause of movement. Although identifying with the cause, the assassin would not in fact be part of or able to contribute to the movement. Not every presidential assassin has had every one of the foregoing traits, but some combination of the above has characterized them all.

One commentator, Dr. Doris Y. Wilkinson, applies the concept of status incongruence in an attempt to explain presidential assassins.[63] Status incongruence exists where the achievement level of a person is inconsistent with what he expects because of his education or other factors, such as race, sex, ethnicity or nationality, family or social class background, or view of society. The argument can be made that each of the presidential assassins exhibited such an expectation-achievement gap. The question of why the psychic distress derived from status incongruence became politicized in the form of a deadly attack upon a high political officeholder remains unanswered.

One intriguing aspect of the status incongruence approach is that it may provide a partial explanation for two curious facts. First to be noted is the absence of Negroes from our list of presidential assassins—indeed, no Negroes are reported to have attempted to assassinate any high officeholders or persons of political prominence who are white. Second, all the assassins but Guiteau and Oswald either emigrated to America at a young age or were first-generation Americans.

With respect to the Negro phenomenon, it is suggested that, in America, the distinction between black and white has been, until perhaps very recent times, a master-determining status. The black man has a scapegoat. He can blame the system for defining him not in terms of what he does, but what he is. But a white person who fails to achieve his goals, although part of the favored racial class, has no such explanation for his “failure.” The hypothesis is too broad, but it is at least a start towards a more specifically explanatory hypothesis.

Applying the expectation-achievement hypothesis to the first-generation phenomenon, the immigrant could explain his absence of status or lack of opportunity in the mother country, but upon immigration to the “land of opportunity” this explanation would seemingly be lost. Still, the immigrant might not have an expectation-achievement gap, because he could perceive his immigrant status as a limiting factor. No such explanation for failure would be available to the first-generation Americans, however. The son of the immigrant-the child who grew up in the “land of opportunity”-might subsequently experience this expectation-achievement gap when conscious of the reality of his failure.

The tragedy of assasination in this nation may be caused in part by the possession of a social ideology or ethic which promises more than is in fact delivered. Again, the hypothesis proves far too much but does provide a starting point for the construction of hypotheses that are more specifically explanatory.

In an attempt to further the limited understanding of what compels people to attack political officeholders, some investigators have examined those imprisoned for threatening a President’s life.[64] David Rothstein, for example, has analyzed twenty-seven inmates of the Medical Center for Federal Prisoners in Springfield, Mo., who had indicated an intention to attack the President. The threatmakers bore similiarities to Lee Harvey Oswald. Most came from unhappy homes. They had domineering mothers and weak, ineffectual fathers. Most joined the military service at an early age, yet their experiences proved to be unhappy. Rothstein interprets their actions in threatening the President as the manifestation of a hostility towards their mother redirected against authority symbols—the government and, more specifically, the President.

In another study of fourty-eight individuals who attempted to force their way into the White House, Sebastiani and Foy found these individuals to be paranoid, persistent, and self-destructive.[65]

Both studies deal with individuals who threatened the President rather than those who have actually attacked him. The link between such threats and any intention actually to injure a President is not known. It may be that the violent letters to the White House or the attempts to invade its grounds are ends in themselves, designed to attract the type of attention the instigators desire, and not preliminaries to assassinations. No presidential assassin, with the possible exception of Guiteau,has publicized his intentions in advance.

In conclusion, it must be emphasized that we do not know why the characteristics discussed above appear in assassins, nor do we know why in a few instances those characteristics may lead to assassination, while in the overwhelming number of cases there is no such result. Many persons with more disruptive family lives and with the absence of a father figure become mentally healthy, productive citizens or at least do not assume an assassin’s role.

2. A Comparison of the Presidential Assassin and the Normal Citizen[66]

Dr. Freedman, a psychiatrist and consultant to this Task Force, points out that presidential assassins follow patterns which in other contexts would not only be approved but considered heroic. The typical violent offender strikes out at someone with whom he has at least been acquainted, and often at someone with whom he is intimate. After his attack he is filled with guilt or remorse. But common men-clerks, lawyers, scientists, and the like-can be recruited as soldiers to kill perfect strangers without remorse or regret, in the name of a cause. In this regard, the assassin resembles the patriot, not the typical murderer.

‘ The mentally ill resemble the so-called “well-adjusted” person far more closely than is generally realized. The less severely maladapted who are treated by psychotherapists-and the overwhelming majority of people who get along, more or less successfully, without psychiatric assistance-do so with latent paranoid and grandiose projections, much like the psychotic person. Everyone periodically sees himself as the center of some constellation of human relationships when in fact his role is peripheral or nonexistent. The “normal” person sometimes feels that he is being criticized or snubbed when in actuality he is not. This feeling is very common. The sense of being elevated in the eyes of those around him is comparatively rare. This tendency of the “normal” person to suffer.from the disapproval of others is the normal counterpart of the paranoidal projections of the deluded.

In one sense, the assassin grapples with his private misery more concretely, even more practically or realistically, than does the normal person, the neurotic, or the deluded psychotic. However horrible his deed, however pathological his interpretation of events, the assassin is a man who has politicized his private miseries. He has attempted to become part of a social institution which promises him freedom from his overpowering self-loathing. Guiteau and Oswald actually experimented with life in systems that seemed to promise escape from themselves, their fantasies, and their frustrations. Each turned against the community he had attempted to join and then discovered that he carried his private miseries and public disaffections with him wherever he went.

The assassin denies responsibility for his failure. (He does not deny his own failure; he is well aware of that.) He blames his sense of failure on others. However, the assassin does not live in a true community of men. His relationships are not immediate or personal. Unloved, he is unloving. He lacks the quality of emphathy. The assassin relates rather to an abstraction such as aggregate man or the political community. The fault as he sees it lies not in himself but in the structure of the community wherein he lives, and it is concentrated in the person who is the leader of that community, the President. The assassin disassociates the presidency from the man who occupies the office, and can kill him because of this lack of human identification which has characterized most of the assassin’s relationships.

The assassin combines this capacity to project onto the President the responsibility for his personal misery with an increasing preoccupation with a fanciful, abstract political, or governmental alternative to his unbearable surroundings. If the President is responsible for the failures of his society as well as of himself, then the potential assassin, in the name of all suffering humanity, in the name of an ideology, or as Guiteau claimed, in the name of God, is sometimes impelled even against his own will to carry out his mission. The assassin seeks fame and recognition as the killer of the President and acclamation and martyrdom from the community for having accomplished his “mission.” There is, however, no existing community of men for whom this mission is accomplished. It exists only in the fantasy of the assassin. But, in carrying out the assassination, the assassin denies the unreality of his “community,” and preserves his delusion.

Dr. Freedman suggests that many persons fall upon a continuum of self-loathing. At one end of the spectrum we find the “normal” people failing in their fondest hopes and ambitions, fighting their sense of worthlessness and failure, but successfully maintaining a balance so they can continue to function in a job, support a family, and make a contribution to society. At the other end of the scale are those whose self-loathing is so great that they must escape to a world of fantasy. This world is so pervasive that they lose touch with reality to such a great extent that they cannot function and must be cared for in mental institutions. At the center is the person perched precariously on the edge of reality. He is incapable of sustained work toward a long-range goal, but is capable of bursts of frenzied activity which are ultimately doomed to failure. Each such failure reinforces the self-loathing and the need, in one tremendous burst of directed planning and energy, to accomplish something of great worth. As Booth remarked, the person who pulled down the Colossus of Rhodes would be famous throughout history. One such act, which can be accomplished in a burst of directed activity and which can assure a person a place in history, however infamous, is the assassination of the President of the United States.

One attempt to explain the politicization of the disordered mind of the assassin[67] is based on the notion that a person requires and creates an “ideal self,” i.e., a conception of his own identity, and that he orders his conduct and personality in terms of this conception. When a person’s basic identity concept is threatened, he may lash out violently against the threat. Persons usually develop their identity by close contact with fellow human beings during childhood and early adulthood, especially close family members. As they grow to adulthood they continue to define their identity by reacting to persons bearing close relationships to them. Thus, most victims of violent or deadly attack bear a close relationship to the attacker—husband, wife, lover, best friend. These are the persons most in a position to threaten the attacker’s basic conception of his identity.

The assassin is unusual in having no such apparent personal relationship to the political figure he attacks. However, assassins of Presidents of the United States have had their normal personal relations disrupted at an early age. Typically, the family was disrupted by the death or absense of one parent. As an only or youngest child, the assassins may have been denied close relationships with siblings. Most of the assassins did not have satisfactory relationships with women. Thus the assassins had insufficient close personal relationships on which to define the basic conception upon which their entire identity depended; they were forced to define and relate their identity not to specific persons but to an abstract such as The State or an ideological movement. Such a person would have a kind of “lover” or “best friend” relationship with The State or ideological movement, and would create his fundamental self-image from this relationship. This sets up the psychological conditions that politicize such a personality to explose in deadly violence against the head of state as the symbol and embodiment of his lover. Under the same conditions, the “normal” person would react violently against an individual—husband, wife, mistress, or best friend, as the case may be.

We realize that we still have not explained why the potential assassin deviates from the large number of persons who share with him the same kind of background but who become well-balanced productive citizens. Nor have we explained why the assassin differs from those who can channel and control their identification with a cause and need for recognition, and whose perception of the goals of their society sufficiently accords with reality that they truly serve their society by selfless acts of heroism.

C. A Psychiatric Perspective Upon Public Reaction To the Murder of a President.[68]

There are extraordinary regularities in the sequence of events following the assassination of a President of the United States. Those regularities emanate from the tremendous impact of the death of a President on the American public. The impact is not political as such—as pointed out in section E, no basic policy or structural change in the United States is attributable to a presidential assassination—but a personal, emotional impact.

The first regularity to be noted is that where the assassin has been successful, our system of justice has reacted harshly and primitively. Where the assassin has failed, he has usually been treated with compassion.

The very first assassination attempt, that by Richard Lawrence, could have set a precedent to which the United States could have pointed with great pride. The court, at the courageous instance of the prosecution, adopted a liberal rule for the test of insanity: whether the deed was the “immediate, unqualified offspring of the disease’’—even if at the time of the attack, the assassin knew the nature of his act and the difference between right and wrong. The jury found Lawrence not guilty by reason by insanity. Shrank, another unsuccessful assassin, was also recognized as insane, and was hospitalized, not executed.

Successful assassins, however, have all been killed. Oswald was gunned down by Ruby. Booth, historians agree, probably shot himself rather than be arrested, but a Union sergeant, Boston Corbett, claimed to have done the act himself as an agent of God and received wide public approval and acclaim for the alleged killing. Two attempts were made on Guiteau’s life prior to his trial and execution, also with widespread though not unanimous approval. The following was written in 1881 of one attempt on his life. It could have been written, with very few changes, in 1963 about Ruby’s murder of Oswald.

I am sorry it should have taken place, for it can only add to the wretchedness of the whole thing. We are disgraced as a nation by such an occurrence. What will foreigners think of us? The assassination of the 2nd of July was a dreadful calamity, but then we can look upon that as the freak of a lunatic or the desperate act of a dangerous and baffled man. But now, when that man is on trial for his life and the judicial hearing is proceeding in a regular way, and with no danger of any but a perfectly just and fair conclusion, to have someone take upon himself the office of executioner is entirely inexcusable. It begins to look as if we were in fact a lawless community ... This Washington fool steps up and insults every law-abiding citizen of the land by his act..[69]

Czolgosz, Guiteau, and Zangara who, although he missed Franklin Roosevelt, killed Mayor Anton Cermak, appear to have merited treatment as insane persons as much as Lawrence or Shrank. However, all were found sane and executed. The trial of Booth’s fellow-conspirators was a disgrace. They were denied their right to a jury and were summarily tried and sentenced to death by a military tribunal. The trial of Guiteau was a circus; although the judge’s charge to the jury was fair-minded on the issue of insanity, the jury found him guilty and he was executed in front of a large crowd. The trial of Czolgosz was a farce that lasted only eight hours and twenty-six minutes. The jury brought in a verdict of guilty after only thirty-four minutes. Thus, one disastrous effect of an assassination may be the failure of our system of justice to respond humanely to the mental illness of the successful assassin.

Perhaps of even greater interest from a psychiatric point of view is the initial and sometimes lasting insistence that the assassin was part of a widespread conspiracy. Lawrence was considered by some to be part of a Whig conspiracy against Jackson. The conspiratorial theories surrounding the assassination of Lincoln still rage, including the view that Cabinet members such as Stanton or even Andrew Johnson headed the plot.

Guiteau’s sister has written that, although Guiteau did fire one shot at Garfield, the fatal shot was fired by a member of the Stalwart faction.

Czolgosz was widely assumed to have been an agent of the anarchists. Leading anarchists were arrested, including Emma Goldman. No evidence connecting her with the killing was discovered, and she was subsequently released.

Zangara was seriously mentally disturbed. He freely admitted that his intention was to kill Roosevelt as the head of state. Zangara sprayed five pistol shots in Roosevelt’s direction, killing Anton Cermak, Mayor of Chicago. Despite the contrary evidence, the rumor still persists that Zangara was the agent of a gangland conspiracy to kill Chicago’s mayor.

The twenty-six volume report of the Warren Commission demonstrates that in all probablity no murder in the history of the United States has ever been as thoroughly investigated as that of John F. Kennedy. Evidence was taken from anyone who could possibly have anything to contribute. Probably no trial has exceeded the Warren Commission’s efforts to be fair and to conceal nothing that could possibly contribute to public understanding.

Yet the proliferation of conspiracy theories about the assassination of President Kennedy is familiar to all. There is even a book denouncing the books that denounce the Warren Report.[70]

How can we explain the prevalence of theories that presidential assassinations sprang from powerful, widespread conspiracies? These theories are created and maintained tenaciously, despite the absence of evidence and despite empirical demonstration of the irrationality of such theories. Indeed, they are elaborated, like some phobias, by an everwidening network of large and small events that become consciously incorporated into the original theory of conspiracy.

Dr. Freedman attempts neither to disprove the conspiratorial theories nor to strengthen the homicidal-isolate hypothesis. Rather, he asks us to speculate with him about the explanations for the acceptance of conspiratorial theories in the face of seemingly overwhelming evidence which renders them at best inconclusive.

The murder of a President is no ordinary homicide. The impact of the murder of the key figure of the government is so vast, so terrible, so widespread, that it is incomparable to the murder of a private citizen. We are agitated and depressed at even the remote prospect that our elected leader may be killed while in office. In contrast, the death of former Presidents does not concern us nearly as much.

The legal precedents of criminal responsibility and insanity that now apply to all legal acts spring from the early precedents established in these rare cases of assassination. Regicide, as Erskine said in defense of Hadfield, is equated with parricide, the murder of the father. Thus, in our jurisprudal system, culpability and punishability are based on social and personal values which express our horror of killing the father. The violent removal of the father threatens the viability of his offspring Even the fratricide of Cain in the Old Testament fould be compromised by the God-father. Cain, the murderer, was stigmatized but spared. Parricide, however, could never be compromised or ignored. It profaned the killer. It aroused unbearable anxiety and guilt. It demanded retribution by the father’s survivors. The anxiety, the guilt, the sense of profanation, and the resultant need to seek absolution and to become eligible once again to be accepted in the sacred brotherhood which shared the common father afflicted the murderer no less poignantly than it did his rudely deprived peers.

Profanation of the father’s sexual partner by gaining erotic access to her was only slightly less horrifying an act. The murder of the father and taking his place as the sexual possessor of the mother are the primal crimes of mankind. Nonetheless, Oedipus, the unwitting and unwilling archoffender, was himself a father, and the drama of his redemption and the redemption of his values by and through his children reflects the continuity of the problem.

It is now generally held that the human personality is the product of the enactment in each person’s life of this Oedipal drama, no less potent because it is only symbolically and psychically reenacted—indeed, possibly more powerful as a determinant of our adult character than if it were physical fact rather than psychic fantasy. Whether or not these speculations are accepted the empirical evidence demonstrates the awesome significance of parricide to those who are under the paternal influence, bound to each other because of their common bond of ambigious affection for, awe of, dependence upon, and challenge to the common father figure.

Presidential assassination is, for the overwhelming majority of Americans, the equivalent of parricide. Most Americans felt after the assassination of John F. Kennedy that they had lost a member of their own family, almost always their father. They had responded similarly to the death of President Roosevelt.

Many not only compared their sense of loss to the death of their fathers but expressed a more profound sense of shock, loss, and deprivation than they had felt at the death of their own father. Two-thirds of those interviewed complained not only of depression, but of almost unbearable nervousness and tension. One-half of them could not eat or sleep.

Dr. Freedman suggests that the vast audience which is apparently so willing and anxious to be convinced of a conspiracy exists because the alternative is unbearable. It is unbearable because it makes the entire system of controlled relationships within which they live, and upon which the security and sense of their lives rest, vulnerable to destruction by the vagaries of the totally unpredictable. The most conspicuous and most powerful representative of the principles that shape and guarantee their lives can be destroyed in seconds by the attack by a nonentity. It seems incredible that the man who commands the largest power in the world could be destroyed by a man who commands no one, not even himself. It cannot be that the whole complex and mysterious enterprise of government is unable to protect itself.

It must not be that he upon whose decisions so much depends, who determines for millions whether they shall live or die on some battlefield, is incapable of making decisions to prevent the taking of his own life. It cannot be that, in short, the great and all-powerful father from whom all strength and protection comes, is as humble, weak, and vulnerable as one suspects or knows oneself to be.

If we must sutfer parricide, if our father is to be taken from us, he must be taken by a most powerful, if malignant, counterforce. We cannot lose him to a casual crank. To do so is to stand shivering and unprotected, not only bereft of our father but exposed within ourselves to our own vulnerability. Far better to be convinced of a manichean diabolism than a trivial mechanical doll as the instrument of our destruction.

Dr. Freedman’s analysis, if correct, does not itself disprove the existence of malign far-reaching conspiracies to kill the President. We cannot hope to convince those whose own psychic needs require a belief in such conspiracies. We can, however, comfort the many who accept the overwhelming weight of evidence of the lone, mentally ill assassin, but who still feel disturbed and uneasy about that evidence. This uneasiness is a product of the primal anxieties created by the archetypal crime of parricide—not the inadequacy of the evidence of the lone assassin.

D. A Survey of Public Reaction to Assassinations

This section will deal with the emotional impact of assassination on the American public. The first portion is based upon data collected by a Commission survey[71] concerning six assassinations that have occurred in recent years; President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, and George Lincoln Rockwell.

In order to make judgments about the impact, different emotions as well as the different targets were examined. The emotions that were examined were presented in the form of scales that had two different poles. In some cases the ends of the scale represented opposite emotions, but this was not the case for every scale. The scales were:

hopeful 1 2 3 4 5 hopeless
not surprised 1 2 3 4 5 shocked
unafraid 1 2 3 4 5 afraid
calm 1 2 3 4 5 angry
sad 1 2 3 4 5 relieved
at a loss 1 2 3 4 5 not affected

The respondent was asked to indicate the number on each scale that best represented his feelings at the time he first heard about the assassination. Table 1 presents the average value that the respondents gave to each variable for each assassination. Each scale had five categories which were scored from one to five. The middle category, which represented a neutral position between the two extremes, received a score of three. Results that fell to the left side of the scale received scores of one or two with the average being less than three for a group of scores. If a group of scores fell primarily to the right side of the scale, the average was above three.

Table 1. —Average reactions of respondents to each of the assassinations

HOPEFUL—HOPELESS 2.925 4.071 3.412 3.034 4.345 3.637
NOT SURPRISED- SHOCKED 2.401 4.497 3.361 2.607 4.793 3.437
UNAFRAID-AFRAID 2.195 3.398 2.914 2.574 3.752 3.158
CALM-ANGRY 2.226 3.910 3.224 2.642 4.144 3.350
SAD-RELIEVED 3.000 1.316 2.114 2.856 1.216 1.970
AT A LOSS- NOT AFFECTED 3.929 1.837 2.839 3.499 1.471 2.584

Scale of Positions: 1.0, 1.5, 2.0, 2.5, 3.0, 3.5, 4.0, 4.5

Because the assassinations occurred over a five-year period between 1963 and 1968, several refinements must be considered in the interpretations of the data. First, what was the time lapse between the assassination and the survey? The survey, conducted in October of 1968, was closest to the assassinations of Senator Kennedy and Dr. King, and furthest from those of President Kennedy and Medgar Evers. In addition to the time variable, there is also a confounding factor present because while all of those interviewed had heard of the assassinations of President Kennedy, Dr. King, and Senator Kennedy, only seventy-two percent had heard of the Malcolm X assassination, sixty-three percent that of Medgar Evans, and fifty-five percent that of George Lincoln Rockwell. Thus, the table represents the reactions of different sets of respondents, not reactions of the whole survey population.

It can be seen trom the table that the reaction of the population to the assassination of President Kennedy was more extreme than the reaction to the other live. This is in spite of the fact that the assassination of President Kennedy, among the major figures, was furthest removed in time from the survey.

The variable that appeared to bring forth the most intense reaction was the scale that went from sad to relieved. It should be recalled that the most extreme “sad” response a person could give would be a score of one. The average for respondents on the assassination of President Kennedy was 1.22, for Senator Kennedy it was 1.32; and the next most extreme response was for Dr. King, 1.97. The degree of sadness was significantly greater on the part of the general population to the assassinations of President Kennedy and Senator Kennedy than for any of the others. It is also interesting to note that for none of the assassinations, including that of George Lincoln Rockwell, was the average response on the relieved side of the neutral point. In the case of Rockwell, the average was in the middle, between sad and relieved. The average response to the assassination of Malcolm X, 2.86, was also quite close to this middle category. Of course, the average in itself does not indicate the distribution of responses; although it is on one side of the neutral point, there could be a large number of individuals in the population whose response was on the other side. Figure 1 presents the averages on the sad-relieved scale. It can be seen that three pairs emerge. At the extreme sad end are President Kennedy and Senator Kennedy. At the neutral point are both Malcolm X and George Lincoln Rockwell. Between those two extreme groups are King and Evers. These three groupings will reappear throughout the analysis.

Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Six Assassinations]]

The scale that brought the next most intense response was me scale of not surprised to shocked. Again, there was the greatest surprise at the assassination of President Kennedy, despite the fact that he had been assassinated almost five years before.

It is interesting to note that the degree of shock at the assassinations of Dr. King and Medgar Evers was far less than that for the Kennedys. The degree of shock was about the same for both these individuals, although everyone in the population had heard of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., while less than two-thirds had heard about that of Medgar Evers. Finally, in the case of both Malcolm X and Rockwell, the average response was on the not surprised side of the scale. It is possible that, because each of these individuals was a leader of extreme groups within the society, the general impression of the population was that they might meet violent death.

These results are presented in Figure 2. Again the three groups of two appear. In this case, the King-Evers pair is close to the neutral point and is closer to Rockwell-Malcolm X than to the two Kennedys.

Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Six Assassinations]]

The scale that brought forth the third most intense response was at a loss-not affected, the last scale on the table. The results here parallel those that have already been presented, although two exceptions should be noted. Although the population in general was more at a loss over President Kennedy’s assassination than over any of the others, the difference between President Kennedy and Senator Kennedy was greater on this scale than on the previous two. Similarly, it should be noted that again Malcolm X and Rockwell fall on the not affected side of the scale. There is, however, a fairly large discrepancy. The population in general was less affected by Rockwell’s assassination than by the assassination of Malcolm X. The results are diagramed in Figure 3.

Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Six Assassinations

The scale upon which the next most intense responses were given was the hopeful-hopeless scale. In this case, the Malcolm X-Rockwell pair falls very close to the neutral point on the scale. Similarly, on the cairn-angry scale, Malcolm X and Rockwell fall on the opposite side of the scale to that reported for the other assassinations, with Evers and King fairly close to the neutral point. Although comparisons are difficult to makef it appears that aggressive responses on tire part of the population to the assassinations of important figures like President Kennedy and Senator Kennedy were less intense than the responses indicating both shock and sadness and a sense of hopelessness or disorientation. These results are presented in Figures 4, 5, and 6.

Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Six Assassinations]]

][Figure 5.-CALM-ANGRY SCALE Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Six Assassinations]]

][Figure 6.-UNAFRAID-AFRAID SCALE Intensity of Emotional Reactions to Six Assassinations]]

It must be realized that the above results are based on the average responses of a sample intended to be representative of the entire population of the United States. It is quite possible that not only do the averages for various groups differ from those of the national sample taken together, but that some groups reacted differently to the sequence of assassinations.

1. Emotional Responses of Specific Groups to Assassination

This section will examine the emotions of specific groups. Tables 2 to 7 present the results for each of the scales taken separately.

Examination of Table 2, which deals with the hopeful-hopeless scale, indicates that seventy-eight percent of the population reacted with a feeling of hopelessness to the assassination of President Kennedy. Among Negroes, the percentage was even larger—ninety-one percent, and among suburban residents it was eighty-six percent. In the total population, sixty-eight percent reacted with hopelessness to Senator Kennedy’s assassination. But among Negroes this percentage was eighty-three percent, and among the highly politically active it was eighty percent.

For the country as a whole, only forty-six percent reacted to the assassination of Dr. King with hopelessness, but among Negroes the percentage was almost as large as for President Kennedy’s—eighty-five percent.

A majority of Negroes also reacted to the assassination of Medgar Evers with hopelessness—fifty-nine percent—as opposed to thirty-four percent for the whole sample. Similarly, Negroes reacted more strongly to the death of Malcolm X than did the sample as a whole. In fact, the hopeful percentage for the sample was almost equal to the hopeless—fifteen percent compared to seventeen percent. In the case of George Lincoln Rockwell, a slightly greater percentage was hopeful (seventeen percent) than were hopeless (twelve percent).

In general, it appears that Negroes have been particularly shaken by the political assassinations that have occurred.

The results, presented in Table 3, are confirmed on the not surprised-shocked scale. Again, the pattern repeats itself, although a slightly higher proportion of the citizenry was shocked at each of the assassinations than reacted with the emotion of hopelessness. In the case of George Lincoln Rockwell, more than a majority who heard said that they were not surprised when they heard of the assassination. Even for Malcolm X, the percentage of not surprised was forty-two percent, this was twice as large as the percentage that said they were shocked (twenty percent). It is apparent again that Negroes reacted more strongly to the assassinations.

Fear as an emotion did not occur as widely as did either shock or hopelessness. Nevertheless, sixty-one percent of the sample did react this way upon hearing of the assassination of President Kennedy. For Senator Kennedy, the percentage was forty-five percent, but more than half of both females and Easterners reacted with fear to the Senator’s assassination. Similarly, although only thirty-six percent of the population reacted with fear to Dr. King’s assassination, fully sixty-three percent of the Negroes in the sample indicated that they reached with this emotion. The picture that is emerging is one of shock and hopelessness over major assassinations in this country and reduced, but still substantial, amounts of fear (see Table 4). Anger was a stronger response than fear in the population. The results for this scale are presented inTable 5. Seventy-five percent of the sample reacted with anger to the assassination of President Kennedy. More than half (fifty-eight percent) also reacted this way to the assassination of Senator Kennedy and almost half (forty-six percent) did so upon hearing of Dr. King’s assassination.

Table 2.-Analyses of emotional responses to the assassinations hopeful-hopeless scale

MALCOLM X over 65
MALE, NuN-Vt 1 13
OVER 65 13

Table 3.-Reactions to assassinations surprised — not surprised scale

INCOME UNDER $5000 19 14
51–65 91
NEGRO 68 45
NEGRO 48 20
OVER 65 97 94
NEGRO 84 56

56 | 48 | | HIGH POL. ACT.


WEST | 12


10 | 6 |



27 | 20 | | FEMALES EAST | 53

52 | 45 |


31 | 25 | | HIGH POL. ACT.


NEGRO | 35


33 | 22 |



40 | 34 | | NEGRO


17 | 12 |


Table 4. -Reactions to assassinations unafraid-afraid scale

Assassination Attempts Directed at the Office of the President
OVER 65 27


ENDORSE STRONG | 44 40 | 34 |



21 | 13 |

OVER 65 37

Table 5. -Reactions to assassinations calm-angry scale

MID-WEST 18 in
HIGH POL. ACT. 77 58
NEGRO 56 0/
HIGH POL. ACT. 27 17
EAST 83 /o
NEGRO 78 4.R

WEST | 30

29 | 21 | | HIGH POL. ACT. TV EFFECT | 25

24 | 19 |



95 | 91 | | (ALL LOW) | | 1 |



70 | 56 | | WEST

MALE, VET. | 11

7 | 4 |



42 | 26 | | WEST


22 | 16 |


FINANCIAL SITUATION | 97 | 95 | | (ALL VERY LOW) | | 1 |



76 | 66 | | OVER 65

(7 GROUPS TIED AT) | 11 | 10 | 7 |

Table 6. -Reactions to assassinations sad-relieved scale

Assassination Attempts Directed at the Office of the President 00

NEGRO | 15

13 | 8 |



82 | 74 |



91 | 87 |



62 | 46 |

Table 7.—Reactions to assassinations at a loss-not affected scale

OVER 65 12 8
WEST 30 22
RURAL 46 oo

For particular subgroups in the ponulation, the percentages are even higher. For example, seventy-eight percent of the Negroes reacted with anger to the death of Dr. King and fifty-six percent to that of Medgar Evers. The high politically active also felt a great deal of anger at these assassinations as well as to those of President and Senator Kennedy.

It seems apparent that in such a moment of shock, the nation is in a potentially dangerous mood. In the case of President Kennedy’s assassination, a majority were afraid, but an even larger majority were angry, a potentially explosive combination.

The nation reacted with a great deal of sadness to the assassinations (see table 6)—ninety-five percent to President Kennedy’s, ninety-one percent to Senator Kennedy’s, sixty-six percent to Dr. King’s, and fifty-six percent to Medgar Evers’. Among Negroes, the sadness over the assassination of their leaders was quite great. Ninety-five percent expressed this emotion in the case of Dr. King and eighty-seven percent in the case of Evers. In the case of Malcolm X, the percentage of Negroes who expressed sadness was still a substantial majority—sixty-three percent.

The results of the at a loss-not affected scale parallel the percentages for the calm-angry scale. They are presented in Table 7. More than ninety percent of the Negro community felt a great loss after each of the “major” assassinations, and a majority expressed this sentiment after the assassination of Medgar Evers. Although the country as a whole was not substantially affected by the Malcolm X assassination, over one-third of the Negro community felt at a loss.

2. Summary

Tables 2 to 7 have presented data for emotional reactions to the six major political assassinations that have occurred in the past six years. In addition, particular groups in the population that were high in the expression of these emotions were presented.

It is apparent that the country was greatly affected by the assassinations. Anger, fear, shock, hopelessness, loss, and sadness were overwhelming reactions to the assassinations of John Kennedy and Robert Kennedy and substantial reactions to Dr. King’s. Negroes also expressed these sentiments to a great degree over the assassinations of Medgar Evers and Malcolm X. Only the assassination of George Lincoln Rockwell evoked relatively little reaction.

3. Polarized Subgroup Analysis

One of the problems in the analysis of attitudes is the identification of significant subgroups. In this survey, an attempt was made, to select subgroups empirically which would be fairly homogeneous and maximally different from each other in their attitudes. The result was a division of the sample into separate groups defined by more than one attribute at the same time. Because of the small number of non-whites in a national sample, it was possible to add only a single characteristic at a time to this grouping. The larger number of cases in the white part of the sample, allowed several attributes to be used simultaneously to define the subgroup. The attributes were selected based on their ability to discriminate among individuals in their attitudes. Consequently, the use of several of them simultaneously resulted in even greater discrimination on the items.

This section will briefly examine some of the subgroups for their emotional reactions to the various assassinations.

As has been indicated, the most intense reactions were on the sad-relieved scale. This scale will be examined for those subgroups which differed most in their reactions. Because the feelings of the population were predominantly at the sad end of the scale for both President Kennedy and Senator Kennedy, only the most intense response will be considered.

Non-whites and whites were almost identical in their reactions of extreme sadness upon hearing of the death of President Kennedy. For the non-white sample, eighty-seven percent marked the extreme category, and for whites the figure was eighty-six percent. There was, however, a substantial amount of variability among the subgroups. The smallest group to mark the extreme was the high politically active white Southerners (sixty-seven percent). The highest groups were white females who had not graduated from high school but who were high in political activity (100 percent) and the Eastern whites who had not graduated from high school (99 percent).

In general, the survey indicated that politically active Southern whites are alienated from the federal government to a much greater extent than would be expected, based on their level of political activity. Among other groups in the population, the high politically active are more supportive of the national government and are usually among the most liberal elements in the population. In the South, however, at least for whites, the issue of segregation appears to be the most politically volatile. This activity has been primarily opposed to federal efforts. Consequently, the interaction of high political activity, being white, and residing in the South, results in a group whose feelings are different on many issues from those of other of the subgroups.

The greatest reaction of sadness to President Kennedy’s assassination would be expected to fall among those who felt that he showed great promise and were left without a feeling of direction by his death. This interpretation is somewhat confirmed by an examination of the at a loss-not affected scale. The two groups highest in the expression of extreme sadness were also among the highest in expressing the extreme at a loss position on that scale. (The highest group on the at a loss scale, however, consisted of non-whites who had graduated from high school but had not gone on to college. This result is consistent with the hypothesis that has been presented.) Residence in the West or South was the dominant characteristic among the groups which were low in the extreme at a loss reaction. It was in these sections of the country that President Kennedy encountered greatest opposition in his campaign in 1960.

On the afraid-unafraid scale, the Eastern non-whites showed the greatest amount of intense fear. This may represent a feeling among this group that they would not make the advances they had hoped they would achieve under the Kennedy administration. Many white residents of the West (white male, white low politically active, and white high politically active Westerners) were among those least likely to give the most intense fear response.

Not only were the Eastern non-whites among the highest in intense fear, they were also among the highest in intense anger over President Kennedy’s assassination. On the other hand, Sourthern white males and Southern whites who had not graduated from high school gave the smallest proportion of intense anger. The spread between the high and low groups was quite large on this scale. Whereas eighty-three percent of the Eastern non-whites fell in the extreme anger category, only thirty-seven percent of the white male Southerners and thirty-eight percent of the Southern whites who had not graduated from high school did.

As expected, similar principles apply in the reactions of the assassination of Senator Kennedy, and such is the case. The extreme sadness category was most likely to be marked by Western non-whites (ninety-six percent) and by male whites living in the East (ninety percent). It was least likely to be marked by politically active white males who had not graduated from high school (fifty percent) and. surprisingly, by white males who had graduated from high school and were medium in political activity (fifty-six percent). One possible explanation for this is the fact that Senator Kennedy was assassinated while his party was divided in a pre-presidential nomination battle, whereas President Kennedy was assassinated after he had assumed leadership of the country. Among the lowest groups were white male Southerners (sixty percent) and white male Westerners (sixty-two percent). The scores of these last two groups were to be expected, based on the results from President Kennedy’s assassination.

The greatest proportion of respondents who indicated anger were politically active Eastern whites (sixty-nine percent), Eastern non-whites (sixty-seven percent), and high politically active nonwhites. The groups that had the smallest proportion of members who gave a reaction of intense anger consisted of male whites in the South (twenty-five percent) and Southern whites who had not completed high school (twenty-nine percent).

The results for the Martin Luther King, Jr. assassination change drastically because of the great difference in reactions of white and non-white groups. The principles mentioned above also apply here, but the groups to which they apply are markedly different.

Eighty-eight percent of the non-whites, but only forty percent of the whites, marked the most extreme sad position as a response to the King assassination. In general, it appears that the least active and the less educated non-whites responded to the greatest extent (over ninety percent). Among the non-whites, the group having the smallest proportion of extreme sad responses was the highly politically active non-whites (seventy-four percent). This proportion may well have resulted from a greater militancy among the politically active non-whites than they felt was represented in the position of Dr. King. However, it must be noted that the highest white subgroups, the Eastern whites medium in political activity and the highly politically active female whites who had at least graduated from high school, still fell below the lowest non-white subgroup (seventy percent and sixty-nine percent, respectively). For the white subgroup the spread was quite great on this scale, with only twenty-six percent of the male Southerners and twenty-six percent of the male Southerners and twenty-six percent of the low politically active Southerners giving this response.

This pattern was similar on other scales, although the difference between the white and non-white subgroups was even larger in some cases. For example, seventy-five percent of the non-whites and only twenty-two percent of the whites indicated that they felt extremely hopeless upon hearing of the assassination of Dr. King. Similarly, seventy-seven percent of the non-whites and only twenty-three percent of the whites indicated that their feelings were at the extreme at a loss position.

Examination of the Evers assassination presents a similar but less intense pattern. It appears that the reactions on most of the scales were more similar for whites and non-whites than on the King assassination. However, Evers may have been seen by non-whites as less directly influential in the possible achievement of important goals. Consequently, there was less hopelessness, anger, fear, etc. expressed by non-whites over his assassination than over that of Dr. King. However, the substantial amount of identification of the non-whites is indicated by the intense sadness response. In this case, sixty-eight percent of the non-whites and only twenty-eight percent of the whites expressed the extreme response.

In the case of Malcolm X, there was even less reaction overall, and there were smaller differences between whites and non-whites. In fact, there was very little difference between the two groups in the amount of fear they expressed upon hearing of the death of Malcolm X. Nevertheless, substantial portions of the non-white community did identify with Malcolm X and did react negatively to his assassination. Again, the greatest difference between the two groups occurred on the sad-relieved scale; sixty-three percent of the non-whites and only sixteen percent of the whites expressed sadness over the Malcolm X assassination.

As has been indicated, the Rockwell assassination resulted in the least emotional reaction on the part of the population. Although there was substantial variability among subgroups, the significance of these results is rather difficult to determine. Perhaps the most surprising result is that the group having the largest proportion of members who expressed some degree of sadness were the low politically active non-whites (forty-seven percent). Perhaps this group was reacting more to the concept of assassination than to feelings toward the person himself. Because a smaller proportion of respondents claimed to have heard about the Rockwell assassination, there is also the possibility that memories of this assassination were not as clear as for the others. However, Rockwell was introduced in the interview schedule as the former head of the American Nazi Party. It is also possible, therefore, that the reactions, especially among white subgroups, represent some of the extreme polarization in political viewpoint that exists in the population.[72]

As pointed out above, the reaction of the population to the assassination of President Kennedy was the most extreme among the assassinations examined by the Commission survey, despite the fact that his assassination was furthest removed in time. A number of other studies, closer in time to the death of President Kennedy, have explored the reactions of the public to that assassination.[73] The principal responses of adults to the assassination included sorrow for the President’s wife and children (sixty-one percent of those sampled); regret that a young man had been killed at the height of his power (fifty-two percent); shame that such an act could occur in the United States (fifty percent); a sense of loss at the death of one so close and dear (forty-five percent); and anger that anyone would commit such an act (forty-four percent).

A large portion of the national adult population experienced physical and psychological discomfort. Fifty-three percent of the adults interviewed said they had cried; fifty-seven percent said that they were dazed and numb: and forty-eight percent reported that they had trouble getting to sleep. Sixty-eight percent felt very nervous and tense; forty-three percent did not feel like eating; and anywhere from one-fifth to over one-quarter of those interviewed underwent a variety of other nervous reactions—upset stomachs (twenty-two percent), headaches (twenty-five percent), and excessive smoking (twenty-nine percent).

At the time of the interviews, people were confused by the assassin’s motives and the rationale for such a crime. About one in three felt that Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin, was mentally ill, although the general reaction seemed to be one of confusion as to the killer’s objectives and his reasoning.

About three out of four people (seventy-two percent) were convinced that Oswald was the assassin. However, in response to a question as to whether the murder could be considered the act of one man alone, sixty-two percent of the population believed others were involved in the act. It is difficult to think of an act that violently and horribly removes the chief political officer of the country as the action of an isolated, unstable individual. In their search for a more intelligible explanation, portions of the American public were susceptible to any conspiracy theory that might appear valid.

The tendency to attribute the murder to some broader conspiracy is not a new phenomenon in the aftermath of presidential assassinations. The reaction to the Lincoln assassination, with some justification, centered on talk and investigation of a plot or conspiracy to kill the President. The reactions to the Garfield and McKinley assassinations ran along the same line, leading to accusations against the anarchists in the case of McKinley and the Stalwart Republicans in the case of Garfield. Despite the attribution of the murder to a lone gunman in the assassination of President Kennedy, when respondents were specifically asked, “In your opinion, who or what should really be blamed for the assassination of President Kennedy—aside from the man who actually fired the gun? ”, only twenty percent could specify any group that they believed ultimately responsible for the death (fifteen percent said the Communists or leftists, five percent said right-wingers or segregationists).

The response of children to the assassination of President Kennedy was at least as intense as that of their parents. The feelings of the children parallel those of their parents (sense of loss, sorrow for the family, anger, and the variety of physical and psychological responses the older people felt). A basic difference in tl.e response patterns, however, was the tendency of children to equate the loss of the President with that of a parent, an especially intensive emotional experience for a child.[74]

One sample of Southern children also showed a sharper division between the races in speculatively attributing the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr., to an assassin of whom little was publicly known at the time.[75] Black children were three times as likely as whites to believe a white man was responsible (thirty-five to twelve percent) and more likely to attribute the death to “a prejudiced, racist, sick society” (twenty-seven to seventeen percent). White children, on the other hand, were ten times more likely (forty-one to four percent) to argue that, “King himself was to blame.” The white children also were considerably less upset by the King assassination, some even justified it.

The responses of the public were also of immediate political concern. In the wake of an assassination, a sense of vindictiveness and anger in the population—quite similar to that resulting from each of the previous presidential murders—was evident in the desire to punish the assassin physically. Little concern was exhibited by respondents for the procedural safeguards implicit in the concept of “due process of law.” Only one out of three (thirty-three percent) felt that Oswald should have had a trial, and one in five (twenty percent) was actually pleased when Oswald was shot. The ritualistic trial given Czolgosz and several of the suspected plotters in the Lincoln murder, as well as the speedy executions, indicates that the American public in these circumstances is more concerned with retribution than with any emphasis on traditions and safeguards associated with the concept of the rule of law. “Justice” comes to mean a very immediate and primitive revenge. The handling of accused assassins in 1968 might indicate a change in attitude—a greater willingness to permit the courts to determine guilt or innocence while affording the accused the protections that the system has to offer.

During the period of mourning for President Kennedy, people appeared to be more attracted toward his policy positions and more sympathetic to their enactment. This is one explanation for the number of domestic programs, originally sponsored by Kennedy, which were passed in the year following his death. Democratic Party supporters appeared stronger in their dedication to the party and Republicans were more ambivalent in their attitude toward their party and less likely to employ it as a source of reference in evaluating policy programs.[76] Republicans appeared less willing than Democrats to criticize programs during the early stages of the Johnson administration, and adherents of both parties found themselves more drawn to political figures who supported Kennedy policies and less sympathetic to those who criticized them severely.

The public also tended to idealize the young President in the immediate post-assassination period. Respondents described the deceased President as “intelligent” (eighty percent), “courageous” (sixty-six percent), “hard-working” (fifty-two percent), and “sincere” (forty-eight percent). While only fifty-nine percent indicated that they approved of the way Kennedy was handling the presidency in the last Gallup poll released before his death (Nov. 10, 1963), one-half went so far as to credit him with being “one of the two or three best Presidents the country ever had” in the days immediately following his death.

This phenomenon is not confined to the 1963 presidential assassination. The newspaper and public reactions to the deaths of Garfield and McKinley were reported to be equally profuse. The slain Presidents were eulogized in the most laudatory terms, and were characterized by qualities not necessarily related to their personalities, abilities, or a realistic evaluation of their place in history.

The final stage of the post-assassination period appears to be a unification of people who gain strength from each other and recommit themselves to the goals of the country. The process parallels that of persons who have experienced a natural disaster. They are united by a shared experience that helps to bind them together and provides encouragement for them to continue on. Those who experience grief in a post-assassination period are likely to rededicate themselves to the social values and goals of the total system. In commenting on this process, Christopher Hum and Mark Messer state that, One of the consequences of grief... may have been to narrow the gap between personal and public concerns, to translate a social event into terms directly relevant to the individual,”[77] and consequently, it might be added, directly relevant to the political system.

E. Political Consequences Traceable to Assassination of Presidents of the United States

The outpouring of grief and shock after the assassination of President John F Kennedy was typical of the national reaction to each of the previous assassinations of American Presidents.[78] In this period of national grief, specific legislation associated with the President or the circumstances of Iris assassination was passed sooner or in a more severe form than would otherwise have been the case. For example, Garfield’s assassin, Guiteau, was widely characterized as a “disappointed officeseeker.” Legislation to establish a civil service rather than a “spoils” system of appointment had been pending prior to Garfield’s assassination, and probably would eventually have been passed. The assassination of Garfield speeded up the process.

McKinley’s assassin, Czolgosz, was widely identified with anarchism, considered a “foreign” ideology. Czolgosz’s assassination of McKinley probably contributed to the passage, two and one-half years later, of more restrictive immigration laws. This law, however, reflected the general political atmosphere at the time, and did not represent a new or fundamental change.

Only the assassination of Lincoln may have had fundamental long-range political impact. President Andrew Johnson was unable to carry through with Lincoln’s permissive and conciliatory attitude towards the Southern States and Lincoln’s “soft” position on civil rights for Negroes. It is, of course, impossible for us to know whether the “soft” policy of Lincoln or the “hard” policy of Congress, which embodied itself in the Fourteenth Amendment, would have been the better strategy in the long run for securing equal rights for all, regardless of race.[79] We can, however, infer that Lincoln’s popularity, had he lived, would have enabled him to carry out his policy. For better or worse, this difference would have had substantial long-range political impact.

In no case however, was the legislative and political impact a “logical” response to the assassination. Guiteau’s act can not be associated with officeseekers in general, nor Czolgosz’s with anarchists, nor Booth’s with the Southern aristocracy. None was in any sense a representative of the group with which he was associated. The responses to their acts may, with the hindsight of history, be either approved or disapproved in the individual instance. But none was a response which would have reduced the likelihood of the assassination involved in each case.

In this connection, both John and Robert Kennedy were associated with efforts to pass gun control legislation. Our data indicate that the possible effect of their assassinations with respect to gun control parallels the cases discussed above. It is difficult to determine whether gun control legislation, short of substantial reduction of the rifle population, would reduce the risk of assassination. Gun control legislation may be desirable for other reasons. Surely the judgment of the two martyred brothers in this regard is worthy of careful consideration, and if such legislation is appropriate, it Would be an entirely fitting response to their memory to hasten the passage of such legislation.

F. Strategies for the Reduction of Presidential Assassinations

There are two approaches to the reduction of presidential assassinations. One is to improve protection for the man who occupies the office. That protective function is being performed by the Secret Service with the aid and cooperation of other federal and state protective agencies. The continuing efforts of the Secret Service to improve its capability for its protective mission is discussed in “Protection of the President.” The other approach, discussed later in this section, is to examine the nature of the office and the campaign for the office to see what changes might reduce the attractiveness of the office to assassins and the exposure of the officeholder to assassination.

1. Protection of the President

Assassination and other acts of political violence are ordinarily symptoms of more fundamental problems. Thus, one response to the problem of assassination must Ue in responding to the underlying social, political, cultural, and psychological causes. However, in a nation of hundreds of millions, we cannot deny the possibility of at least a few persons who will become potential assassins, even in the most equitable society. Nor can we avoid the reality that, so long as the United States remains a world power, conditions affecting the development of billions of people in other nations will tend to make the President the object of such murderous displacements. Therefore, the protection of the President from such chance encounters remains an essential requirement.

The report of the Warren Commission set forth a history of presidential protection,[80] including a history of the role of the Secret Service.[81] The Warren Commission also made a number of specific recommendations to the Secret Service,[82] including tire formation of a committee specifically to study the function of the Secret Service and to make appropriate recommendations. The Dillon Committee was established and did make the study recommended by the Warren Commission. The studies of the Dillon Committee have not been made public, but they have been received by the President and the Secret Service, and the Secret Service has responded to those recommendations. In addition, the Secret Service has had continuing technological support in refining and upgrading its methods of protection. Mr. Thomas J. Kelley of the Secret Service’s protective intelligence division made the following report to the Commission:

Subsequent to the assassination of President Kennedy, the Department of Defense made its research and development resources available in support of efforts to reduce the vulnerability of important political persons to assassination. The U.S. Secret Service, the Office of Science and Technology, the Office of Director of Defense Research and Engineering, and the Advanced Research Projects Agency participated in a series of studies made by the Rand Corporation, the Research Analysis Corporation, and the Institute for Defense Analysis.

The Rand Corporation took up the broad problem relating to the appearances of the President, and studied the dangers inherent in such appearances. Their studies, completed in July 1964, covered threat detection and evaluation, the planning for public appearances, and the release of public information. They looked into the security coordination between the Secret Service, the White House, Federal agencies, and local and regional police. They studied the use of body armor, the feasibility of detecting weapons such as knives, grenades, or firearms, attacks associated with aircraft, the deterrent image of security measures, screening and surveillance procedures, shielding and evasion techniques, and threat reaction measures. They submitted a report concerning the French Government’s protective systems, the feasibility of a political threat file, and the processing of information.

As the Rand studies approached completion, the Research Analysis Corporation was assigned a field of interest in security threat analysis and research, primarily in travel and public appearance situations. Its reports, received from June 1964 through January 1966, looked into the feasibility of sophisticated weapons and equipment, such as cold liquid weapons and liquid stream projectors, distraction and confusion defense systems, non-lethal weapons, such as the gas-propelled impact projectiles, and the acoustic detection of small-arm fire. It also conducted studies relative to armored automobiles, armored chairs and speaker platforms, helicopters, and blast-containment chambers.

The Institute for Defense Analysis furnished a report in January 1964 relating to threat analysis, the motivation of persons, and the classification of persons and weapons. The Institute’s reports suggested that much additional research was needed in the development of transparent armor for automobiles, the development of personal armor, research into the use of men, the use of gaming procedures, and the use of doubles; that general research must be conducted on reaction systems to allow detection of the commencement of an act, such as the detection of bullets when fired. They reflected that research was needed [:]n specific concepts of the use of light to blind an assassin, detection of hidden weapons, and some invisible, relatively silent, method of directing energy to deflect ballistic objects.

In order that the studies might be as objective as possible, the Secret Service’s participation during the studies was relatively minor, but at the conclusion, the reports now known as the “STAR Reports” were furnished to and carefully reviewed by the Secret Service. While the people making the studies were aware of the obvious constraints of our society in the protection of a President in a democracy, they did not allow these constraints to affect the avenues in which their research took them. In the evaluation of these reports, the Secret Service, of necessity, took a more pragmatic approach and we found the implementation of some of the recommendations of the study group required conditions which the Secret Service could not control; for instance, the wearing of body armor by Principals and secrecy of movements; and some required ostentatious or oppressive security measures, but the reports were of value in bringing diverse disciplines to bear in the evaluation of the entire range of protective alternatives. They were judged against the realities of the problem and, among other collateral benefits, highlighted the necessity of the participation of other government agencies if maximum protection is to be furnished.

The entire range of protective devices which sprang from the fertile of the research group was carefully considered by the Secret Service. While a discussion of those procedures which we have adopted would somewhat reduce their effectiveness, reference to a few of the proposals which were discarded will indicate the breadth of the advisory recommendations. The discarded suggestions ranged from a simple smoke screen device on the Presidential car which would have obscured it in the event of an attack, to sophisticated deflection devices such as one which would cause a stream of air under high pressure to be directed into a pit immediately in front of the President’s rostrum, of an intensity which could deflect an object or projectile. Reflecting screens which would cause the Protectee to appear to be standing were suggested, as were blinding lights and highly pitched noises to cause confusion during an attack or to prevent an imminent attack from being successful. A zcom optic surveillance device, with a truck-mounted rotating scanner which would accompany a motorcade and allow improved optical survey of a parade route and the buildings along the route, was one of the suggested devices, as was an electroaccoustic detection device which would detect a gun shot when fireH and immediately activate a protective shield around the Protectee.

The objections io some of these protective devices are obvious. They could not be utilized when the dangers inherent in them or the impression they would make upon onlookers were considered.

The Secret Service made a decision to place major and immediate on the development of armored vehicles and related equipment and the adaption of information handling programs to our needs.

One of the results of the studies of armor was the development by Secret Service of a series of bullet resistant armored vehicles; each car since 1964 being an improvement on the former; but each retaining the appearance of a conventional vehicle

There is a continuing dialogue between the Secret Service and the Materials and Mechanics Research Agency to ascertain the feasibility of the development of an armored car capability which would employ bullet resistant material in the manufacture of the car instead of the present method of placing armor material on the standard car. Because the addition of armor adds substantial weight to the vehicle, fabrication of bullet resistant material into automobile bodies would be a breakthrough in the weight problem. The Secret Service is considering a proposal of a research group to inquire if any presently available material will allow such fabrication.

Throughout all the “STAR Reports” there runs the thread of the problem of threat assessment and analysis. The Secret Service has been actively seeking additional studies and assistance in this problem.

Threat assessment is essentially an intelligence activity. As with other efforts to identify hostile opponents and anticipate their intentions, threat assessment requires that we (1) secure what might be called strategic warnings which are the possible sources of attacks against the President; (2) secure tactical warnings of specific attack plans that are about to be or are in the process of being implemented. Our analysis must distinguish between possible assassins and potential assassins. The criteria and methods for identifying the former group can probably be improved. More important, however, are our efforts to improve both the criteria for distinguishing potential assassins (a much smaller number of people thought to pose a more serious threat) and the acquisition, evaluation, storage and retrieval, and use of pertinent data on this group.

Subsequent to the assassination of President Kennedy, we began to solicit and receive more information on more people who were thought to represent a danger to the President. The enormously increased volume could not possibly he handled manually, and we began the development of a data processing system geared to the storage and retrieval of this information. In addition to the acquisition of a computer and the necessary peripheral equipment, the Secret Service expanded its capability in information handling with the addition of a teletype network. We also have a terminal to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). This link means that if any person whom we are seeking to evaluate is wanted by any police authority in the country participating in the National Crime Information Center, that fact will be immediately reported by our system.

There are still problems in the question of the pertinency of the data, a problem similar to that which this Commission will be considering.

The criteria which we now use has remained substantially from the criteria used in designing the computer system, although our capability to make an effective analysis of the data on hand has been increased. Our computerized data now hopefully make possible a better evaluation and there is a continuing process to refine the criteria to make it more meaningful and at the same time to make handling them practicable and within the capabilities of our resources.

There has been a continuing participation by the Secret Service with agencies and scientific groups dealing with enforcement problems. Specifically, I wish to mention two on-going programs with the Office of Science and Technology. One is a program of consulting with a group of scholars being selected under the aegis of the Office of Science and Technology of the Executive Office of the President for the purpose of evaluating and further developing our criteria. That group is to make recommendations as to the best possible way of making use of the very large amount of information being furnished to us. We are also participating with the Office of Science and Technology in a review of the present state of the art of weapon detection, a matter in which not only we, but the Federal Aviation Agency, has an interest, as well as other groups concerned with the misuse of firearms.

In addition to the armored car program, we are monitoring the advances being made in the fields of body armor, flexible shields, bullet resistant cloth and blankets and armored lecterns

The Secret Service is a member of the Advisory Committee on the National Crime Information Center; is a member of the Automatic Data Processing Communications Operation Committee in the law enforcement net; participates in the Interdepartmental Automatic Data Processing group sponsored by the Bureau of the Budget; is a member of the Associated Police Communications Officers and participates in the Law Enforcement Teletype System (LETS). The Secret Service is also represented on committees which deal with the gathering of intelligence on a national level, and on a number of classified interdepartmental study groups dealing with advanced protective technology.

The Secret Service is presently making use of the most up-to-date presently available to the agencies of the Federal Government; it is monitoring pertinent developmental and research programs in the Defense Department, Central Intelligence Agency, and other Government departments and in Private Industry. We have available for use armored vehicles, protective blankets, the latest small arms and hand weapons, both lethal and non-lethal, X-ray equipment for the clearance of packages, baggage, etc., equipment for the containment and defusing of explosives, surveillance equipment, and survival equipment. Our protective communication equipment is provided by the Department of Defense and is the latest and best available. We also make use of protective helicopters for surveillance and to furnish us with the ability to evacuate our Protectees in the event of trouble.

The Secret Service’s mission is preventive. Our job is to reduce the possibility of injury to our Protectees through accurate assessment of the level of risk in every environment by the use of intelligence evaluation and, where the incidence of violence or risk becomes too great, to be able to remove our Protectees from the area safely.

To assist us in our responsibility, we have had the ability to call upon other forces in the Government for assistance, and, recently, this ability was made statutory by passage of PL 90—331, on July 6, 1968, giving us, among other things, the authority to request the other Federal departments and agencies for assistance in the performance of all our protective duties under Section 3056, Title 18, United States Code. The Secret Service feels, therefore, that it has the entire resources of the Federal Government at its disposal to aid in carrying out its awesome protective responsibilities and that any equipment necessary can and will be provided.

2. The Symbolic Content of the Office of the President, Other Governmental Institutions, and Assassinations

The relationship between political office and assassination has been examined in Chapter 1. It appears that offices of high visibility, substantial power, and symbolic (as well as actual) importance tend to attract the attention of potential assassins. The presidency provides the most prominent case in point. Symbolically, the President is chief of state-the living representative of the continuity in American life, the embodiment of the political traditions of the nation, and the principal representative of the

country to foreign nations. The President combines this aspect with the real political and legislative power reserved in many countries for the national political leader. The American presidency combines the responsibilities of the chief of state, a ceremonial position in many nations, with that of the political leader (Prime Minister in parliamentary systems).

The President is also easily the most highly publicized and personalized leader in the government. Few aspects of his private and none of his public life are totally free from public scrutiny. A quick comparison of the media attention provided the President with that accorded the Cabinet, legislative leaders, Supreme Court justices, or state officeholders indicates the inordinate amount of popular attention given to this particular officeholder. Beyond the actual powers of the office, which are real enough, the tendency is to direct attention toward this particular man as the prime mover behind government events. This, in turn, invites the attention of those who would change the course of policy by a single violent act or punish the government for some real or imagined wrong.

The presidency is both the fulcrum of power and the center of controversy in American politics. The powers attributed to the President’s office in the popular mind are probably greater than any position could actually contain. One may speculate that the greater the emphasis on centralizing power upwards within the system, and the greater the emphasis on personalizing it by projecting it to the incumbent of one particular office, the greater the propensity to focus upon the presidency. The phenomenon is not necessarily limited to the attraction of potential assassins. The great attention focused on the presidency is also manifested in the attention given by groups seeking to influence the nomination process.

The Presidency as Symbol[83]

The various institutions of government have different symbolic content in terms of the response they evoke among the governed. The United States, like all political communities, has a special blending of governmental institutions and symbols. Symbolic institutions, such as the presidency, the Congress, and the Supreme Court, were consciously crafted by the writers of the Constitution to draw together a diversity of political communities, each with its own symbolic accouterments. The party system was not consciously fashioned by those drafting the Constitution, but the system is firmly imbedded in law and practice as an institution in the process of government in the United States.

Preeminent among the symbolic institutions of American government is the presidency. Although its historical place in relation to the other two branches of government has fluctuated, today the presidency is a more powerful symbol than either the Supreme Court of the Congress. There are many reasons for this, not the least of which is the presidential form of government itself. Although the writers of the Constitution agreed that the head of state was to be elected by some notables called “electors,” the popular election of the President is today considered to be a fact of American political life. He is, therefore, the only nationally elected official, and this fact is much more important than its mere textbook recitation would indicate.

Not only is the President the only nationally elected official, but the executive is the only branch of government headed by a single person. This fact alone makes the office a focus of great interest. The most disinterested citizen can, even with a minimum of effort, symbolize the government in the person of the President. Indeed, studies of the way American children acquire political knowledge indicate that the presidency is one of the first symbols to have meaning for them.

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “A President has a great chance; his position is almost that of a king and a prime minister rolled into one,” and Alexander Hamilton remarked, “You nor I, my friend, may not live to see the day, but most assuredly it will come, when every vital interest of the state will be merged in the all-absorbing question of who shall be the next President.”[84]

It is notable that the constitutional provisions regarding the presidency are few in number and lack specifics of detail. Fundamentally, the interpretation of the presidency has followed two main lines. One theory holds that, without a specific grant of constitutional or statutory authority, the President should not act. This theory is frequently associated with the view held by President Taft. Another and totally different view holds that the President should act or exercise his authority and influence unless there is a clear prohibition against the exercise of authority or influence either by statute or by the Constitution.

Whether the brevity of the provisions concerning the presidency was intended as a limitation on that office or a conscious invitation to expand the influence of the office is largely an academic question. In the nuclear age, the activist view is not only the fashionable view, but rather the view that seems destined to prevail.

In a provocative article, Gottfried Dietze points out that there is a parallel development between what he calls the aggrandizement of the Presidency and the concept of the President as activist. Dietze’s argument is that the aggrandizement of the presidency resulted from the fact that the office has become the symbol of democracy.

Significantly, this aggrandizement, which by the standards of the Founders can only be called revolutionary was most obvious during the most revolutionary periods of American Constitutional development, mainly during the administrations of Jackson, Lincoln, and “progressive” presidents, periods that were characterized by a growth of democracy.[85]

In his argument,Dietze points out that the election of Jackson by almost universal male suffrage increased the power of the presidency. He says, moreover, that Lincoln, the first President to be assassinated, was the heir to this new power.

He further argues that Presidents in the twentieth century added to this power which had it source in the democratization of the office. Dietze writes that in the twentieth century, the President assumed the function of chief legislator as well as Chief Executive. He points out that,

The increases of assassinations ever since the aggrandizement of the Presidency became obvious makes us wonder. Whereas before the Civil War, none of 15 presidents was killed, 4 of 20 have been assassinated since then. We bewail the fact that over 11 percent of American presidents were assassinated. A more proper evaluation of this dilemma would be offered by saying that the percentage of Presidents killed was zero before the aggrandizement of the Presidency had become conspicuous, and rose to as much as 20 percent afterward. Furthermore, it should give us pause that in recent decades, the only objects of assassination were personalities such as Franklin Roosevelt, Truman, and Kennedy, whose strong desires to carry out ambitious social programs made the Presidency appear in its full strength, while Presidents under whom the institution appeared relatively weak such as Harding, Coolidge, Hoover, and Eisenhower, were not objects.[86]

Dietze’s article was written before the assassination of Robert Kennedy. But it is reasonably clear that Dietze would regard Robert Kennedy and his view of the presidential office as similar to the activist concept.

The Press and the Presidential Symbol

Dietze’s argument is not flawless. It ignores the absence of the attacks upon strong Presidents such as Wilson, and the attacks upon such Presidents as Garfield and McKinley (see section A). His point, however, regarding the historical development of the presidency and the collateral increase in assassination attempts on candidates for and incumbents of the office bears close scrutiny. An important factor paralleling the frequency of assassination attempts against incumbents of the office and candidates for the office has to do with the role of mass communication. In their discussion of the presidency, Polsby and Wildavsky indicate a significant change in the treatment of the presidency by the mass media. They point out that one of the historical factors in the rise of the President as a symbol in American political life is the relationship between the President as the political leader and his political followers as it is filtered through the mass media.[87] They feel that the great mass of citizens is not, in the newspaperman’s judgment, so gripped by political issues that their interest can be sustained without the leaven of human interest.

Their point is that the news media in this country are no longer controlled by partisan considerations. There is, in their view, an absence of a rigid partisan tone in the depiction of the everyday activities of the presidency. The emphasis today is on objective news reporting. Therefore, there is a tendency to take the strictly partisan aspect of the presidency out of discussions of that office and to introduce instead what is called the sacredotal role of the presidency. The President then becomes a kind of guardian of national morale and, as such, the office becomes more of a national symbol. The incumbent of the office is discussed in terms of his private life in such a way which tends to make him “the American.” In other words, the President becomes the personification of the American national character. He is no longer the partisan occupant of the institutional office but is rather the symbol of American society.

This also means that for the audience the personality of the news object (in this case the President) takes on a new dimension. It is now possible to know the man in office almost as an intimate, or at least to view him as an intimate.

The consequences of this fact are enormous. The roles of the President as symbol of the government, as personification of the national character, and as leader of the United States in world affairs are now coupled with the role of the President as a figure evoking emotions not unlike those which intimates evoke in one’s own circle of familial and social contacts.

The position of the presidency in the roles described above makes him highly vulnerable to those individuals in the society who seek out public objects upon which to displace the hatred born of private motives. This displacement of hatred can be and usually is rationalized in terms of the public interest. Harold Lasswell notes:

The prominence of hate in politics suggests that we may find that the most important motive is a repressed and powerful hatred of authority, a hatred which has come to partial expression and repression in relation to the father, at least in the function of biological progenator and sociological father. [88]

Lasswell’s early study gives case histories of some who have turned to politics as a means of dealing with their unhappy early lives. The highly potent symbols of government offer ready made objects for displacement.

While the reader may agree that the presidency is the leading symbol against which an assassin might act, other political institutions such as Congress and the Supreme Court, also have symbolic impact. However, these offices differ substantially from that of President.

The Supreme Court

The Supreme Court is a symbol that competes with the presidency. The Court has several important features that have made it the focus of emotional discharge. Antagonism against the Court, often vociferous in character, is not new in American political history. The Court represents an authority symbol almost unsurpassed in elevation. Many of its members tend to be older men, a factor potentially productive of heightened reaction in some personalities. Its decisions count—that is, the Court structures the rules of social reactions in a real way. What is does makes a difference. In these respects, it is similar to the presidency. Moreover, in recent years the Court has become more personalized symbolically as the Warren court-witness the “Impeach Earl Warren” campaigns in response in large measure to a unanimous decision of the Court in favor of school desegregation.

Nonetheless, the emotional discharge evoked by the Court has remained physically harmless. There are two important reasons for this. First, the Court is a multiple body; no single individual dominates. It is difficult to displace one’s feelings against a symbol composed of units, though not an impossibility. Second, and parallel with the first feature, is the remoteness of the Court. Unlike occupants of the White House, members of the Court have not been personalized by the mass media. It is difficult to focus on individual members of the Court; with few exceptions they have eschewed publicly.

The tradition of an aesthetic Court is seldom violated by its members. The mass media find it difficult to deal with the Court the same way they deal with the presidency. The Court is a more difficult symbol to convey and to personalize.

A third feature of the Court is its distance from the citizenry. Its members are not elected by the people; there have been no changes in the process of selecting members of the Court, as there have been in selecting the President. The physical contact with the masses that characterizes aspirants for the office of President is almost totally absent for members of the Court. Supreme Court members do not campaign, nor do they go on public fence-mending tours while in office. They are therefore relatively immune to potential violence.

A gradual personalization of the Court in the person of its Chief Justice, however, may be a trend which might expose at least the Chief Justice to a greater danger of assassination. To the extent that the Court becomes “the Warren court” rather than “the Supreme Court,” the risk of assassination increases.


Congress, the branch of government most freighted with symbolic apparatus, should be a serious rival to the presidency in evocative symbolic power. The ritual, rules, and domicile of the Congress combine to reproduce tradition and the majesty of authority and legitimacy. However, several factors render the Congress much less effective as an evocative symbol than the presidency. The Senate has known violence among its own members, and the House was the victim of an attack by Puerto Rican nationalists. Congress is a much more public body than the Supreme Court. Indeed, until the Puerto Rican nationalist attack, little in the way of security was provided for its members during sessions of the Congress. The Congress is however, a large body of many members. In addition, it is a body whose activities are widely viewed as having results in only a very indirect fashion.

The decisions Congress makes affect people, but it is difficult to trace one of its legislative acts to the final consequence for an individual. That activities of Congress have consequences is not in dispute. However, the fact that the execution of authority is divorced from the legitimating function of Congress makes what the Congress does seem more obscure and ambiguous to the public. Congressmen do not have red telephones to the Kremlin, they do not call out federal marshals, blockade Cuba, or sell fighter aircraft to Israel.

The picture presented by the Congress is made more obscure and ambiguous by the frequent crossing of party lines by members of Congress and by the congressional committee system. A majority party leading the Congress to action against an embattled minority is seldom the picture presented to the public. Dramatic showdown votes on significant matters seldom come to the public because of the nature of congressional rules and practices within the committee system.

Five-hundred and thirty-five individuals are difficult to seize upon collectively as an object against which to vent hatred or any other emotion.

The inability of the press to deal with the Congress as a body is reflected in its presentation of congressional news. The smaller of the two legislative bodies, the Senate, receives much more publicity than the House of Representatives. Individual senators are more newsworthy than their colleagues in the House. This is true not only because the Senate deals with foreign affairs and is the seedbed of future Presidents, but also because the House of Representatives is simply too large to be effectively represented by the press. After all, reporters must deal with symbols that are conveyable—objects that can be grasped by their readers and listeners with a minimum of intellectual effort.

It is difficult to personalize the Congress either by the press or by an individual. Because it is difficult to chart the activity and movement of xhe Congress as a body, it is even more difficult to trace the action of an individual congressman. The vagueness and ambiguity which surround the function of Congress also surround the function of the congressman; it is probably for this reason that the individual congressman is seldom an object of political violence.


For reasons we have discussed, no symbol in the United States is more potent than the presidency. Repressed hatred of father, brother, sister, or mother could easily be transferred to this one powerful symbol. What many assassination historians regard as the work of an unbalanced mind may in reality be the work of a mind using the symbolic content of government institutions for its own psychic needs. To say that this is not in part a political act is erroneous; much of what goes on in politics has a similar etiology.

Whether or not the obstacles and impediments which an individual thinks block him in his attainments are social, familial, or political in origin, the highly potent symbol of the presidency could be viewed by the pathological (as well as the neurotic) individual as a source of his inner difficulties. In fact, it is common to see public policies and practices described as alleged sources of personal defeat and unattained achievements. In his preface to Svend Ranulfs Moral Indignation and Middle Class Psychology, Lasswell observes:

The rage which is provoked in erratic acts of deprivation in family, school, and neighborhood is only partly inhibited. There are therefore strong dispositions to escape from internal tensions by “acting out” instead of relying on neurotic symptoms. Among the more extreme types are persons who seek to avenge themselves against fate by committing individual acts of violence. A lone wolf assassin—like Oswald—is more often an indignant, desperate and alienated moralist than a cautious calculator of competing plans of life. [89]

The illustrations can be proliferated. The point is that there are more than a few Americans who, unable to resolve inner psychic disorder, turn to behavior which may have political consequences, and tend to focus upon the most highly potent political symbol in the United States, the office of the presidency.

3. Campaign Style and the Risk of Assassination

Because of the intense symbolically induced focus upon the office of the President, and because the President is widely exposed as a target for the potential assassin during campaign or campaign-related activity, here we examine campaign style and the risk of assassination.

An obvious strategy to reduce the risk of presidential assassination is to limit the access of assassins to their targets by restricting and controlling the public exposure of the President and presidential candidates. Between campaigns, the President may minimize his exposure as a target by carefully choosing speaking opportunities, public appearances, means of travel to engagements, and the extent to which he gives advance notice of his movements. Tight security can result if a President desires.

The presidential campaign, however, presents countervailing considerations.

The ideal from the standpoint of protecting the President from assassination would be to project the candidate to the public through electronic and printed media so that every communication from the candidate could be made from a location which could be made physically secure. The candidate, however, must win votes, and in recent campaigns the candidates have apparently felt the need, in spite of the availability of television and printed media, to expose themselves physically to the voters through speeches, receptions, handshaking tours, motorcades, and the like.

We assume that such exposure increases the risk of assassination and examine here possible strategies to reduce that risk and weigh the merits of such strategies.

There are several different questions implicit in any discussion of presidential campaign style which should be kept in mind, quite apart from the risk of assassination: (1) what kind of campaign will produce the greatest number of votes for the candidate? (2) what kind of campaign will best inform the voters of the relevant issues so that they can—if they choose to follow the campaign—make the most intelligent disposition of their vote? (3) what kind of campaign is most apt to inform the candidate how the voters feel on important issues; that is, which can best inform the candidate how to cast his vote on the issues confronting the nation, and (4) what kind of campaign would produce amongst the general voters the greatest sense of legitimacy or participation in the political process? The best answer to any one question may not be consistent with the best answer to others.

A fifth issue is often raised in discussion of campaigns and is set forth here in order to be rejected as specious: What kind of campaign would be most dignified? Hoopla and ballyhoo have characterized American presidential campaigns from an early date. The William Henry Harrison campaign of 1840 (“Tippecanoe and Tyler, too”) is credited with being the first of the breed. Every campaign since then has drawn, with some variations, on the mass campaign—the buttons and campaign paraphenalia, the large rallies, oversimplified slogans, torchlight parades, and the like.[90] To the extent that this aspect of a campaign is a quadrennial Oktoberfest, it is a harmless folk ritual. To the extent that it evidences and encourages a popular sense of participation in the electoral process, it is desirable. To the extent that the carnival atmosphere overwhelms the serious aspects of the campaign and interferes with communication and discussion of the relative merits of the candidates, it may be viewed as undesirable. Dignity alone in a President has no independent value. By all reports, the man who brought the greatest dignity of manner to the presidency was Warren G. Harding. Lincoln on the other hand, was widely criticized as lacking dignity.

No matter what we may consider the best campaign style, the overriding consideration will be the first issue: What style of campaign is calculated to get the most votes? We can point out, however, that the effectiveness of whistlestopping and the virtue of the candidate’s physical presence in as many different locations as possible may be vastly overrated. The belief in the value of such a campaign style is apparently based upon the 1948 campaign in which Truman, after having campaigned vigoriously in whistlestop style, emerged the upset winner against the do-nothing campaign of Dewey. Other factors may well have determined the outcome.[91] Dewey in 1944, Wilkie in 1940, and Landon in 1936 campaigned more than Roosevelt. Smith campaigned more than Hoover in 1928, and Hughes more than Wilson in 1916. Nixon in 1960 logged half again as many miles as Kennedy in what in retrospect is perceived to be an ill-advised attempt to visit every state. Goldwater campaigned more than Johnson in 1964.[92]

We are tempted to conclude that it is the quality more than the quantity of personal exposure which counts. The Kennedy-Nixon television debate in 1960 (it is widely assumed), helped boost the Kennedy candidacy while there was no physical exposure of the candidate whatsoever and a very minimum risk of assassination.

A judgment concerning the kind of campaign that would most inform the voter of the relevant issues turns on the question of what kinds of issues are relevant to the choice of President, and is a more subtle problem than might appear. Presumably the informed voter in 1916 cast his ballot for Woodrow Wilson as the man who kept America out of the war. That was Wilson’s campaign slogan. In 1932, the informed voter cast his ballot for Franklin Roosevelt presumably in part because Roosevelt favored a balanced budget. The informed voter in 1964 learned of Goldwater’s position that, if elected, he might commit as many as 250,000 troops to the Vietnam conflict.

The point is that forces beyond the control of the President may force him to take positions opposite to or highly inconsistent with what the informed voter could have learned during the campaign. It may well be that the most relevant issues upon which a voter can inform himself are revealed in the conduct of the candidate under the stress of campaigning. It may be that a candidate’s personality and qualities of leadership, as revealed in the hustle and bustle of personal campaign appearances and in his reactions and responses to “irresponsible” attack and the like, are far more relevant than his present position as revealed in a series of formal, highly polished, ghostwritten speeches or position papers on the issues as they then appear. We do not ignore the obvious virtue of reasoned exposition of such issues; we point to other factors of possible crucial importance that would be submerged in a campaign exclusively devoted to a so-called “reasoned analysis” of the issues.

Campaigning is a two-way education. The candidate not only informs the people, but the people inform the candidate. It is said that when then Senator John F. Kennedy was campaigning in the West Virginia primary, he was genuinely shocked and moved by the poverty he saw. The candidate translated this into legislative programs after his return.

Finally, as this Report has demonstrated, it is of critical importance to the problem of reducing the incidence of political violence and assassination that an overwhelming sense of the legitimacy of our governmental institutions be maintained. We believe that people feel more of a sense of personal involvement when the candidate is physically present, though distant, than if he be present, even in a revealing close-up, through the medium of television. For example, though the money goes into the same coffers and for the same purposes, the anticipated physical presence of the President or presidential candidate can sell far more tickets to a party fund-raising dinner and at a far higher price than a warm personal telegram from the President or even his appearance on closed-circuit TV. The sense of personal participation brought by the physical presence of the President is real and must be weighed in considering alternatives to present campaign styles.

In light of the foregoing, we will examine the following areas and make suggestions with respect to: (1) the use of television in lieu of appearances in person; (2) campaign funding; and (3) the candidate selection process.

We do not suggest that candidates eliminate, or even severely restrict personal appearances. We believe that personal interaction with individual voters, even on a necessarily superficial basis, is a valuable mutual education for both the candidate and the voter.

We have also pointed out, however, that history does not bear out the theory that an attempt to appear in person in front of as many voters in as many regions of the country as possible is effective as a vote-getting strategy. A common-sense and reasonably paced selection of personal appearances is quite likely to be far more effective, not only from the vote-gathering point of view, but also from the point of view of the physical protection of the President.[93] A more limited selection of localities, made in advance, can aid the Secret Service immeasurably.

Television is not a cure-all for the defects of the present campaign system. Recent campaigns have seen efforts to package candidates much like commercial products. The selling aspect of the campaign, commercializing the “image” a contender projects, can overwhelm and supplant more relevant discussions of policy and philosophy. Styling “plugs” like toothpaste commercials for maximum impact may oversimplify and distort the message. The famous “daisy” commercial of the 1964 election campaign is an example.[94]

Television, on the other hand, has great potential for introducing the candidate and his views to the general public in a fully reasoned manner, not in the debased form of an advertisement. One factor which compels campaign managers to select short, high-impact television spots that may be misleading or uninformative is the enormous cost of television time. The possibility of granting free television time to presidential candidates during the eight weeks preceding the election should be seriously explored. Such free time could be made available only in specified blocks so that the candidates would not be motivated to break up their alloted free time into uninformative advertisements. The candidates would be able to select the format most congenial to a full presentation of themselves and their positions to the public. As pointed out above, such television appearances would entail the least possible risk of assassination

There are two obvious problems. An enormous cost would be imposed directly on the broadcasting industry, although the public would presumably benefit from the improvement of the quality of the campaign. This time could be treated as the taking of any other property for public use, and the broadcasting companies could be compensated for its fair market value. On the other hand, the public has always asserted-and properly so-a great regulatory interest in the use of television and other broadcasting media. It , might not be offensive to fair play to require the three major networks to | donate the time in spite of the costs involved. Under the latter alternative, investigation should be made as to whether the most sensible approach would be to require one network to carry a given speech while allowing the others to show commercial programs, thus splitting the burden three ways, or to require all three networks to carry the same speech simultaneously. Simultaneous presentation would eliminate any unfair advantage to the networks not carrying the speech, and would also, in effect, make it more likely that campaign information would get to the public. Previous campaign experience indicates that the public would overwhelmingly prefer to listen to soap operas than to major addresses by a potential Chief Executive. For example, according to the ratings, Goldwater on the evening of October 29, 1964, drew the largest listening audience of the campaign—larger than any audience drawn by Lyndon Johnson. The rival network at the same time was showing “Peyton Place,” which drew almost twice as many viewers as the campaign speech.[95]

The other major problem is with minor parties and the “equal time” provision of the law. Many commenters suggest that the political stability of the United States is attributable in large measure to the fact that its political scene is dominated by two major parties, neither one of which has fundamental .philosophic or ideological differences. Suggestions that our political institutions be modified to allow for greater participation of minority parties should be given careful and critical attention. Third-party movements have been a relatively common phenomenon in the United States, and such parties should be given a reasonable platform in the marketplace of ideas. One solution would be to limit free time to those parties that qualify to appear on the ballots of a minimum number of states. Another would be to limit free time to the party that obtained at least five percent of the popular vote in the preceding presidential election. A combination of the above two proposals could be used. These suggestions would give reasonable access to minor parties, while eliminating splinter groups with no practical expectation of substantial response at the polls.

The enormous expenditures required to conduct a presidential campaign also place constraints upon campaigns which may lead to a distortion of the campaign process. The possible impact of the high cost of television advertising has already been discussed. The need for money also requires the physical presence of the candidate at many fund-raising occasions, presumably increasing his exposure as a target for assassins, and channeling his energies away from more generally informative campaigning. Serious exploration should be taken regarding the feasibility of public support for presidential campaigns.

The problems, however, are formidable. No matter how much is donated from the public treasury, parties can always use more money and would still be motivated to continue fund-raising activities. Thus, demands would still be made upon the candidate.

A solution might be to make campaign contributions illegal. But, to forbid the public to make political contributions would destroy a tangible and important form of political participation. Further, the practical constraints imposed upon the conduct of the party and its candidate by the necessity to seek funds should not be lightly abandoned, even though the candidate must ultimately be responsible to the public at the polls.

Another difficult problem would be the division of money, not only between the two major parties, but also among third and minor parties in a manner that preserves the stability of our two-party system, yet gives healthy opportunity for challenge and innovation.

Finally, consideration might be given to reevaluating the whole selection process, including the national conventions, employed in determining the contenders for presidential office. We do not recommend eliminating state primaries or party conventions. State primaries and party methods for selecting delegates to national conventions provide a flexibility in the nominating process and a generally stiff test of a politician’s acumen. Nonetheless, efforts should be instituted to insure that the party organs selecting delegates for the national conventions are representative of their party’s membership and open to influence from the party’s base. It would appear reasonable that all states presently offering presidential primaries make these the vehicles for selection of delegates to the national conventions. The voter’s decision would be mandatory in convention voting. The Oregon, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts primary laws could serve as models in these regards. Finally, in relation to delegate selection, all delegates to a national convention should be chosen in the year the convention is held. All party elements should be given fair and equal access to influence these selection decisions. This principle, more than the specific proposals, should represent the criteria to be employed in evaluating delegate-choice procedures. Any proposal that would increase the representativeness of the selection process and the accountability of the chosen delegates to party members, broadly defined, should be given consideration. Also the extent to which the national conventions themselves could become orderly vehicles for deciding among potential nominees should be evaluated.[96]

Changes in the present form of presidential campaigns could lessen a presidential candidate’s vulnerability to assassination, at the same time increasing the responsiveness of the system’s processes to the social demands of its citizens.

G. The Presidency and Assassination: Suggestions and Conclusions

The wide attention the President receives makes him a logical target-if anything about an assassination act can be said to be logical—for those wishing to punish a nation, to strike out at a symbolically powerful figure whom they project as the source of their grievances, to drastically alter governmental policy, or to draw attention to themselves as the author of a memorable event. In addition, the current methods by which presidential candidates seek nomination and election provide many opportunities for assassins. We advance in this section several proposals for reducing the risk of assassination in these circumstances.

To reduce the wide attention given the presidency, greater efforts should be made to develop and publicize the many centers of power within the federal government. The limitations placed on the President and the means of influencing governmental directions by participating in local, county, and State decisionmaking or, on the national level, the alternatives provided by administrative agencies, the courts, and the Congress should be emphasized. ; This approach portrays a more sophisticated and complex network of ‘ governmental institutions, but one more responsive to individual or group needs. It also directs attention away from the presidency as the single, crucial point in political decisionmaking.

To the extent that real social grievances predispose groups and individuals to violence, including assassination, an understanding of the overlapping decision-making centers in government and the agencies directly concerned with a problem could lead to quicker remedial action from the appropriate authorities. Failing this, sanction could be directed specifically against the agency or individual involved—voting against incumbents of particular offices, encouraging legislative overruling of administrative actions, communications directed to superiors, and united, organized resistance to policy decisions. The groups who appreciate the complexities of American government and who can organize to promote their ends will benefit the most from policy decisions. A similar understanding among individuals and groups who believe themselves disadvantaged would serve to channel the struggle for economic and social rewards through the established institutional forms. This would remove the struggle from the violence of the streets or the violent act directed against a symbolic individual or office. This latter approach places conflict within the context of governing institutions and makes it amenable to resolution within the more traditional political structures and values of the nation.

An argument of this nature assumes that the governing institutions of a democracy are open to all groups and are receptive to their problems. To the extent that these assumptions are incorrect, the focus of the country could profitably be directed toward sensitizing democratic political institutions to the interests they are intended to represent. The alternative, the projection of hopes and frustrations onto the presidency, does not describe the realities of the political system or serve the needs of groups who desire to redress what they consider to be inequities.

To reduce the focus on the presidency, to increase the sense of legitimacy of our political agencies and decisionmaking processes by making them more representative, and to reduce exposure of the President by altering presidential campaign practices, this Task Force offers the following recommendations:

1. The Presidency

1. A greater emphasis in press and media treatments on the limitations implicit in the office.

2. Less media exploitation of the personal fife of the President and his family.

3. More attention focused on the working nature of the office, i.e., the specific objectives the President is charged to achieve, the resources at his command, and the obstacles in his path. The emphasis should be on the corporate and business aspects of the position rather than on the glamorization and projection of personal attributes.

4. A better understanding of the independence of the bureaucracy, its resistance to change, and its role in framing and executing policy decisions.

5. We do not suggest that the President should isolate himself completely from the people, but he should give consideration, during non-election years, to minimizing exposure of himself as a target by-

(a) Carefully limiting and choosing his public appearances and speaking opportunities.

(b) Using devices such as televised press conferences, televised speeches, and closed circuit television as substitutes for public appearences.

(c) Limiting advance notice of his movements.

2. The Congress

1. The role of the Congress in policymaking needs precise, detailed elaboration. At present, it is poorly understood and its contribution neglected, while examples of its obstructionist influence are well publicized.

2. The structure of the Congress as it relates to policymaking needs clarification and simplification. In particular, the following could be better understood:

(a) The division of labor and responsibility within the system for framing policy, which would direct attention to the rationale underlying the committee system and the role of institutional officials in promoting legislation.

(b) The structure and influence of the party system in determining committee personnel and promoting legislation, and the congruence of party and institutional factors in promoting legislation.

(c) The complex relationship between the administrative and legislative branches in attempting to achieve policy objectives.

3. The Political Party System

1. The role of primaries in nominating presidential candidates needs reexamination. In particular, the premise that victories in primary elections insure nominations should be reevaluated. It would appear reasonable that the states holding presidential primaries would require the delegates selected by those procedures to vote for the primary winner. The Oregon, Nebraska, Wisconsin, or Massachusetts primary laws in this regard could serve as standards.

2. The selection of all delegates to national conventions should be made within one year of those conventions. Party rules should require representation of all party factions in delegate-selection procedures. These selection procedures should be made as accessible to and representative of party members as possible.

3. The conventions themselves should make certain that representation on committees such as resolutions and membership adequately and fairly encompass all aspects of the party base.

4. Restrictions on voting, such as lengthy residence requirements and inconvenient registration dates, should be minimized.

5. All government—loca’, state and federal—should assume responsibility for registration. Two possibilities are proposed: (1) the local authorities, through door-to-door canvassing, could enroll voters on permanent registration rolls; or (2) the federal government could issue registration cards, similar to social security cards, qualifying the holder for voting in any locality.

4. Campaign Methods

During election years, presidential candidates should use television, radio, and the printed media extensively, and limit public appearances or speeches. To encourage such limitation, we believe that the Congress should enact laws providing the following:

(a) Two hours per week (in blocks of at least half-hour segments) of free television time for presidential candidates during the eight weeks prior to the election for candidates of parties which (1) are on the ballot in forty or more states or (2) received five percent of more of the popular vote in the previous presidential election.

(b) Serious consideration to providing campaign funds to minor and major parties on an equitable basis compatible with a free political system.

5. The Federal System Generally

1. Greater emphasis must be placed on the decentralized nature of governing institutions and the many local, state and federal agencies having concurrent jurisdiction in a particular area. The American governing system is pluralistic and provides a number of access points for those wishing to influence policy. An emphasis on their availability would serve to acquaint the citizen with responsive problem-solving agencies of direct consequence to him. Such emphasis would realistically describe the operating political structures within the United States and would serve to deemphasize a perception of the system as highly centralized and essentially monolithic, with ultimate power residing in the office of the presidency.

2. An office similar to that of the Scandanavian ombudsman should be created at the federal level to represent the complaints of people dealing with federal agencies. This would be beneficial to those with problems and would draw critical attention away from the office of President.

6. Conclusion

Presidential assassinations have not been the product of rational political motive. Although each assassination was felt as a personal loss by the populace, the assassinations have produced no fundamental disruption of our democratic institutions. No substantial changes in the direction of public policy, since the assassination of President Lincoln, are traceable directly to any assassination. Assassination has been a personal, not political tragedy for the nation. This will remain true so long as ours is a government of institutions under law and not of men.

Chapter 3: Cross-National Comparative Study of Assassination


In order to determine contemporary factors within our own society that may have contributed to the violence directed towards political figures, we turned to cross-national quantitative studies. Our purpose was twofold: to determine whether the level of assassination is higher for the United States than for other nations, and to determine what political and social factors are most often associated with assassination.

The cross-national comparison showed that the United States was comparatively high in assassinations and that the level of assassination correlates strongly with the level of political violence. Accordingly, in Chapter 4 we examine political violence in the United States.

A. Assassination: A Cross-National Quantitative Perspective

We have two collections of worldwide assassination data. The first is a study of assassination attempts—both successful and unsuccessful—in eighty-eight countries for just over fifty years, from 1918 through October 1968. These data were collected by a team at the University of Texas, headed by Carl Leiden. The second collection of data is of assassination events—including both assassination attempts and assassination plots—in eighty-four countries for a twenty-year period, 1948 through 1967. These data were collected by a team headed by Ivo Feierabend at San Diego State College.[97]

Figure 1 plots the frequency of total assassination events, including attempts and plots year by year for the twenty-year period (Feierabend). There are four striking peaks of high frequency (1948, 1949, 1963, and 1965), and four lows (1952, 1960, 1961, and the lowest in 1967). Inspection of this graph (that is, trying to draw a straight line that would best fit these scattered points) reveals a slightly negative trend. Hence, one could assert that, on the average, through the twenty years, assassination events are almost constant in their volume of occurrence or, if anything, they may be slightly declining. A comparison of the volume of events for the first half of the time period (1948—57) with that for the second half (1958—67), shows a total of two hundred twenty-two assassinations during the first ten years and one hundred eighty-seven during the second ten years—a decline of sixteen percent. However, from one year to another, the fluctuation is quite considerable.

][Figure 1.-Global assassination frequency
by year 1948–1968

Figure 2 (the Leiden data) is a similar comparison—frequency of assassination attempts for eighty-eight nations over a fifty-year time period (1918 to October 1968). Figure 3 shows the frequency for the United States over this same period.[98] Figure 2 (the Leiden data) conforms generally with the Feierabend data in showing striking peaks from year to year, but no particular trend in the last fifty years. Indeed, the data show a decline in comparison with population growth, although there are clusterings of years in which there are high incidences of assassination attempts (e.g., 1924–28, 1930–37, 1941–47, 1954–55, and 1957–67). Figure 3 again shows no particular trend

The number of assassination events in each country also varies widely as shown by the two data collections. Figure 4 shows the number of assassination attempts, both successful and unsuccessful, by country for the last fifty years. These are limited to top ranking officials[99] and ranked from highest to lowest.

Figure 2.-Assassination attempts world-wide for Ranks 1, 2, and 3 by year, 1918–1968

Figure 3.—Assassination attempts in the United States for Ranks 1 through 6 by year, 1918–1968

Figure 4.-Assassination attempts by country-(Leiden) 1918-October 1968

Figure 5 lists assassination events by country for the period 1948—67 as collected by the Feierabend group. Again, the countries are ranked from highest to lowest in the number of total assassination events. The data in Figure 5 are broken down between assassination events directed at all persons and those directed at top government officials only. These data include assassination plots as well as actual attempts.[100]

The Leiden data (fig. 4) show the United States as the thirteenth highest of eighty-eight nations over the fifty-year period. The Feierabend data (figure 5) show the United States tied for fifth highest out of eighty-four nations in all assassination events, including plots, in the twenty-year period from 1948—67. If we look at top government officials only, as reported by Feierabend, we find the United States twenty-sixth highest, tied with six other nations. If we ignore assassination plots, we find the United States tied with eleven other countries for twenty-first place.

Although a precise ranking of countries is impossible, we can say with confidence that the United States falls well within the category of those nations that experience a high level of assassination.

It could be argued that population of a country would have a direct bearing on the frequency of assassination. According to this view, it is misleading to compare the absolute frequency of assassination within a large country to that of a small one, because the larger population entails the probability of a higher number of assassinations. Therefore, it is unreasonable to class the United States with Cuba, Korea, Iran, Morocco, Tunisia, and the Philippines, since all these countries have fewer than fifty million inhabitants, whereas the United States has over two hundred million.

If this argument is taken at face value, it might lead to a corrective weighting of frequency of assassination by size of population. For example, one might calculate an “assassination per capita” rate by dividing absolute assassination frequency by population. An assassination rate of this type will certainly reorder the positions of countries. All large countries, including the United States, will appeal low in this assassination rate, and all small countries will show a high rate, provided they have even one assassination. Thus Cuba, using the Feierabend data with an assassination event frequency of twenty-eight and a population of seven million, shows a rate of four assassination events per million inhabitants. The United States, with sixteen assassination events and a population of almost two hundred million, has a rate of .08 per million inhabitants (or eight per one hundred million), which is only one-fiftieth of Cuba’s rate.

][Figure 5.--Assassination events by country (Feierabend)]]

However, the assassination rate actually bears very little relationship to population size. There is no evidence that larger countries do, in fact, have more assassinations than smaller ones. One might wish to credit larger countries for their greater forbearance on this type of violence per population unit, or one might instead reject the underlying assumption that a greater population size leads to a higher probability of assassination frequency.

The argument in favor of rejecting population size as a factor may be illustrated by dividing countries into groups according to population. This is done inTables 1 through 7.Two points are illustrated in these tables. The first is that in each grouping of countries, from smallest to largest in size of population, we find that frequency of assassinations, including plots and attempts, ranges from a very small to a rather high figure. Thus, population itself does not appear to determine the number of assassinations which occur in a nation.[101]

Table 1.-Frequency of assassinat ion in relation to population size of country-over 100 million (1964 population data)

Feierabend data (1948–67) plots and attempts Leiden data (1918-Oct. 1968) attempts only
Country Population All persons Top Government officials Top Government officials (Ranks 1–3)
United States 190,700,000 16 3 10
India 467,700,000 8 6 2
Indonesia 101,000,000 5 5 5
Pakistan 100,600,000 5 2 2
China 710,000,000 3 3 21
USSR 227,000,000 0 0 5

Table 2.-Frequency of assassination in relation to population size of country-over 50 million (1964 population data)

Feierabend data (1948 -67) plots and attempts Leiden Data (1918-Oct. 1968) attempts only
Country Population AU persons Top Government officials Top Government Officials (Ranks 1-3)
United States 190,700,000 16 3 10
Brazil 78,700,000 12 3 4
Japan 96,200,000 9 5 21
India 467,700,000 8 6 2
Indonesia 101,000,000 5 5 5
Pakistan 100,600.000 5 2 2
China 710,000,000 3 3 21
Italy 50,650,000 3 0 18
West Germany 57,850,000 2 0 16{16}
USSR 227,000,000 0 0 5
U.K. 54,200,000 0 0 5

Table 3.-Frequency of assassination in relation to population size of country-20-50 million (1964 population data)

Feierabend data (1948–67) plots and attempts Leiden data (1918-Oct 1968) attempts only
Country Population All persons Top government officials Top government officials (ranks 1–3)
Korea 37,500,000 20 11 0
Iran 22,500,000 19 12 12
Philippines 31,200,000 15 8 2
France 48.000,000 14 11 41
Argentina 21,800,000 9 8 7
Burma 23,000,000 5 1 9
3 urkey 30,300,000 4 4 4
Mexico 39,000,000 3 0 51
Thailand 29,200,000 3 1 3
Spain 31,200,000 2 0 5
Poland 30,850,000 0 0 11

Table 4.-Frequency of assassination in relation to population size of country—10–25 million (1964 population data)

Feierabend data (1948–67) plots and attempts Leiden data (1918-Oct. 1968) attempts only
Country Population All persons Top government officials Top government officials (ranks 1–3)
Morocco 12,700,000 17 5 4
Colombia 15,300,000 7 3 1
Burma 23,000,000 5 1 9
Czech. 14,000,000 5 4 5
Yugoslavia 19,200,000 2 2 5
Afghanistan 15,000,000 2 2 4
Australia 11,065,000 2 0 1
Ceylon 10,850,000 2 1 1
Canada 19,100,000 1 0 1
Hungary 10,110,000 1 0 3
Romania 18,875,000 0 0 9
E. Germany 17,100,000 0 0 0{17}
Netherlands 12,050,000 0 0 3
Taiwan 11,900,000 0 0 0
Peru 11,900,000 0 0 4

Table 5.-Frequency oj assassination in relation to population size of country-5-10 million (1964 population data)

Feierabend data (1948–67) plots and attempts Leiden data (1918-Oct. 1968) attempts only
Country Population All persons Top government officials Top government officials (ranks 1–3)
Cuba 7,000,000 28 12 12
Venezuela 8,250,000 12 6 4
Syria 5,000,000 7 1 6
Malaya 7,700,000 6 3 0
Cambodia 5,900,000 6 5 2
Greece 8,450,000 5 2 7
Iraq 7,700,000 5 4 13
Saudi Arabia 7,000,000 2 1 1
Belgium 9,300,000 1 0 1
Portugal 9,025,000 2 2 9
Austria 7,175,000 1 0 7
Bulgaria 8,100,000 0 0 17
Chile 8,050,000 0 0 3
Sweden 7,620,000 0 0 2
Switzerland 5,825,000 0 0 1

Table 6. -Frequency of assassination in relation to population size of country-2-5 million (1964 population data)

Feierabend data (1948–67) plots and attempts Leiden data (1918-Oct 1968) attempts only
Country All persons Top government officials Top government officials (ranks 1–3)
Tunisia 4,400,000 16 5 2
Guatemala 4,150,000 12 4 5
Bolivia 3,650,000 9 4 7
Dom. Rep. 3,400,000 7 5 5
Haiti 4,500,000 5 2 5
Ecuador 4,800,000 3 2 2
Israel 2,435,000 3 2 3
El Salvador 2,725,000 2 2 0
New Zealand 2,575,000 1 1 0
Denmark 4,710,000 0 0 0
Finland 4,565,000 0 0 1
Norway 3,685,000 0 0 3
Ireland 2,825,000 0 0 4
Uruguay 2,450,000 0 0 1
Honduras 2,040,000 0 0 2

Table 7.-Frequency of assassination in relation to population size of country-under 2 million (1964 population data)

Feierabend data (1948–67) plots and attempts Leiden data (1918-Oct. 1968) attempts only
Population All persons Top government officials Top government officials (ranks 1–3)
Lebanon 1,940,000 12 9 8
Laos 1,950,000 10 4 3
Jordan 1,825,000 6 4 3
Nicaragua 1,650,000 5 5 9
Panama 1,185,000 5 2 2
Cyprus 590,000 5 3 0
Paraguay 1,875,000 3 2 0
Albania 1,800,000 2 1 3
Costa Rica 1,350,000 2 1 0
Libya 1,275,000 1 0 0
Luxembourg 325,000 0 0 0
Iceland 190,000 0 0 0

Focusing specifically upon the United States, Table 1 indicates that among the six countries with populations over one hundred million, the United States still ranks first in frequency of assassination events in the last twenty years (Feierabend data) and second over the last fifty years (Leiden data). If the classification is expanded to include countries with population over fifty million, the United States still ranks first in frequency of assassination events during the last twenty years and fifth out of eleven during the last fifty years. Thus, the conclusion that the United States ranks relatively high in frequency of assassination holds true even with adjustment for population size.

While sheer population size does not tell us what to expect from a country in the way of assassinations, the Feierabend data covering the twenty-year period 1948–67 show that the average rate of assassination events per country varies significantly among different regions of the world. During the twenty-year period, the region with the highest number of assassinations is the Middle East, with an average of 8.23 assassination events per country in this area. Latin America and Asia have approximately the same average assassination scores:6.2 and 6.0, respectively. All three of these regions are significantly higher in average number of assassinations than are the European countries, for which the average assassination figure is 1.6.

The Leiden data, however, do not yield any significant difference in frequency of assassination by regional groupings. As a matter of fact, Europe has the highest frequency of assassination events during this period, although not by a significant margin. One explanation may be that regional differences that appear in the twenty-year study reflect relatively short-term political and economic factors which vary significantly over the longer fifty-year period. This variation over the fifty-year period would cancel out regional differences over the longer length of time. The impact of various political and economic factors upon assassination and political violence is treated in detail later in this chapter.

B. Political Violence and Assassination[102]

Assassinations, no matter how narrowly or broadly defined, belong among a larger class of politically aggressive and violent behaviors. As such, they undoubtedly must bear some relationship to other acts of internal political turmoil.[103] In an attempt to uncover such a relationship, we used factor analyses of various events Of political turmoil.

Factor analysis is a statistical procedure designed to isolate empirical clusterings in the data. In other words, factor analysis determines which events, if any, commonly occur together, and which events occur less frequently together. Events having a strong tendency to occur in conjunction with each other are grouped together and analytically separated from other events. These events are considered as members of a single dimension. Once an independent dimension has been determined, a search is made for a second dimension, using the identical procedure. This searching for clusterings—or dimensions—continues until no further groups can be found that meet the pre-selected level of statistical explanation. The obvious advantage of this technique is that a large set of complex data can be reduced to a much smaller number of dimensions, each of which can be conceived as a new variable.

Factor analyses were run with respect to two different universes of political turmoil events. One universe was defined very broadly to include not only severe indications of internal political conflict, but also lesser acts of political aggression that might indicate that the political system is laboring under strain. Thirty variables of internal conflict were used for the first universe of political instability events.[104] The second universe of political turmoil was restricted to more violent instances of political aggression.[105]

The factor analysis of the first universe shows that assassination tends to occur most often in conjunction with instances of guerrilla warfare. Assassination also shows a reasonably high association with revolution, but does not correlate significantly with less severe political turmoil. Thus, the evidence is strong that assassinations occur predominantly in nations subject to serious forms of civil disturbance. Nations experiencing predominantly less severe turmoil events show only a modest number of assassination events.

The factor analysis of the second universe, restricted to severe events (strikes, riots, arrests, executions, assassinations, guerrilla warfare, revolt, etc.), verified the first findings. Assassination correlated highly only with guerrilla warfare, having no tendency to cluster with other events. In other words, assassination correlates significantly only with certain high levels of internal strife.[106]

These findings were further reinforced and verified by use of a Guttman scalogram. A Guttman scalogram empirically determines, without the use of subjective judgments, whether there is a particular rank order of events such that “lesser” events are normally associated with more “serious” events. In fact, the Guttman scalogram of the violence data was able to create an ordering of events with a very high degree of reliability (R = 0.97). That grouping is as follows:

Group 1 Group 2 Group 3 Group 4
Riots, demonstrations, and boycotts Martial law Guerrilla warfare Executions
Arrests Coup d’etat Assassinations Civil war
Government action against specific groups Revolt

We found to a high degree of predictability that countries which experienced events listed in group 4 also experienced events in groups 3, 2, and 1. Other countries experienced events in groups 3, 2, and 1, however, without experiencing extreme events listed in group 4. Similarly, the pattern of violence for still other countries was limited to events in groups 2 and 1. Finally, there were countries that experienced events from group 1 only, or others that were beset by no events of this violent nature. These empirical findings show that political violence is an ordered and scalable universe rather than an arbitrary and random occurrence. The data suggest that the occurrence of assassination usually denotes a high degree (point 3), although not necessarily the highest degree (point 4), of internal political turmoil. This is essentially the same pattern of variables isolated by factor analysis. Both techniques suggest that, in the global assessment of assassinations, those countries that experience this political aberration are generally the ones that also experience widespread, highly intense violence.

The foregoing is only one way to look at the underlying structure of internal political turmoil. Another method is to sort political turmoil events in terms of the intensity of aggressive behavior to determine not only the relationship of political turmoil events to each other but also the intensity of quality of the political turmoil. To accomplish this, a seven-point scale was devised, ranging from zero (denoting extreme stability) through six (denoting extreme instability).

Some events indicate far greater aggression than do others. For example, a peaceful demonstration is far less volatile than a civil war. Sorting events in this fashion then becomes an exercise in scaling aggressive behaviors. For this study, we defined each point of the scale in terms of specific events representing differing degrees of stability or instability.

An illustration may be given of an item typical of each position on the scale. For example, a general election is an item associated with a zero position. Resignation of a cabinet official falls into the 1 position; peaceful demonstrations into position 2, assassination of a significant political figure (but not a chief of state) into position 3. Mass arrests or assassination of a chief of state occupy position 4, coups d’etat position 5, and civil war position 6. The intensity scale was then validated by asking judges to sort the same events along the same continuum. The agreement among judges on the distribution of items was high.

Assassinations were ranked in positions 3 and 4 of the scale, indicative of a considerable degree of internal conflict and crisis, yet not sufficiently intense to be placed among the categories of greatest violence within national political systems.

After the scale was developed, countries were assigned to groups on the basis of the most unstable event they had experienced. Countries that had experienced a civil war were placed in group 6; those which were prey to a coups d etat were placed in group 5; countries with mass arrests were assigned to group 4, and so on.

Following the placing of a country in a particular group, the sum total of each country’s stability ratings was calculated. To prevent distortion of the data, each country’s stability profile was calculated separately for three six-year periods of time (1948–53, 1954–59, 1960–65) and then added together. Thus, many countries that had experienced some highly violent events during the eighteen years have their scores tempered if they were relatively nonviolent in some other six-year period. Some of the Communist-bloc countries fall into this category (Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Poland). Each experienced a coups d’etat at the time of the Communist seizure of power in 1948 but, with the exception of Hungary, did not undergo further turmoil of this magnitude in the ensuing years. The stability ratios of each country are set forth in table 8.

Stability Category: 1

Country Stability Score

Stability Category: 2

Country Stability Score
U.K. 7112
GHANA 7106
S. ARABIA 5018

Stability Category: 3

Country Stability Score
CHILE 10156
MEXICO 10111
ISRAEL 10064
ITALY 9192
LIBYA 9069
AFGHAN. 9029

Stability Category: 4

Country Stability Score
FRANCE 13435
U. OF SO. AFRICA 13422
BRAZIL 13209
TURKEY 13189
POLAND 13179
JORDAN 13145
CYPRUS 13123
PHILIPP. 13105
CZECH. 13100
CHINA (M) 13086
INDIA 12360
IRAN 12237
SUDAN 12189
USSR 12165
USA 11318
SPAIN 11284
DOM. REP. 11195
CEYLON 11152
JAPAN 11123
MALAYA 11108
YUGOSL. 11077

Stability Category: 5

Country Stability Score
CUBA 16283
IRAQ 16274
BURMA 16213
SYRIA 15329
KOREA 15291
HAITI 15205
PERU 15196
GREECE 14236
GUATEM. 14234
EGYPT 14152
E. GERMANY 14138
LAOS 14129
PANAMA 14101

Stability Category: 6

Country Stability Score

Table 8.-Political instability profiles of ninety-four countries, 1948–1965 (stability score shown for each country is grouped score, summed)

Table 8 shows only one country, Indonesia, at the most unstable scale position, 6, indicating that it experienced a civil war during each of the three six-year periods. No country is at scale position zero, but two (Luxembourg and the Netherlands) are at position 1. The United States is at scale position 4 and at rank order position thirty-eight or thirty-nine, just below the median rank position of forty-two.

As Table 8 shows, when the entire range of political-strife incidents is analyzed, the position of the United States in comparison to other nations is less unfavorable than its assassination profile. Approximately one-half of the nations of the world experienced more civil strife than did the United States in the last twenty years. It is interesting to note, however, that of the European democracies only France had a higher level of civil strife during this period. Thus, the two Western democracies with the highest number of assassination events also show the highest degree of total civil strife.

The system for deriving a national profile of political instability set forth in table 8 gives special weight to the highest strife event that a nation experiences. The first two digits in the scale are determined by the average of the highest strife events occurring in each six-year period. Although giving special weight to the highest strife event yields a valid perspective, it tends to favor nations such as the United States which have experienced many total political-strife events, but not at the most extreme level. Assassination, the highest level of political strife experienced in the United States, is rated 3 or 4 on a six-point scale. To avoid special weighting of the highest strife event, the scores for all instability events for the eighteen-year period were summed. Table 9 shows the scores and ranking of countries. Most of the nations remain in relatively the same rank-order position, yet there are some major shifts. In particular, the United States shows up as one of the most unstable nations in the world.

The last and most important question regarding the violence data is to ascertain the relationship between the assassination profiles and the general violence profiles of the eighty-four countries for the twenty-year period. One such relationship is presented in table 10, which splits the countries into groups experiencing high frequencies of assassination events (three or more) and those experiencing low frequencies (two or less), and ranks them on the six scale positions of political instability as set out in table 8. Table 10 shows a definite relationship between political instability and assassination. Countries with high frequencies of assassination fall predominantly at positions 4 and 5 on the instability scale. None falls at scale position 1 and only one country is at scale position 2. Countries low in assassination frequency are primarily from scale positions 2, 3, and to some extent, 4. None is from position 6, and only four are from scale position 5.

From the information in table 10, we may say that general political violence appears to be among the more efficient predictors of assassination. That is, if we were to single out one characteristic of a national system without knowing the country’s profile, general political violence would give the best clue as to whether the political system is assassination-prone. To illustrate the point from table 10, if we were to predict high and low frequency of assassinations occurring in the eighty-four countries, we could be right in sixty-six cases, and probably wrong in eighteen cases; significantly, this relationship would hold true for the United States. This is an educated guess rather than a reliance on chance alone.

Thus, if we can isolate some factors that lead to political violence in general, we can also help explain and ultimately reduce incidents of assassination.

Table 9. -Political instability profiles for eighty-four countries (summed, 1948–65)

Country Score Country Score Country Score
Luxembourg 12 West Germany 87 Turkey 189
New Zealand 15 Nicaragua 96 Portugal 190
Saudi Arabia 18 Czechoslovakia 100 Italy 191
Sweden 20 Uruguay 100 Morocco 194
Netherlands 21 Panama 101 Dominican Republic 195
Iceland 26 Honduras 105 Peru 196
Australia 26 Philippines 105 Haiti 205
Afghanistan 29 Ghana 106 Brazil 208
Denmark 30 Malaya 108 Lebanon 212
Ireland 31 Mexico 111 Burma 213
Ethiopia 34 Hungary 113 Pakistan 231
Norway 34 United Kingdom 116 Guatemala 234
Liberia 36 Ecuador 117 Greece 236
China (Taiwan) 39 Cyprus 123 Iran 237
Switzerland 42 Japan 123 Colombia 244
Finland 56 Tunisia 126 Iraq 274
Austria 57 Laos 129 Cuba 281
Costa Rica 58 East Germany 138 Spain 284
Romania 60 Paraguay 141 Korea 291
Israel 64 Jordan 145 United States 319
Albania 67 Ceylon 152 Bolivia 323
Libya 69 Thailand 152 Syria 329
Bulgaria 71 Egypt 153 India 360
Cambodia 71 Chile 156 Indonesia 416
Yugoslavia 77 Belgium 162 Union So. Africa 427
El Salvador 79 USSR 165 Venezuela 429
Canada 83 Poland 179 France 435
China (Mainland) 86 Sudan 189 Argentina 445

Table 10. Relationship between assassinations and political instability for a 20 year period, 1948–1967 (grouped and summed for three periods)


Mexico 3 STABILITY 1 2 3 Ireland 0 New Zaland 1 Norway 0
Total 0 Total 1 Total 3
Ghana 7 Italy 3
Israel 3
Total 3 Total 11 Total 12


Instability: 4



Instability: 5


Total 4

Instability: 6

Total 1

C. Violence, Assassination, and Political Variables

The findings of the cross-national study suggest that political violence is not a random occurrence. Violence appears to be related to a number of conditions in the environment of political systems. If this is the case, the occurrence of assassination may also be pinpointed within broader patterns of cross-national behavior and national characteristics. We have selected seven such factors for analysis:

1. Development or modernity level.

2. Systemic frustration, or systemic satisfaction levels.

3. Rate of socioeconomic change.

4. Permissiveness—coerciveness of political regime.

5. External aggression level.

6. Level of minority tension.

7. Homicide and suicide rates.

Each will be discussed separately. At the end of this section, the degree of relationship between each of these factors and the frequency of assassination and political violence is indicated in a summary table (table 31) which shows the correlation coefficients among these variables.

1. Level of Development and Political Violence

We developed an index of level of development or modernity based on eight indicators: GNP per capita, literacy level, radios and newspapers per one thousand population, rate of urbanization, caloric intake per person per day, number of persons per physician, and percentage of population having telephones.[107] Standard scores for each country on each of these indicators were averaged to yield an overall estimate of level of attainment. The resulting distribution of countries was divided into three groups.

The twenty-four countries scoring highest were designated Modern. The twenty-three countries falling at the lowest end of the continuum were called Traditional, although perhaps Low Development would be a better designation. The thirty-seven countries falling between the Modern and Traditional groups were termed Transitional. We then determined the relationship, if any, between modernity level and the level of political violence in general and assassination in particular. Table 11 shows the relationship between modernity level and political violence in general.

There is a definite tendency for the Modern countries to be politically stable. On the other hand, a preponderance of Transitional countries give evidence of instability. Among the Traditional countries, the tendency toward stability is about equal to the tendency toward instability.

A somewhat similar pattern occurs between level of development and frequency of assassination (see table 12). Only five of twenty-four Modern countries, or twenty-one percent, experience a high frequency of assassination. This relationship is reversed for both Transitional and Traditional countries, however. Well over half the countries at both of these lower levels of development have had more than three assassinations in the past twenty years.

Thus it appears that there is a definite relationship between level of development and incidence of political violence, including assassination.

Table 11-Stabile

I. Traditional II. Transitional III. Modern
Unstable (126–445) Bolivia
Union South Africa
East Germany
United States
Stable (012–125) Afghanistan
Cambodia China-Taiwan China-Main Ethiopia Ghana Malaya Liberia Libya Philippines Saudi Arabia
Albania Bulgaria Costa Rica Cyprus Ecuador El Salvador Honduras Hungary Japan Mexico Nicaragua Panama Romania Yugoslavia Australia
New Zealand
United Kingdom
West Gremany
Chi-square value=13.71
p< 0.01
23 37 24 84
1. Traditional II Transitional III. Modem
Bolivia (9) Pakistani) Brazil (12) Nicaragua (5) Argentina (9)
High Burma (5) Philippines (15) Colombia (7) Panama (5) Czechoslovakia (5)
frequency of Cambodia (6) Cuba (28) Paraguay (3) France (14)
assassinations China-Main (3) Cyprus (5) Syria (7) Israel(3)
(3 or more) Ghana (7) Dom. Rep. (7) Thailand (3) United States (16) Haiti (5) Ecuador (3) Tunisia (16)
India (8) Egypt 114) Turkey (4)
Indonesia (5) Greece (51 Union So. Africa (3)
Iran (19) Guatemala (12) Venezuela (12)
Iraq (5) Italy (3)
Jordan (6) Korea (20) Laos (10) Japan (9) Malaya (6) Lebanon (12)
Morocco (17) Mexico (3)
16 23 5 44
Afghanistan (2) Albania (2) Australia (2) United Kingdom (0)
Low China-Taiwan (0) Bulgaria (0) Austria (1) Uruguay (0)
frequency of Ethiopia (2) Ceylon (2) Belgium (1) USSR (0)
assassinations Liberia (2) Chile (0) Canada (1) W. Germany (2)
(2 or less) Libya (1) Costa Rica (2) Denmark (0)
Saudi Arabia (2) El Salvador (2) E. Germany (0)
Sudan (1) Honduras (0) Finland (0)
Hungary (1) Iceland (0)
Peru (0) Ireland (0)
Poland (0) Luxembourg (0)
Portugal (2) Netherlands (0)
Romania (0) New Zealand (1)
Spain (2) Norway (0)
Yugoslavia (2) Sweden (0)
Switzerland (0)
7 14 19 40
Chi-Sq. value = 7.76 27 33 24 84
p 0.05

Table 12. -Frequency of assassination by level of modernity

Developed countries tend to experience lower levels of political unrest and assassination than do less developed countries. There are exceptions to this rule at all three levels of development. Among Modern countries, the United States and France are notable exceptions. Among nations at the two lower levels of development, about one-third are exceptions. It also must be noted that no difference between the incidence of political violence in Traditional and Transitional countries is apparent in table 12, and only a small difference in table 11. Both groups show a tendency toward political instability and assassination.

We may also examine assassination frequency in relation to a more detailed breakdown of level of development. The results are indicated in table 13. The five different levels of development labelled in this table are taken from the World Handbook of Political and Social Indicators.[108] The division into five groups is based on only one indicator: GNP in 1957 U.S. dollars.

Table 13 shows a tendency for countries at the lowest level of development to experience a low assassination level, while the so-called Traditional group of countries show the highest incidence. Unfortunately, the total number of Traditional Primitive Societies is very small. Two-thirds of them, however, experience few assassinations. The trend is in the opposite direction at the next two levels of development. Among Traditional civilizations, the ratio of countries with a high frequency of assassinations to those with a low incidence is seven to one. In Transitional societies, the same ratio is slightly in excess of two to one. At the fourth level of development, however, among Industrial Revolution Societies, countries are equally divided between those that are high and those that are low in assassination frequency. Finally, at the highest level of development, among High Mass-Consumption Societies, the trend is markedly in the direction of a low frequency of assassinations. Only two countries are exceptions to the trend, the United States and France.

2. Systemic Frustration—Satisfaction and Political Violence

Another condition selected as potentially related to the level of political unrest is the degree of systemic frustration experienced within a society.[109] The notion of systemic frustration is closely related to level of socioeconomic development. It refers to the gap or ratio between social wants and social satisfactions within a society, and is postulated to be curvilinearly related to the modernity level. Traditional and Modern societies should both be relatively satisfied, while Transitional societies should be relatively unsatisfied, because they have been awakened to a desire for a new way of life but are only beginning to achieve it.

To measure the level of systemic frustration, we devised a Frustration index by forming a ratio from the eight indicators used in the Modernity index. Literacy and urbanization comprised the numerator of the ratio, indicating level of want formation within the society. This choice was based on notions of social mobilization, in which literacy and city life are two media through which persons in developing societies may gain knowledge of new patterns. The remaining six indicators, GNP per capita, caloric intake, radios, newspapers, physicians, and telephones, were regarded as measures of want satisfaction, forming the denominator of the ratio.

I. Traditional primative societies II. Traditional civilizations III. Transitional societies IV. Industrial revolution societies V. High mass-consumption societies
High frequency of assassinations (3 or more) Burma (5)
Laos (10)
Bolivia (9)
Cambodia (6) China-Main (3)
Haiti (5)
India (8)
Pakistan (5)
Thailand (3)
Dom. Rep. (7) Ecuador (3) Egypt(14) Ghana (7) Guatemala (12) Indonesia (5) Iran (19) Iraq (5) Jordan (6) Korea (20) Morocco (17) Nicaragua (5) Paraguay (3) Philippines (15) Syria (7) Tunisia (16)
Turkey (4) 17
Argentina (9)
Brazil (13)
Colombia (7)
Czechoslovakia (5)
Cyprus (3)
Greece (5)
Italy (3)
Israel (3)
Japan (9)
Malaya (6)
Mexico (3)
Panama (5)
Union So. Africa (14)
Venezuela (12)
France (14)
United States (16)
Low frequency of assassinations (2 or less) Afghanistan (2)
Ethiopia (2)
Libya (1)
Sudan (1)
Liberia (2)
Albania (2)
Ceylon (2) China-Taiwan (0) El Salvador (2) Honduras (0) Peru (0) Portugal (2) Saudi Arabia (2)
Austria (1)
Bulgaria (0)
Chile (0)
Costa Rica (2)
East Germany (0)
Finland (0)
Hungary (1)
Iceland (0)
Ireland (0)
Poland (0)
Romania (0)
Spain (2)
Uruguay (0)
USSR (0)
Yugoslavia (2) 15
Australia (2)
Belgium (1)
Canada (1)
Denmark (0)
Luxembourg (0) Netherlands (0) New Zealand (1)
Norway (0)
Sweden (0)
Switzerland (0) United Kingdom (0) West Germany (2)
Chi-square value = 16.57 p <0.001 6 8 25 30 14 83
Table 13.-Frequency of assassination by level of development
Unstable (126–445) Bolivia Paraguay
Brazil Peru
Ceylon Spain
Chile Syria
Colombia Thailand
Cuba Turkey
Dominican Republic Venezuela
Korea 22
Union of South Africa
United States
Stable (012–125) Bulgaria
El Salvador
Australia New Zealand
Austria Norway
Canada Sweden
Costa Rica Switzerland
Czechoslovakia United Kingdom
Denmark Uruguay
Finland West Germany
Netherlands 18
Chi-squarc value=4.07 p<0.0< 32 30 62

Table 14. -Stability-instability by systemic satisfaction

Low satisfaction High satisfaction

Table 14 gives the relationship between systemic satisfaction level and level of political unrest, while table 15 relates systemic satisfaction to assassination frequency.[110]

The relationships shown in these tables indicate that satisfied countries are less prone to political instability and assassination than are frustrated societies. Two-thirds of the countries that are low in systemic satisfaction are politically unstable; sixty percent of countries high in systemic satisfaction are politically stable. We find a similar relationship indicated in table 15 between systemic satisfaction and frequency of assassination. Seventy-eight percent of the countries low in systemic satisfaction have had two or fewer assassinations.

We may say, then, that the level of systemic satisfaction within a society shows a relationship to the degree of political instability experienced by that society, as well as to the incidence of assassination.

3. Rate of Socioeconomic Change and Political Violence

A third measure related to the level of political unrest and assassination frequency is the rate of socioeconomic change experienced within a society. We hypothesized that a high rate of socioeconomic change would entail a high level of political violence. Conversely, less rapid change will mean a more stable society.

In order to measure the rate of socioeconomic change, data on nine economic indicators were collected for a twenty-eight-year period, 1935—62. The indicators were: literacy level, primary and postprimary education levels, infant mortality rate, caloric intake, radios, urbanization level, national income, and cost of living. The rate of change was calculated in percentage terms, thus showing the countries with a high base level (modern industrialized states by and large) as having a low rate of change, and countries with a low base level (underdeveloped societies) as having a higher annual percentage rate of change.[111]

The relationship between rate of change and political instability is shown in table 16. Again we find a similar pattern. Approximately seventy percent of the countries which experienced a high percentage rate of change are politically unstable. And sixty-three percent of the countries with a low rate of change are politically stable.

We find evidence of an almost identical relationship between rate of socioeconomic change and frequency of assassination. As shown in table 17, approximately seventy percent of the countries with a high rate of socioeconomic change had three or more assassinations, while sixty-one percent of the countries with a low rate of change exhibit a low frequency of assassination.

4. Coerciveness of Political Regimes and Political Violence

To measure the elusive and complicated notion of permissiveness—coerciveness of political systems, the following general questions were formulated and then applied as a yardstick against which to rate the various nations:

(1) To what degree are civil rights present and protected?

(2) To what extent is political opposition tolerated and effective?

High frequency of assassinations (3 or more) Bolivia (9) Korea (20)
Brazil (12) Mexico (3)
Colombia (7) Nicaragua (5)
Cuba (28) Panama (5)
Cyprus (5) Paraguay (3)
Doni. Rep. (7) Philippines (15)
Ecuador (3) Syria (7)
Egypt (14) Thailand (3)
Greece (5) Turkey (4)
Guatemala (12) Venezuela (12)
Haiti (5)
India (8)
Iraq (5)
Italy (3)
Japan (9) 25
Argentina (9)
Czechoslovakia (5)
France (14)
Indonesia (5)
Iran (19)
Israel (3)
Lebanon (12)
Morocco (17)
Pakistan (5)
Tunisia (16)
Union South Africa (3)
United States (16)
frequency of assassinations (2 or less)
Bulgaria (0)
Ceylon (2)
Chile (0)
El Salvador (2)
Peru (0)
Spain (2)
Yugoslavia (2)
Australia (2) New Zealand (1)
Austria (1) Norway (0)
Belgium (1) Portugal (2)
Canada(1) Sweden(0)
Costa Rica (2) Switzerland (0)
Denmark (0) United Kingdom (0)
Finland (0) Uruguay (0)
Iceland (0) West Germany (2)
Ireland (0)
Netherlands (0) 18
Chi-square value = 7.83 p < 0.01 32 30 62

Table 15.-Frequency of assassination by systemic satisfaction

Low satisfaction High satisfaction
Unstable (126–445) Argentina
Union of South Africa
United States 13
Bolivia Poland
Brazil Peru
Burma Portugal
Ceylon Syria
Colombia Thailand
Dominican Republic Tunisia Egypt Turkey
Haiti USSR
India Venezuela
Indonesia Iraq Korea Morocco 22
Stable (012–125) Australia New Zealand
Austria Norway
Bulgaria Phillipines
Canada Sweden
China-Taiwan Switzerland
Denmark United Kingdom
Ecuador Uruguay
Finland West Germany
Netherlands 23
Costa Rica
El Salvador
Chi-square value = 5.68 p<0.05 36 31 67

Table 16.-Stability-instability by rate of socio-economic change

Low rate of change High rate of change High frequency of assassinations (3 or more) Argentina (9)
Cuba (28)
France (14)
Greece (5)
Guatemala (12)
Israel (3)
Italy (3)
Mexico (3)
Pakistan (5)
Paraguay (3)
Philippines (15)
Union South Africa (3)
United States (16)
Bolivia (9) Panama (5)
Brazil (12) Syria (7)
Burma (5) Thailand (3)
Cambodia (6) Tunisia (16)
Colombia (7) Turkey (4)
Dominican Republic (7)Venezuela (12)
Ghana (7)
Haiti (5)
India (8)
Indonesia (5)
Iraq (5)
Japan (9)
South Korea (20)
Malaya (6)
Morocco (17) 22

Low frequency of assassinations (2 or less)

Chi-square value = 5.96

p < 0.05 |

Australia (2) Norway (0)
Austria (1) Spain (2)
Belgium (1) Sweden (0)
Bulgaria (0) Switzerland (0)
Canada (1) United Kingdom (0)
China-Taiwan (0) Uruguay (0)
Chile (0) West Germany (2)
Denmark (0)
Finland (0)
Hungary (1)
Iceland (0)
Ireland (0)
Luxembourg (0)
Netherlands (0)
New Zealand (1) 22 | Ceylon (2)
Costa Rica (2)
El Salvador (2)
Honduras (0)
Peru (0)
Poland (0)
Portugal (2)
USSR (0)
Yugoslavia (2)
9 | | Low rate of change High rate of change | 36 |

31 67

(3) How democratic is the polity?

These broad questions were then refined in terms of some fifty specific rating criteria. A six-point scale was devised to assess each of the eighty-four countries for the time period 1948—60. Point 1 on the scale was defined as highly permissive, point 6 as highly coercive.[112]

This is undoubtedly a rough procedure to estimate a complex variable, yet the profiles find considerable support in works of other authors interested in analyzing similar aspects of political regimes.[113]

The relationships between coerciveness of regime, political instability, and frequency of assassination are presented in tables 18 and 19. These figures are subdivided to indicate the six different levels of permissiveness-coerciveness. Both tables show very much the same pattern.

Coerciveness levels 1 and 2 (permissive states), as well as 6 (highly coercive states), are conspicuously populated by countries experiencing low levels of political unrest and a low frequency of assassination. In both tables there are twenty-six countries in this category as compared to seven countries that indicate the opposite combination. On the other hand, coerciveness levels 3, 4, and 5 include a greater percentage of unstable countries and countries experiencing a high frequency of assassination. Thirty-four countries at these mid-levels of coerciveness are unstable, as compared to seventeen that are stable; thirty-seven countries experience a high frequency of assassination and only fourteen a low frequency.

These tables show that assassinations and political violence are more likely to occur at midlevels of coerciveness (3, 4, 5) than with highly permissive (1, 2) or highly coercive (6) regimes.

Only extremely coercive systems (totalitarian states) are able to deter assassins and expressions of political violence. Permissiveness appears to be associated with the lowest amount of violence; moderate coerciveness of political regimes appears to be associated in the highest amount of violence. Again, the United States appears as a notable exception.

5. External Aggression, Minority Tension, Homicide, and Suicide

We also investigated the relationship between political violence and assassination and four kinds of violent aggressive behavior—external aggression, minority tension, homicide, and suicide. The data on homicide and suicide rates are derived from United Nations statistical compilations. In order to assess the level of minority tension, a special data collection was compiled from Deadline Data, including thirty countries for the time period 1955—65.[114] The data on external conflict are drawn from the work of Rummel and Tanter and cover the time period 1955—60.[115]

These external aggression and minority-tension events were scaled in very much the same fashion as the political instability data. The scaled values were then used to profile the nations of the sample. Some sixty different types of events were distinguished in the minority-tension data collection. These included the thirty events discussed above (see footnote 8), used to denote political instability as well as events having specific reference to minority-majority actions, such as granting of autonomy, banning of institution, police, or military escort. The external hostility events included protests, accusations, threats, anti-foreign demonstrations, expulsion of diplomatic officials, mobilizations, negative sanctions, troop movements, severing of diplomatic relations, and military actions.

Unstable (126–445) 1
United States
Belgium Italy
Colombia Guatemala
Tunisia 14
Argentina Cuba
Egypt Haiti Korea Morocco Paraguay Portugal Spain Union South Africa Venezuela
Dom. Republic
East Germany
Australia Canada Denmark Netherlands Norway Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom
Costa Rica
New Zealand
West Germany 1’1
Cyprus Ecuador El Salvador
Saudi Arabia
Chi-square value = 18.69 p<0.01 9 12 15 21 15 12 84
Table 18.-Stability-instability by level of coerciveness (scaled)
Permissive Coercive
2 3 4 5 Coercive 6
frequency of assassinations
(3 or more)
United States (16)
Israel (3)
Italy (3)
Mexico (3)
Brazil (12)
Burma (5)
Cambodia (6)
France (14)
Greece (5)
India (8)
Japan (9)
Malaya (6)
Pakistan (5)
Panama (5) Philippines (15)
Turkey (4)
Bolivia (9)
Colombia (7)
Cyprus (5)
Ecuador (3)
Ghana (7)
Guatemala (12)
Indonesia (5)
Iran (19)
Iraq (5)
Jordan (6)
Laos (10)
Lebanon (12)
Syria (7)
Thailand (3)
Tunisia (16) 15
Argentina (9)
Cuba (28)
Haiti (5)
Korea (20)
Morocco (17)
Nicaragua (5)
Paraguay (3)
Union So. Africa (3)
Venezuela (12)
China-Main (3)
Czechoslovakia (5)
Dom. Re. (7)
frequency of assassinations
(2 or less)
Australia (2)
Canada (1)
Denmark (0)
Netherlands (0)
Norway (0)
Sweden (0)
Switzerland (0)
United Kingdom (0)
Belgium (1)
Costa Rica (2)
Finland (0)
Iceland (0)
Ireland (0) Luxembourg (0) New Zealand (1) Uruguay (0)
West Germany (2)
Austria (1)
Ceylon (2)
Chile (0)
El Salvador (2)
Honduras (0)
Liberia (2)
Libya (1)
Peru (0)
Sudan (1)
Afghanistan (2)
Ethiopia (2)
Portugal (2)
Saudi Arabia (2)
Spain (2)
Albania (2)
Bulgaria (0) China-Taiwan (0) E. Germany (0) Hungary (1)
Poland (0)
Romania (0)
USSR (0)
Yugoslavia (2)
Chi-square value=22.24 p <0.001 9 12 15 21 15 12 84

Table 19-Frequency of assassination by level of coerciveness (scaled)

The relationship between these variables and political instability and assassination is presented in tables 20 through 32. Nations involved in external conflict tend to be more politically unstable and to experience high assassination frequency than do nations with less hostile relations (see tables 20 and 21).

The relationship between the minority-tension level and both general political instability and assassination frequency is shown in tables 22—24. Only thirty-one countries are included in these tables; these are the countries that have minority groups of sufficient strength to experience either actual or potential conflict of this type. Tables 22 and 23 indicate the relationship when the countries are divided into only two categories, while table 24 divides minority conflict into the six categories of the minority-hostility scale. According to table 22, countries high on minority hostility also tend to be high on political instability. In table 23, we find that countries high on minority hostility are high on assassinations, but the complementary trend of low minority hostility/low frequency of assassinations is not in evidence. This is shown in table 24 where one-third of the countries (10/29) in scale position 5 on minority hostility are also high in frequency of assassination. The patterning indicates that among countries with sizeable minority groups, two-thirds experience high instability. Also, two-thirds experience a high frequency of assassination.

The relationship of homicide and suicide[116] to political instability and to assassination is given in tables 25—30. Tables 25 and 26 compare homicide rates to stability profiles and frequency of assassination, respectively. Tables 27 and 28 do the same for suicide. The relationships for homicide and suicide yield reverse pictures. Homicide rates are positively related to both level of political instability and assassination frequency. On the other hand, seventy-eight percent of the countries high on suicide have experienced a low frequency of assassination, while sixty-one percent of countries low in suicides have had a high frequency of assassination.

Tables 29 and 30 combine homicide/suicide rates and compare them to both political instability and to frequency of assassination. Comparing the two center columns of table 30, we see a very marked tendency for inverse patterns of homicide/suicide to relate to incidence of assassination. Among countries demonstrating the syndrome of high homicide-low suicide, eighty percent have a high incidence of assassination. Among countries showing the reverse pattern, eighty-six percent have a low incidence of assassination. The pattern for countries either high or low on both homicide and suicide is not clear cut. All show a greater tendency toward a low frequency of assassination. The United States is an exception however, because it is high on homicide, high on suicide, and high on assassination.

All the relationships discussed above are summarized in table 31, which shows the relationship of each factor to both political violence and frequency of assassination. The last column of the table shows the degree of relationship between the two forms of violence: assassination and general political instability. The first impression gained from the table is that some of the variables show more interrelationship than do others.

Belgium Italy
Bolivia Peru
Brazil Poland
Ceylon Portugal
Colombia Spain
Dorn. Republic Thailand
Argentina Iraq
Burma Jordan
Chile South Korea
Cuba Lebanon
East Germany Pakistan
Egypt Paraguay
France Turkey
Guatemala Union South Africa
Haiti USSR
India United States of America
Indonesia Venezuela
Iran 23
Stable (012–125) Afghanistan Netherlands
Bulgaria New Zealand
Canada Norway
Czechoslovakia Panama
Denmark Philippines
Ecuador Romania
El Salvador Saudi Arabia
Ethiopia Sweden
Finland Switzerland
Ireland Uruguay
Albania United Kingdom
Australia West Germany
Cambodia Yugoslavia
Costa Rica
Chi-square value = 6.69 35 37 72
Table 2O.-Stability-instability by level of international aggressiveness
Low external aggression High external aggression High frequency of assassinations (3 or more) Brazil (12)
Bolivia (9)
Colombia (7)
Czechoslovakia (5)
Dominican Rep. (7)
Ecuador (3)
Greece (5)
Italy (3)
Japan (9)
Panama (5)
Philippines (15)
Thailand (3)
Argentina (9) Israel (3)
Burma (5) Jordan (6)
Cambodia (6) Lebanon (12)
China-Main (3) Mexico (3)
Cuba (28) Nicaragua (5)
Egypt (14) Pakistan (5)
France (14) Paraguay (3)
Guatemala (12) South Korea (20)
Haiti (5) Turkey (4)
India (8) Union South Africa (3)
Indonesia (5) United States (16)
Iran (19) Venezuela (12)
Iraq (5)
Low frequency of assassinations (2 or less) Afganistan (2) New Zealand (1)
Belgium (1) Norway (0)
Bulgaria (0) Peru (0)
Canada (1) Poland (0)
Ceylon (2) Portugal (2)
Denmark (0) Rumania (0)
El Salvador (2) Saudi Arabia (2)
Ethiopia (2) Spain (2)
Finland (0) Sweden (0)
Ireland (0) Switzerland (0)
Liberia (2) Uruguay (0)
Netherlands (0)
Albania (2)
Australia (2)
Chile (0)
Costa Rica (2)
East Germany (0)
Honduras (0)
Hungary (1)
China—Taiwan (0)
United Kingdom (0)
USSR (0)
West Germany (2)
Yugoslavia (2)
Chi-square value = 3.56 p<0.10 35 37 72

Table 21.-Frequency of assassination by level of international aggressiveness

Low external aggression High external aggression
Low Minority Hostility High Minority Hostility
Unstable (126–445) Egypt
6 Ceylon India Indonesia Iran Peru
Tunisia Turkey United States
13 19
Stable (012–125) Bulgaria
New Zealand Philippines Switzerland United Kingdom Yugoslavia 10 Cyprus Israel 2 12
Chi-square value = 5.95 16 15 31
Table 22-Stability-instability by level of minority hostility
P<0.05 High
Frequency of assassinations (3 or more)
Czechoslovakia (5)
Haiti (5)
Mexico (3)
Philippines (1)
Thailand (3)
5 Cyprus (5) Egypt(14) India (8) Indonesia (5)
Iran (19
Iraq (5)
Israel (3)
Lebanon (12)
Morocco (17)
Pakistan (5)
Syria (7)
Tunisia (16)
Turkey (4)
USA (16)
Union South Africa (3)
Frequency of assassinations (2 or less)
Bulgaria (0)
Chile (0)
Netherlands (0)
United Kingdom (0)
New Zealand (0)
Yugoslavia (2)
6 Belgium (1) Canada (1) Ceylon (2) Switzerland (0) Peru (0) 5 11
Chi-square value =1.57 p< 0.25 11 20 31

Table 23.-Frequency of assassination by level of minority hostility

Low minority hostility High minority hostility
High frequency of assassinations (3 or more) 1
Mexico (3)

Czechoslovakia (5)
Haiti (5)
Philippines (15)
Thailand (3)
4 | 4
Lebanon (12)
Syria (7)
3 | 5
India (8)
Indonesia (5)
Iran (19)
Israel (3)
Morocco (17)
Pakistan (5)
Tunisia (16)
Turkey (4)
United States (16)
Union South Africa (3)
10 | 6
Cyprus (5)
Iraq (5)
2 | 20 |

Low frequency of assassinations (2 or less) New Zealand (1)
Bulgaria (0)
Chile (0)
United Kingdom (0)
Yugoslavia (2)
Canada (1)
Switzerland (0)
Belgium (1)
Ceylon (2)
Peru (0)
0 11
Chi-square value = 4.76 p< 0.50 2 1 8 5 13 2 31

Table 24.-Frequency of assassination by level of minority hostility (scaled)

Low minority hostility
High minority hostility

Table 25. -Stability-Instability by Homicide Rate

Belgium Brazil
France Burma
Greece Ceylon
Italy Chile
Poland Colombia
Portugal Dorn. Republic
Spain Egypt
7 12
Austria Australia
Canada Bulgaria
China Taiwan Costa Rica
Czechoslovakia Ecuador
Denmark Finland
Iceland Hungary
Ireland Japan
Luxembourg Mexico
Netherlands Nicaragua
New Zealand Panama
Norway Philippines
Sweden Uruguay
United Kingdom
West Germany
15 12 Unstable
Stable (012–125) Low homicide High homicide 22 24
Chi-square value= 1.34 p<0.25 High frequency of assassinations (3 or more) Czechoslovakia (5) France
Greece (5)
Italy (3)
4 Brazil (12) Burma (5) Colombia (7) Dom. Rep. (7) Ecuador (3) Egypt (14) Guatemala (12)
India (8)
Japan (9)
Jordan (6)
Mexico (3)
Nicaragua (5)
Panama (5)
Philippines (15)
United States (16)
Low frequency of assassinations (2 or less) Austria (1)
Belgium (1)
Canada (1)
China-Taiwan (0)
Denmark (0)
Iceland (0)
Ireland (0) Luxembourg (0) Netherlands (0)
New Zealand (1) Norway (0) Poland (0)
Portugal (2)
Spain (2)
Sweden (0) Switzerland (0) United Kingdom (0) West Germany (2) 18
Australia (2) Bulgaria (0)
Ceylon (2) Chile (0)
Costa Rica (2) Finland (0) Hungary (1) Peru (0) Uruguay (0)
9 27
Chi-square value = 7.56
24 46

Table 26.-Frequency of assassination by homicide rate

Low homicide High homicide tination and Political Violence Unstable
Dom. Republic
Spain 12
Stable (012–125) Canada
Costa Rica
New Zealand
United Kingdom
West Germany 16
Chi-square value = 1.43
23 23 46

Table 27.-Stability-instability by suicide rate

Low suicide High suicide
High frequency of assassinations (3 or more) Burma (5) India (8)
Colombia (7) Italy (3)
Dom. Rep. (7) Jordan (6)
Ecuador (3) Mexico (3)
Egypt (14) Nicaragua (5)
Greece (5) Panama (5)
Guatemala (12) Philippines (15) 14
Brazil (12)
Czechoslovakia (5)
France (14)
Japan (9)
United States (16)
Low frequency of assassinations (2 or less) Canada (1)
Chile (0)
Costa Rica (2)
Ireland (0)
Netherlands (0)
New Zealand (1)
Norway (0)
Peru (0)
Spain (2)
Australia (2) United Kingdom (0)
Austria (1) Uruguay (0)
Belgium (1) West Germany (2)
Bulgaria (0)
Ceylon (2)
China-Taiwan (0)
Denmark (0)
Finland (0)
Hungary (1)
Iceland (0)
Luxembourg (0)
Poland (0)
Portugal (2)
Sweden (0)
Switzerland (0) 18
Chi-square value = 5.86
P< 0.05
23 23 46

Table 28.-Frequency of assassination by suicide rate

Low suicide High suicide

Table 29.-

Low suicide

Low homicide |


(126–445) | Greece Italy Spain | 3 |

Stable (012–125) Canada Ireland Netherlands New Zealand Norway 5
Chi-square value = 33.84 P< 0.001 8
-Stability-instability by combined suicide and homicide rates High suicide
Low homicide
Dominican Republic
Chile Colombia
9 Brazil Ceylon USA 3 19
Peru 4
Austria China-Taiwan Czechoslovakia, Denmark
Iceland Luxembourg Sweden Switzerland United Kingdom West Germany
10 Costa Rica Ecuador Mexico Nicaragua Panama Philippines 6 Australia Bulgaria Finland Hungary Japan Uruguay 6 27
14 15 9 46 Low suicide

High homicide | High suicide

High homicide |

Low suicide
Low homicide
High suicide Low homicide Low suicide High homicide High suicide High homicide
High frequency of assassinations (3 or more Greece (5)
Italy (3)
Czechoslovakia (5)
France (14)
Burma (5)
Columbia (7)
Dom. Republic (7)
Guatemala (12)
India (8)
Jordan (6)
Mexico (3)
Nicaragua (5)
Panama (5)
Philippines (15)
Brazil (12)
Japan (9)
USA (16)
Low frequency of assassinations (2 or less) Canada (1)
Ireland (0)
Netherlands (0)
New Zealand (1)
Norway (0)
Spain (2)
Austria (1)
Belgium (1)
China-Taiwan (0)
Denmark (0)
Iceland (0)
Luxembourg (0)
Poland (0)
Portugal (2)
Sweden (0)
Switzerland (0)
United Kingdom (0)
West Germany (2)
Chile (0)
Costa Rica (2)
Peru (0)
Australia (2)
Bulgaria (0)
Ceylon (2)
Finland (0)’
Hungary (1)
Uruguay (0)
Chi-square value = 14.59 8 14 15 9 I 46

Table 30.-Frequency of assassination by combined suicide and homicide rates


Table 31.-Correlation coefficients of ecological indicators, political instability, and frequency of assassinations{18}

Assassinations Instability (summed scores) (1948–65)
New York Times
Raw Transformed
Level of modernity (84){19} -.229 -402 -.382
Level of systemic satisfaction (62) -.261 -.431 -.569
Rate of socioeconomic change (67) 269 415 .517
Level of coerciveness (84) .153 .198 .311
Level of international aggressiveness (72) .318 .319 .409
Level of minority hostility (31) .300 .346 .440
Homicide rate (46) .278 \ .377 .427
Suicide rate (46) .265 -.319 -.378
Instability (summed scores) .528 .628
Modernity-low coerciveness-mid 3-4-5 change-high Modernity-low coe.-low-high 1-2-6 change-high Modernity-high coerciveness-mid 34–5 change-high Modernity-low coe.-low-high 1-2-6 change-low Modernity-high coerciveness-mid 34–5 change-low Modernity-low coerciveness-mid 34–5 change-low Modernity-high coe.-low-high 1-2-6 change-high Modernity-high coe.-low-high 1-2-6 change-low Totals
Low assas.


low external agression | El Salvador | | | | | | | Bulgaria Netherlands
Canada New Zealand
Denmark Norway
Finland Sweden
Ireland Switzerland
Uruguay | 12 |

Low assas. stable high external aggression Honduras China-Taiwan Costa Rica Australia
United Kingdom
West Germany
High assas. stable low external agression Ecuador
Italy 5
Low assas.
unstable low external agression
Ceylon Peru Portugal Spain Belgium 5
Low assas. unstable high external agression Chile USSR
High assas. stable high external agression Mexico Israel 2
High assas. unstable low external agression Colombia Bolivia Brazil Thailand Dominican Republic Greece 6
High assas. unstable high external agression Burma Iraq
Cambodia Korea
Haiti Turkey
India Venezuela
Egypt Guatemala Pakistan Paraguay Argentina
Union of South
USA 16
Totals 18 6 1 2 2 7 2 18 so

Table 32. -Relationship between level of development, coerciveness of regime, rate of socioeconomic change and assassination frequency, political instability, external aggression

The factor that shows the strongest relationship to assassination frequency is the general level of political violence within the society, indicating that, when assassinations are frequent, other forms of political violence also tend to be present. The two conditions that appear to have the closest relationship to both assassination and political instability are systemic satisfaction level and rate of socioeconomic change. These relationships show that societies experiencing systemic frustration and a high rate of socioeconomic change are prone to political violence in general and assassination in particular. Level of coerciveness of political regime shows the weakest relationship to both forms of violence. This reflects the fact that coerciveness is curvilinearly related to violence and assassination, as pointed out above. The correlation values taken as a group range from 0.2 to 0.6, with the majority at approximately 0.4, indicating a moderate degree of relationship. Thus each has a certain potential for explaining the occurrence of political violence and assassination.

D. Conclusions

What can be said regarding the cross-national pattern of violence and assassination? Do our findings help to explain the incidence of assassination in the United States?

(1) Perhaps the broadest generalization we may offer is that violence, viewed cross-nationally, is not a random occurrence. Political, social, and ecological factors are associated with it, sufficiently so that a knowledge of these associated factors can improve our prediction of political violence beyond the chance level. On the other hand, the relationships are not sufficiently persuasive to claim that we have provided a complete explanation. Insufficient information and imperfect data manipulation and measurement cause unknown errors. The occurrence of other variables which we did not take into account would also undoubtedly improve predictability.

(2) The second broad generalization is that assassinations show a similar pattern to internal political violence and instability. Whatever is related to violent and aggressive behavior within countries is also related to the occurrence of assassinations.

More specifically:

(a) A high rate of assassination is directly related to systemic frustration, external aggression, minority tensions, and homicide rates, as well as to political instability and violence. In other words, the higher the levels of systemic frustration, external aggression, minority tension, homicide rates, and general political violence within a society, the higher the assassination rates.

(b) A high rate of assassination is inversely related to measures of modernity and suicide. Thus the higher the level of modernity and the higher the level of suicides within a society, the less likelihood there is of assassination.

(c) Frequency of assassination is curvilinearly related to coerciveness of political regime. Permissive, democratic societies and highly coercive regimes are less prone to assassination than are countries at midlevels of coerciveness.

It is important to stress the fact that these relationships also hold true for aggregate measures of internal political aggression and violence.

In the previous discussion, the global pattern of violence was examined in reference to each selected variable. It is of equal interest to look at combined patterns. In table 32, six variables are examined simultaneously. The rows of the table combine three forms of political aggression: assassination frequency, political instability, and international (or external) aggression. Each variable is separated, yielding eight possible combinations. The rows are ordered from the most peaceful combination (low frequency of assassination, political stability, and low level of external aggression) to the most aggressive combination (high frequency of assassination, political instability, and high level of external aggression). The columns combine three of the most significant ecological variables: modernity level, rate of socioeconomic change, and level of permissiveness—coerciveness of regime. Again the variables are separated yielding eight combinations. The columns are ordered from highest potential violence (low level of modernity, midlevels of coerciveness, and high rate of socioeconomic change) to lowest potential violence (high level of modernity, permissiveness levels 1, 2, or 6, and low rate of socioeconomic change).

There is a very pronounced patterning here that identifies syndromes of political aggression and non-aggression in the contemporary world. Eleven countries appear in the upper right-hand corner of the table. These are modern states which have permissive regimes, experience a low rate of socioeconomic change, and are low on the three measures of political aggression. They have experienced few assassinations, and enjoy low levels of internal and external aggression. Nine of these eleven nations may be identified as Western-style democracies. One country, Uruguay, is in Latin America, and the other, Bulgaria, is from the Communist bloc. The latter is not permissive but rather comes from the other extreme of the permissiveness—coerciveness dimension (scale value 6). There are three additional Western democracies that fit the non-aggressive syndrome despite the fact that they are high in external aggression.

At the other end of the table, in the lower left-hand comer, the opposite syndrome is in evidence. Nine countries are high on three forms of aggression (assassination, general political unrest, and external aggression) and also high on three types of systemic frustration. These are low in modernity, at midlevels of political coerciveness, and experience high rates of socioeconomic change. These countries are drawn from three areas of the world: Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. Four other countries have the same high levels of systemic frustration and exhibit a high frequency of assassination and a high level of general political unrest, but are low in external aggression. Three of these nations are from Latin America; one is from Asia. Four additional countries are high on all three forms of political aggression, while high on two of three types of systemic frustration. These countries are also from Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

We thus have fourteen countries that come close to fitting a non-aggressive syndrome and seventeen that approximate an aggressive syndrome. There are fifty-six countries in the table; hence, fifty-five percent of the sample may be accounted for in terms of these two syndromes. Furthermore, forty-one cells are empty, indicating that two-thirds of the potentially possible combinations of variables do not exist. If chance alone were operating and there were no relationship among these six variables, these cells would not remain empty.

There are also exceptions to the pattern sprinkled throughout the table.

The largest group of deviants are the four countries that are high on all three forms of political aggression, yet satisfied on two of three indicators. The most completely deviant countries in the table are El Salvador and the United States. The former is non-aggressive despite experiencing all the preconditions supposedly conducive to political violence. The United States is high on three forms of violence, despite internal conditions which should predispose political tranquility. Furthermore, in view of the high frequency of assassinations in the United States, it cannot be claimed that we are a case of only borderline deviancy. The United States ranks fifth of the eighty-four countries surveyed in terms of the total number of assassination events experienced, although this high rank is somewhat reduced in the other subcategories of assassination. Among the group of Western democracies, the United States has experienced sixteen assassinations, while ten other countries never had an assassination. It is in this respect that the deviant nature of the United States is most dramatically illustrated.

There is a strong suggestion that, in the global pattern, assassinations tend to occur with other events of a rather high intensity of violence, and, specifically, that they occur in conjunction with guerrilla warfare. In the United States, however, the events of the highest intensity of violence, apart from assassinations, are riots and demonstrations. Not only is the United States a deviant case in terms of excessive frequency of assassinations, but the pattern of violence is also atypical in comparison to that of other nations.

Because the United States is clearly a deviant in these respects, it may be difficult to arrive at an adequate explanation in terms of the variables we have chosen for this cross-national analysis. There must be other circumstances that we have omitted which are responsible for this country’s political behavior. These circumstances may be presumed to be largely absent from the comparable group of nations, that is, the modern, Western democracies which, on the whole, experience a low assassination rate. None of the correlation coefficients between our selected set of ecological variables and the occurrence of instability and assassinations is so high as to provide a set of clear-cut determinants.

Although additional variables may be responsible, there are still findings in the previous section that may at least suggest dimensions to be explored further in seeking explanations for this country’s assassination rate. It will be remembered that the assassination rate is a concomitant of the level of general political aggression. In the case of the United States, assassinations occurred predominantly during the 1960’s. This was also a period of heightened political violence. In the 1956—60 period, for example, the United States experienced no events that registered higher than position 3 on the six-point instability scale, but from 1961 to 1965, twelve percent of this country’s events were at scale position 4.

Another possible explanation is the association between assassination and external violence. In this respect also, the United States is no deviant. In very specific terms, considering American foreign policy and the internal responses to it, the Vietnam war undoubtedly is a strong factor in creating politically anomic behavior. A somewhat comparable case can be seen in Rance’s controversial involvement in Algeria. Nine of France s fourteen assassination events, or sixty-four percent, took place during the years 1957—62 (thirty percent of the total time period).

There is one circumstance in the United States, as well as in many other nations, that must be judged a powerful explanatory factor in increasing political violence. This is the level of tension among ethnic, racial, linguistic, religious, and other groups within society. Among the sixteen assassinations which have occurred in the United States during the last twenty years, seven can be attributed to this problem. Furthermore, of the twelve assassinations occurring in the 1960’s, six stem from the minority problem.

The presence of minority groups is one of the variables in the present study that is not sufficiently refined to yield a more accurate picture and perhaps a more persuasive pattern of association. Too much is left unexplained about the nature of the minority, the goals, the type of country, and the response of the majority that develops minority-majority tensions. Even in this early stage of cross-national investigation, it belongs among the predictors of internal violence and assassination. The United States fits the expected patterns as present in tables 24–26, which show that minority hostility relates to political violence and assassination.

The correlation of minority-group tensions with political violence and assassination does not mean that minority groups necessarily are the agents of violence of assassination. Indeed, Negroes, the minority group with whom most of the tension is associated, seem to be the victims rather than the assassins.

The existence of minority-group tensions seems to be a symptom of other underlying social factors which lead to political violence but which may not be apparent in a statistical overview. For example, on a statistical average, the United States is a modern nation experiencing a relatively low rate of socioeconomic change and a low level of governmental coerciveness. However, we can speculate that certain significant groups within the United States, such as Negroes, experience midlevel coerciveness, a high rate of socioeconomic change, and a low rate of modernity as compared with their perception of other groups in the society.

We can perhaps think of the current “black revolution” as a previously isolated but now politically significant and participant stratum of the population reaching toward modern, satisfied, stable, permissive, democratic, Western society at an increasingly accelerated rate of speed. This social substratum could be conceived as similar to the transitional nations in the global pattern. It is equally subject to rising expectations and the feeling of systemic frustration. In this sense, then, the American Negro community could be conceived as largely transitional, frustrated, and at present subject to a rapid rate of social change.

Even the aggregate permissiveness of the dominant political regime may be considered at mid-levels of coerciveness in its relationship to this social segment. Furthermore, the emergence of transitional societies in its midst also forces rapid social change on the rest of society. Thus the United States should perhaps be considered a “high change” society at present. In conjunction with some other selected characteristics, this fits rather well the picture of the violent or assassination syndrome.

Although this assessment of the domestic scene in the United States might seem persuasive, it is but a speculative generalization in the perspective of the broader global picture. In relying largely on aggregate data, the present analysis does not reach the subtleties inherent in specific case studies.

The present effort can only hope to reveal the more obvious patterns, and note the more striking deviations. Furthermore, macroscopic cross-national analysis is at a stage of development where one must be sufficiently humble to state that patterns are seen only through a haze of imperfect information, imprecisions of data manipulation, and measurement error.

In sum, the pattern we have determined by cross-national investigation indicates that the characteristics of an assassination-prone society are very similar to those of a society beset by a high level of political unrest. This is to be expected, because assassinations are one facet of a politically unstable behavior pattern. The traits which have been isolated in this analysis to describe the aggressive nation are: a low level of modernity, high systemic frustration, a high rate of socioeconomic change, a high level of need for achievement, midlevels of coerciveness of political regime, a high level of external aggression, a high level of minority hostility, a high level of homicide, and a low level of suicide. This is a general pattern from which individual nations may deviate to greater or lesser degree. The United States shows a high frequency of assassination without exhibiting the low level of development traits characteristic of other assassination-prone societies. On the other hand, it does show a high level of external aggression, a high level of minority hostility, and a high incidence of homicide. Furthermore, it shows an increasing tendency toward political unrest. All these traits are aggressive behaviors. Also, as discussed above, the typical criteria found cross-nationally that lead to political violence may exist for certain important groups within the total U.S. society.

Appendix A to this report sets forth each assassination event collected by the Leiden and Feierabend groups.

Chapter 4: Political Violence in the United States


Assassination may be viewed as an extreme case along the continuum of political violence. Less extreme forms of political violence are far more common, in the United States as elsewhere, and the cross-national quantitative studies of Chapter 3 demonstrate that the incidence of assassination in a country and the level of political violence are closely related. It is appropriate therefore, in reporting on the phenomenon of assassination in the United States, to examine the present data on the broader spectrum of political violence in the United States.

In this chapter, section A gives an historical overview of violence in the United States. The analysis demonstrates that violence to achieve political goals has been endemic to the United States since its inception.

Section B presents original data with respect to the intensity of political violence today as compared to violence in the United States since 1819. The major conclusion is that the United States, at several prior stages in its history, has experienced political violence of a comparable intensity to the present day. But the data also show that the 1960’s rank among the most intensely violent periods in our history, and that periods of comparable violence have not occurred since the late 1920’s or the turn of the century.

Section C is an analysis of data collected by a national survey designed by the Commission staff. That analysis attempts to identify the demographic characteristics of those who give verbal support for political violence. Those data suggest, as do the cross-national data presented in Chapter 3, that the confrontation between black aspirations and whites directly threatened by those aspirations is the most significant source of willingness to use violence in general for political goals.

Section D presents an original collection of the contemporary rhetoric of vilification of political figures and the rhetoric of the advocacy of violence. The studies (particularly those of assassination in other regions) indicate that a high intensity of such rhetoric of vilification and violence is frequently a preconditioning to incidents of assassination. Finally, in section E, again using original data collected for the Commission, two specific contemporary groups within the United States associated with violent acts and violent rhetoric are examined: the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan and the North Ward Citizens Council of Newark, N.J.

Our data suggest that violence is a concomitant of substantial social change, and appears among those groups most directly affected, either favorably or unfavorably, by such change. We suggest the obvious: political violence can be reduced by mitigating the dislocations, hardships, and threats that arise from rapid social change. Above all, the major burden of problems associated with change should not either by inadvertence or design fall upon specific subgroups of the population.

A. Historical Overview of Political Violence in the United States

The United States, of course, was born in political violence. The British soldiers killed by the shots heard round the world were real people—young men serving their country. The following is a highly condensed historical overview of political violence in the United States beginning with vigilantism.[117] This subject is treated extensively in the report to the Commission by the History Task Force.

1. Vigilantism

The prototype of political violence in the United States is the vigilante committee—an extra-legal group that enforces the values of the community by illegal violence. Vigilantism is a phenomenon apparently unique to the United States.

The first large-scale vigilante movement occurred in the South Carolina back country in the late 1760’s. A tradition of vigilantism took root in response to a typical American problem: the absence of effective law and order in the frontier region. It was a problem that occurred again and again beyond the Appalachian Mountains, and stimulated the formation of countless frontier vigilante movements.

The first phase of American vigilantism, mainly before the Civil War, dealt largely with the threat of frontier horsethieves and counterfeiters. Virtually every state or territory west of the Appalachians had one or more well-organized, relentless vigilante movement. The vigilante movement was not unique to the Western plains and mountains; there was as much if not more vigilantism east of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The main thrust of vigilantism was to reestablish in each newly settled frontier area the values of property and law and order.[118]

Vigilante movements were usually under the control of the frontier elite and represented their social values and preferences. This was true of the first vigilante band in South Carolina (1767–69) known as “Regulators”—the original but now obsolete term for vigilantes.[119] It was also true of the greatest of all American vigilante movements, the San Francisco vigilante committee of 1856, which was dominated lock, stock, and barrel by the leading merchants of the city who wanted to stamp out alleged crime and political corruption.

Although the typical vigilante movement was dominated by social conservatives who desired to. establish order and stability in newly settled areas, there were a disconcerting number of departures from the norm. Many vigilante movements led not to order but to increasing disorder and anarchy. Frequently, the strife between vigilantes and their opponents (aggravated by individual, family, and political hatreds) became so bitter that the governor had to call out the militia to restore order. When the Bald Knobbers of the Missouri Ozarks rose in 1887 to curb the evils of theft, liquor, gambling, and prostitution in Christian County, intervention by outside authorities was finally needed to suppress the movement.[120]

Today, educated men may view vigilantism with disapproval, but such was not the case in the nineteenth century. In those days, leading citizens were often prominent members of vigilante movements, and proud of it. Included in a “Who’s Who of American Vigilantism” would be United States senators and congressmen, governors, judges, wealthy capitalists, generals, lawyers, and even clergymen. Presidents of the United States have not been immune to the vigilante infection. During his presidency, Andrew Jackson once approved the vigilante methods of Iowa pioneers pending the clarification of their territorial status.[121] As a young cattlerancher in North Dakota, Theodore Roosevelt was refused admittance to a vigilante band that was being formed to deal with rustlers and horsethieves.[122]

The post-Civil War era also saw the climax of a movement with strong affinities to vigilantism: the anti-horsethief association movement, which grew predominantly in the rural Midwest and Southwest after the Civil War, although its roots were to be found in the Northwest as early as the 1790’s. The anti-horsethief society pattern involved state charter of local associations that were often vested with constabulary power. By 1900, the anti-horsethief association movement numbered hundreds of thousands of members in a belt stretching from the Great Lakes to the Rio Grande. Forming a flexible and inexpensive (the members shared costs whenever they arose) supplement to immobile, expensive, and inefficient local law enforcement, the association afforded the farmer insurance against the threat of horse and other types of theft. The movement died only with the rapid development of the automobile about the time of World War I.[123]

2. Abolitionsim and Anti-Abolitionism

The abolitionist movement spawned more righteousness, blood, and misery on both sides than any other movement in the history of the United States. Abolitionists used violence to oppose slavery-for example, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry in 1859—and anti-abolitionists resorted to violence to support slavery. “Bleeding Kansas, a horrible precursor to the Civil War itself, was a violent struggle between pro- and anti-slavery forces in the Kansas Territory. The ultimate solution of the slavery question, of course, was the most violent struggle ever to engage our society: the Civil War.[124] The bloody legacy of the war and its ineffectual solution to the relationships of white and black America continue to this day.[125]

3. Reimposing White Supremacy in the South after the Civil War (the First Ku Klux Klan)

The white elite of the old Confederacy used violence-from beating and flogging to burning at the stake—to regain political supremacy in the South and prevent the social, economic, and political advancement of the Negro. The first Ku Klux Klan, which lasted from 1865 to 1876, was a principal means of administering this violence in the South. It eventually attracted thousands of embittered and fearful men and declared as its fundamental objective, “ ‘TheMAINTENANCE OF THE SUPREMACY OF THE WHITE RACE’ in this Republic by terror and intimidation.”[126]

The inevitable end was extreme violence. From 1867 until 1871, the Klan helped overthrow the Reconstruction governments of North Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia, and was responsible (according to the findings of a Congressional investigation in 1871) for hangings, shootings, whippings, and mutilations numbering in the thousands. In Louisiana, at least two thousand were killed or wounded in the few weeks preceding the presidential election of 1868. Seventy-five killings were reported in Georgia, and one hundred and nine in Alabama. In a single county in northern Florida, more than one hundred and fifty men were murdered within a few months. The commanding general of federal troops in Texas reported: “Murders of Negroes are so common as to render it impossible to keep accurate accounts of them.”[127]

4. Defense of American Nativism and Moralism-Native American Party—Know-Nothings—White Caps—Second Ku Klux Klan

Violence has been used by successive generations of native Americans (primarily white Anglo-Saxon Protestants) to oppose a perceived cultural, economic, social, and moral threat posed by successive waves of immigrants from Catholic and non-Teutonic Europe, and to reinforce the moral values of fundamentalist protestantism.

The first victims of bigotry and most of the violence were Roman Catholics and foreigners—most specifically the Irish immigrants who had begun settling in the Eastern cities and manufacturing areas during the 183O’s and 1840’s. An anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant political organization, the Native American Party, took root in these areas and rose to power as Irish immigration increased. The new party’s literature and street oratory were designed to instill fear and excite passions. One document, signed by nine hundred party members and sent to Congress, expressed fears concerning “the rapid and extraordinary increase of the foreign population,” which would “ere long expose the institutions of the country to serious danger.”[128] In 1843, the Native American Party elected a mayor of New York and sent several members to Congress.[129]

The party also held a number of street meetings and parades in the heart of a predominantly Irish Philadelphia neighborhood in 1844, to which native Americans were asked to come “prepared for defense.”[130] Months of street rioting ensued; several persons were killed and many injured. Two Catholic churches, two parochial schools, and at least a dozen homes owned by Catholics were burned to the ground. The militia was called, but units of the U.S. Cavalry and Marines had to be summoned before the riots were quelled.[131]

One of the anti-Catholic books of the period, Foreign Conspiracies Against the Liberties of the United States, by Samuel F. B. Morse, had called for the establishment of an “Anti-Popery Union.”[132] When the “Know-Nothings” (officially, the Grand Council of the United States of North America) appeared in the 1850’s, Morse heartily endorsed them.[133]

The new organization, which derived its name from instructions to its members to say “I know nothing,’ when questioned about it, was formed to keep Catholics and foreigners out of political office—in the organization’s own words, ‘ Thwarting the machinations and subverting the deadly plans of the Jesuit and Papist.”[134]

Violence broke out in Boston in May 1854, when Know-Nothings, inflamed by street preachers, attacked a Catholic church, smashing windows and tearing down its cross, and then went on to destroy the homes of Irish Catholics in the neighborhood.[135] During this and the following year, there were many instances of mob violence and destruction of property directed at the Irish and Catholic churches.

In the national election of 1854, the Know-Nothings, organized politically as the American Party, elected governors in nine states and sent one hundred and four of its members to the House of Representatives (then a body of two hundred and thirty-four). In 1856 former President Millard Fillmore, the Know-Nothing presidential candidate, polled almost one million votes, about one in every five votes cast.[136]

The Know-Nothing movement declined after the 1856 election and disappeared during the Civil War. During the 1880’s and 1890’s, however, the American Protective Association (APA) appeared with the Know-Nothing spirit and much of the organization’s literature to continue the anti-Catholic rhetoric of provocation.[137]

The White Cap movement, dedicated to the defense of “traditional moral values,” arose in southern Indiana in the 1880’s, and soon spread to all sections of the country. The movement generally used flogging as a mode of punishment. White Capping varied greatly throughout the country. In Mississippi, South Carolina, and north Texas, the White Caps were anti-Negro; in south Texas they were anti-Mexican; and in northern New Mexico the White Caps were composed of poor Mexican herders and ranchers who battled land-enclosing rich Mexicans and Americans.[138]

In general, White Capping was a spontaneous movement for the moral regulation of the poor whites and ne’er-do-wells of rural America. Drunken, shiftless, wife-beating whites and loose women were typical targets of White Cap violence. Vigilantism dating back to the South Carolina Regulators of 1767–69 had often been concerned with the moral regulation of incorrigible whites, and White Capping can be considered in part a throwback to the early era of frontier vigilantism. At the same time, White Capping seems to have been an important link between the first and second Ku Klux Klans. White Cap methods of punishment and costume seem to have been influenced by the first Klan, while their attacks on immoral and shiftless whites foreshadowed the main thrust of the second Klan of the 1920’s.

White Capping began in the 1880’s, about a decade after the first Klan, and by the turn of the century had become a generic term for local American violence. At the time of World War I, the movement was fading from view, and shortly thereafter the second Ku Klux Klan rose to take its place.[139]

The second Ku Klux Klan burned, beat, flogged, and lynched to preserve native Protestant superiority over Catholic, Jew, and immigrant, to preserve fundamentalist Protestant moral (primarily sexual) values, and to suppress the aspirations of Negro Americans in the South, Mexican Americans in the Southwest, and orientals in California.[140] The second Klan was founded in Georgia, in 1915, but achieved substantial political power in the North and West as well as in the South. Klansmen established a virtual dictatorship over political life in Indiana, and were politically powerful in Colorado, Oregon, New Jersey, Texas, Oklahoma, Maine, Louisiana, and even some sections of New York. By 1925, the year after it had become a national issue at a presidential convention, the Klan could boast a membership of between four and five million Americans, more than ten times that of the first hooded empire.

Violence remained the heart of its program. The New York World compiled statistics on Klan violence for the period between October 1920 and October 1921, while the movement was still growing. The results were:

Four killings, one mutilation, one branding with acid, 42 floggings, 27 tar-and-feather parties, five kidnappings, 43 persons warned to leave town or otherwise threatened, 14 communities threatened by warning posters, and 16 parades by masked men with warning placards.[141]

During a congressional investigation in 1921, Representative Leonidas C. Dyer of Missouri provided a summary of the second Klan’s operations:

During the past year a constant succession of violent and criminal assaults on individuals, consisting of abductions, floggings, brandings, irreparable mutilations, applications of tar and feathers to men and women, and in several instances, murders, have been reported from various parts of the country .... Terrorization, active or passive, of the colored people in American communities, has been one of the Klan’s principal objects.[142]

In later years, the anti-Semitism and race theories of the movement led the second Klan, in 1940, to join with the pro-Nazi German-American Bund in a large New Jersey rally where a forty-foot cross was burned and Nazi marching songs were sung.[143]

5. Agrarian Reform

From its very beginning, the United States has experienced violence from a series of movements in behalf of the suffering farmer or yeoman. Often these movements—generally considered to be liberal in their political character—have been formed for the purposes of redressing the economic grievances of the farmer; at times they have been land-reform movements. The dissident farmer movements have been deemed among the most heroic of all American movements of political insurgence; they have been the special favorites of historians who, with admiration and sympathy, have chronicled their ups and downs. There have been a host of these agrarian uprisings in both the colonial and national periods of our history. The initial agrarian uprising was that behind Nathaniel Bacon in late seventeenth century Virginia,[144] followed by the New Jersey land rioters of the eighteenth century.[145] The 1760s saw the Paxton Boys[146] movement of Pennsylvania and the New York anti-rent movement (which stretched on into the nineteenth century).[147] After the Revolutionary War were Shays’ Rebellion in Massachusetts (1786–87),[148] the Whiskey Rebellion in western Pennsylvania (1794), and Fries’ Rebellion in eastern Pennsylvania (1799).[149] Further west-in the Missippi Valley before the Civil War-the Claims Clubs defended the land occupancy of squatters.[150]

Alter the Civil War, a plethora of economic problems gave rise to the Grangers, the Greenbackers, the Farmers’ Alliance (which originally began in central Texas as a quasi-vigilante movement), and the Populist Party. About the same time there appeared a land reform movement in California which fought the monopoly landholdings of the Southern Pacific Railroad.[151] In New Mexico there appeared the aforementioned White Cap movement of poor Mexicans against the land-enclosing tactics of well-to-do Mexicans and Americans. Western Kentucky and the Ohio-Mississippi Valley area were the scene of a tobacco farmers’ cooperative movement in the early 1900’s which sought to end the control by the American Tobacco Company and foreign companies over the tobacco marketing system.[152]

Farmers became increasingly attracted to the Socialist Party, and the non-indust rial state of Oklahoma soon led the nation in Socialist Party members. During World War I, a pacifist, anti-draft movement of sharecroppers and small farmers in Oklahoma resulted in the “Green Corn Rebellion.”[153] In 1915, the radical Nonpartisan League rose in North Dakota, enacting many reforms in that state and inspiring similar progressive farm movements in other states of the Northwest. The Farm Bloc emerged in Congress in the 1920’s to promote legislation for easing the agricultural depression. When conditions worsened in the 1930’s, the Farmers’ Holiday Association was formed in the Midwest to lead farmer strikes and boycotts against the economic system.[154] In our own 1960’s, the National Farmers’ Organization has adopted similar tactics.

The insurgent-farmer movements have thus formed one of the longest and most enduring chronicles in the history of American reform, but have been troubled again and again by violence. Nathaniel Bacon’s movement became a full-fledged rebellion which resulted in the burning of Jamestown. The New Jersey land rioters used violence to press their claims against the Jersey land companies. The New York anti-rent movement frequently used force against dominant landlords. The North Carolina Regulators rioted against the courthouse rings that burdened them with heavy taxes and fees.

The Paxton Boys of Pennsylvania followed their Indian massacre with a march on Philadelphia. The followers of Daniel Shays in Massachusetts disrupted court sessions to delay land foreclosures. Pennsylvania farmers rebelled against taxes on liquor and land in the Whiskey and Fries uprisings. The Western Claim Clubs (which, paradoxically, were sometimes dominated by land speculators pursuing their own interests) used intimidation to protect “squatters’ rights.”

The land reform movement in California gave birth to a “Night Rider” league in Tulare County, 1878–80, to resist railroad land agents. The tobacco farmer cooperative movement in Kentucky did not succeed in breaking monopoly domination of the marketing system until its Night Rider organization raided several western Kentucky towns, destroyed tobacco warehouses, and abused non-cooperating farmers. The New Mexican White Caps employed a reign of terror to fight the land-enclosure movement. The “Green Corn” rebels of Oklahoma contemplated a peaceful march on

Washington, but armed themselves and committed a few acts of violence before the movement was halted. The Farmers’ Holiday Association dumped milk cans, blocked roads, and manhandled opponents. Farmer grievances have been serious. Farmers repeatedly used a higher law—the need to right insufferable wrongs, the very justification of the American Revolution-to justify the use of violence in uprising after uprising.

6. Labor Violence

Historians have portrayed the labor movement in American history with the same sort of admiration as the agrarian uprisings. Most would agree that, by raising the health and living standard of the workingman, the American labor movement has been a significant factor in advancing the social well-being of the nation. But the labor movement has the same history of achieving glorious ends by inglorious means— violence—that characterized the agrarian movement.

A rudimentary labor movement existed in the port cities of the colonial period. While there was no organization of laborers as such, sailors, longshoremen, and other workers of the maritime industry occasionally rioted—stirred up, perhaps, by sporadic economic stringency.

The advent of the Industrial Revolution in the nineteenth century saw the birth of the labor movement. The tremendous growth of American industry after the Civil War was a prime factor. Various labor organizations mushroomed: The Knights of Labor, American Railway Union, American Federation of Labor, Western Federation of Miners (WFM), and the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). All made the strike a major weapon, and in case after case violence accompanied the strike.[155]

The blame lay not on the side of labor alone. The unyielding attitude of the owners in regard to wages, hours, working conditions, and the desire to unionize led to the calling of these strikes. Violent attempts to suppress unions and break up strikes frequently contributed to the violence. However, laborers were often more than ready to resort to violence, as many of the great upheavals after the Civil War indicate.[156]

The great railroad strike of 1877 triggered massive riots that reached the level of insurrection in Pittsburgh. At the same time, the decade-long troubles with the Molly Maguires in the coal fields of eastern Pennsylvania came to a head. The Molly Maguires was a secret organization of Irish miners who fought their employers with assassination and mayhem.[157]

Events such as the Haymarket Riot in Chicago (1886),[158] the Homestead strike (1892) [159] the Idaho silver mining troubles in Coeur d’Alene Cl892 ff.), and the 1910 dynamiting of the Los Angeles Times building[160] (by the McNamara brothers of the supposedly conservative American Federation of Labor) led Louis Adamic to label this period as “the era of dynamite” in American labor relations.[161] The last great era of violence in the history of American labor came in the 1930’s with the sitdown strike movement which accompanied the successful drive to unionize the automobile and other great mass-production industries.

7. Political Violence in Contemporary America

a. The Third Ku Klux Klan

The Klan rose again after World War II, this time in the form of numerous autonomous groups and confederations of “klaverns” throughout the South. Although most of its violence was directed against Negroes or civil rights workers, Jews and Catholics also were targets.[162] The loosely organized Klans are the most widespread and pervasive terrorist organizations presently on the American scene. The North Carolina Klan is documented and discussed in detail below and in Appendix D.

b. Black Extremist Groups

In the black community, murder and intimidation appear to be the principal weapons of the extremist fringe of militant groups. The Black Panther Party, first organized in Oakland, Calif., in 1966, now has units in many major metropolitan black ghettos. They have been involved in “shoot outs” with police,[163] and one Black Panther leader, Huey Newton, has been convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the killing of an Oakland policeman.[164]

Another extremist group is the Revolutionary Action Movement (RAM), which is dedicated to black revolution and takes its ideological cues from Robert F. Williams, a radical Negro recently returned from residence in Communist China.

Two alleged members of the Revolutionary Action Movement, Herman B. Ferguson, former New York City elementary school assistant principal and Freedom and Peace Party candidate for U.S. Senator, and Arthur Harris, a young black militant, were sentenced on Oct. 3, 1968, to three and one-half to seven years in prison for conspiring to murder moderate civil rights leaders Roy Wilkins, executive director of the NAACP, and Whitney Young, Jr., former national director of the Urban League. Ferguson and Harris were said to have denounced Wilkins and Young as “puppets” who had “sold out” the Negro people [165]

During the trial, the name of the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy was introduced as having been on a list of persons “who should be assassinated.” According to Edward Lee Howlette, an undercover agent who was the prosecution’s key witness, Ferguson said that Kennedy’s name was one of five on a list given him by Philadelphian Maxwell Stanford, who has been described by the FBI as the national leader of RAM.[166]

Apart from such relatively small and recently organized groups, however, there are few organized groups in the black community that use violence to achieve political aims. Spontaneous Negro riots may erupt as a form of political protest, but the black equivalent of the Ku Klux Klan has not yet appeared.

The black community has been as fertile in recent years in creating and using a rhetoric of violence as has white America. This may precondition the more extensive use of organized political violence by certain members of the black community.

c. The Extreme Right and the New Left

Organized violence to achieve political goals is also used by the extreme Right and elements of the New Left. The two groups are very similar in style and tactics.

It has been pointed out that the tactics of the New Left are virtually identical with those used at an early stage by the Nazis-a party traditionally grouped on the far Right.[167] To the extent that the New Left has an ideology, it candidly rejects, as did the Nazis, the rights embodied in the first ten amendments to the Constitution (such as freedom of expression), and an active advocacy of points of view that deviate from the values perceived by the adherents of the New Left.

The extreme Right often purports to act in defense of the first ten amendment rights, while advocating conduct which is directly contrary. Both the extreme Right and the New Left approve of violence as a tactic; indeed, some segments of the New Left express the view that violence for its own sake is a liberating, manhood-redeeming goal. The New Left rejects the notion of majority rule, for the majority is not necessarily correct in its view and policies, and the extreme Right rejects the implications of majority rule even when ostensibly acting in “defense” of the United States.

The position of the extreme Right becomes crystal clear when the necessity for defense is examined from their perspective. For example, the Minutemen, an extreme rightist group, has persistently protested that guns and guerrilla training are meant only for that moment when America is actually invaded by the “enemy.” The October 1968 issue of The Patriot (“official” newspaper of the Minutemen’s Michigan Patriotic Party), states:

MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT ... THE UNITED STATES HAS BEEN INVADED AND THE ENEMY NOW OCCUPIES THE KEY POSITIONS OF CONTROL: Education, Psychiatry, entertainment, communications, religion, government, the labor unions, and the news media. It is through these critical areas that the enemy has been able to influence and control the thought processes of the American people to a point of robotistic existence.[168]

The Minutemen’s rationale for bringing the force of arms to bear on political affairs was expressed in 1961 by Lt. Gen. Pedro A. del Valle, USMC (Ret.), president of the Defenders of the American Constitution, Inc., of Armond Beach, Fla. General de Valle issued a “revised version” of the Declaration of Independence which began:

When a free and sovereign people find their elected servants in government, and their appointed advisors, following a course of action contrary to their oath of office, destructive of the Constitution they have sworn to uphold, and leading relentlessly to the loss of their freedom and their sovereignty, they must perforce take the most effective action to restore sane constitutional government, or perish as a free and sovereign people.[169]

Attacks upon the legitimacy of democratic government and the loyalty of key government officials often characterizes a preassassination stage in a country’s history.[170] The extreme Right and some elements of the New Left merit concern because they help to create an environment of violence in which the assassination of political figures by mentally unstable persons becomes more likely.

B. Historical Comparison of the Intensity of Political Violence in the United States[171]

The previous section demonstrates that political violence has characterized the United States since its birth. To obtain a less subjective measure of such violence, the Task Force made a sampling of newspapers to compare the rate of incidents of political violence over the last one hundred and fifty years.[172] The incidents that were recorded ranged from riots and group assaults on individuals to individual assaults on local, state, or federal officeholders. We defined “political reasons’’ to include socioeconomic, ethnic, or religious reasons of community-wide implications. The aim was to determine, among other things, whether the United States was, in fact, becoming a more violent nation.[173]

The results of this sampling are shown in Figures 1 and 2. Figure 1 groups incidents of violence by five-year periods, and Figure? by ten-year periods; the results for both groupings are consistent. In both figures three curves are presented. The solid line represents the actual number of events recorded.[174] The other two curves represent the ratio of the number of events to the population of the country during the period involved, and the ratio of the number of events to the number of pages contained in the newspaper issues examined. The absolute number of incidents shows a significant rising trend since 1819, with dips during the decade prior to the turn of the century, the two decades on either side of and including World War I, and the decade including World War II. The figures show peaks of violence during the postReconstruction period and the turn of the century, a sharp rise during the depression, and a very striking increase during the 1960’s, which show by far the largest absolute number of politically violent events.

Using the absolute number of events, however, distorts the picture, for the one hundred and fifty years covered by the study were a time of rapidly rising population and rapidly increasing coverage and dissemination of information. Therefore, two additional curves are shown—one which adjusts the absolute number of incidents for population, and one which adjusts the absolute number of violent incidents for number of pages in the newspapers. Both adjustments must, of course, be considered as highly approximate. For example, simply adjusting for gross population takes no direct account of increased urbanization. Adjusting for newspaper pages makes no direct adjustment for the number of column inches devoted to news as opposed to advertisements, the increasing speed with which news could be disseminated with the invention of the telegraph, radio, etc., and, most important, it takes no account of variations, if any, of incidents seemed newsworthy. Crude as those adjustments are, together they give a more complete picture of the comparative intensity of political violence across the United States since 1819. Within the limitations of the sampling and adjustment technique, the results present an accurate picture.

The three curves indicate in general that the United States has in the past experienced high levels of violence comparable in intensity to the present day. The country does not appear to be passing through a period of unique internal political violence. The curves, consistent with generally accepted historical analysis, suggest that past violence has been associated with specific issues, such as agrarian reform, abolitionism, reconstruction, and labor violence. The turmoil of the 1960’s shows up, however, as a peak at least comparable to the high points of violence in the nation’s past. Relative to the impact of this violence upon the public, the intensity of violence in the 1960’s has probably not been duplicated since the turn of the century, or at least since the late 1920’s. Thus, most persons today have not experienced a comparably violent period of American history. The curves indicate that the level of political violence peaked in the post-Reconstruction era and began a downward trend; in the 1960’s there has been a sharp rise to a level approximating the post-Reconstruction era.

Figure 1.-Rate of incidents of political violence, 5 year intervals

][Figure 2. -Rate of incidents of political violence, 10 year intervals]]

Figures 1 and 2 show the number of violent events without considering the intensity of that violence. To attain an approximate measure of the comparatively intensity of violence, the frequency of personal injuries and the frequency of deaths were separately examined. This division is of particular significance in view of the fact that, included in the definition of “violent” events were those which resulted not only in personal injury but also in injury to property and disruption of normal activity. Death and injury are considered separately. The death and injury frequencies are broken down into injury and death to the targets on the one hand and to the attackers on the other. They are further separated into incidents involving injury or death to a single individual, group incidents where injuries occurred to fifty or fewer individuals, and group incidents where injuries occurred to more than fifty persons.

It is important for sampling stability to separate the incidents of more than fifty injuries. The number of events in which a large number of deaths or injuries occurred is still quite small, but one or two large events in a given period greatly alter the results for that period. Because no more than one newspaper issue per week was selected, it is possible that other large events occurred but were not included. The stability of the results is greatly decreased by the addition of the large events. In order to give greater stability to the sample, the results were grouped into thirty-year periods.

The frequency of deaths is presented in Table 1, from which several conclusions can be drawn. The first is that for none of the three categories has the last thirty years been the most violent in the United States, even in terms of absolute number of incidents. In fact, even without adjustments for population and the amount of reporting, the number of deaths is far below those of other periods. In absolute number of deaths, the peak occurs in the interval from 1879 to 1908. This judgment is consistent with historical analyses that have examined the post-Reconstruction period and the early labor violence. The Civil War era, 1849–78, also appears to have been violent, even though war deaths were excluded from the study.

Table 1.-Frequency of deaths.

For targets

Interval Individuals Groups 50 or fewer Row total Groups over 50 Grand total
1819–1848 5 17 22 0 22
1849–1878 17 31 48 300 348
1879–1908 63.4 148 211.4 75 286.4
1909–1938 3^.4 107.8 145.2 0 145.2
1939–1968 39.6 22 61.6 0 61.6

For attackers

Interval Individuals Groups 50 or fewer Row total Groups over 50 Grand total
1819–1848 0 5 5 0 5
1849–1878 0 24 24 0 24
1879–1908 2 76.8 78.8 75 153.8
1909–1938 4.4 30.8 35.2 0 35.2
1939–1968 4.4 24.2 28.6 0 28.6

Total deaths, targets and attackers

Interval Individuals Groups 50 or fewer Row total Groups over 50 Grand total
1819–1848 5 22 27 0 27
1849–1878 17 55 72 300 372
1879–1908 65.4 224.8 290.2 150 440.2
1909–1938 41.8 138.6 180.4 0 180.4
1939 1968 44 46.2 90.2 0 90.2

If adjustment is made for population or newspaper size, the result is even more striking. The ratio of deaths to total population and to newspaper size is lower during the last thirty years than for any thirty-year period since 1819. This holds true for all three categories.[175]

Table 2 presents these data with respect to the absolute number of injuries. Injuries are consistent with deaths, if injury only to targets is considered. Peaks occur where expected in the next two most recent thirty-year periods, which include post-Reconstruction early labor movement violence, and depression violence.

Table 2.-Frequency of injuries

To targets

Interval Individuals Groups 50 or fewer Row total Groups over 50 Grand total
1819–1848 2 22 24 300 324
1849–1878 12 31 43 375 418
1879–1908 33.4 273.6 307 75 382
1909–1938 28.6 297 325.6 3135 3460.6
1939–1968 13.2 227 240.2 0 240.2

To attackers

Interval Individuals Groups 50 or fewer Row total Groups over 50 Grand total
1819–1848 0 18 18 0 19
1849–1878 1 28 29 0 29
1879–1908 5 61.6 62.1 75 141.6
1909–1938 4.4 156.6 161 4180 4341
1939–1968 6.6 598.4 605 5665 6270

Total injuries, targets and attackers

Interval Individuals Groups 50 or fewer Row total Groups over 50 Grand total
1819–1848 2 40 42 300 342
1849–1878 13 59 72 375 457
1879–1908 38.4 335.2 373.6 150 523.6
1909–1938 33 453.6 486.6 7315 7801.6
1939–1968 19.8 825.4 845.2 5665 6510.2

The most recent period appears far more violent with respect to injuries than to deaths. When injury to attackers as well as targets is included, however, the picture shifts with the two most recent periods by far the most violent.

The anomaly is emphasized when adjustments are again made for population and newspaper size. Figure 3 presents the same four curves for injuries. When incidents involving injuries to fifty or more are excluded, the curves show a small increasing trend, with a previous high point during the 1879 to 1908 period. When total injuries are considered, 1879 to 1908 becomes the low point, and the last two thirty-year periods show up as the most violent of all by a substantial margin.

No one hypothesis seems to account satisfactorily for this. Injuries could have increased because crowds have become larger. Of course, the increase in crowd size would not detract from genuine changes in the levels of violence. It may be that the improvement in medical facilities has reduced what otherwise might have been fatalities. It may be that newspaper reporters have been more sensitive to political violence in recent decades. A combination of factors is most likely involved.

Figure 3.—Injuries through time adjusted for population and newspaper size

One factor that is clearly of significance is the increased newspaper coverage of incidents of political violence. Because a sampling technique was used, an incident reported in only one issue was much less likely to be noted than one covered in several issues. The effect would be to skew the data toward greater violence in recent years.

We cite the following two examples from an earlier era, reprinted in its entirety:

Washington Daily National Intelligentsia, March 30, 1834, p. 3, col. 2: “The Hon. Ben T. Major, State Senator in Missouri, was stabbed a short time since at Warsaw, in that state, by a Mr. Cherry, and died of the wound. Cause, a political quarrel.”

New York Times, June 28, 1854, page 1, col. 6:

RIOT AT RIPLEY, OHIO-Cincinnatti, Monday, June 26. A not occurred at Ripley, Ohio, on Saturday night, caused by the inmates of a coffeehouse throwing rotten eggs into temperance meeting. The temperance men rifled the coffeehouse, and then visited all the liquor shops in town, and those that did not agree to give up their businesses were assaulted. No Eves were lost The weather is oppressively hot and business is very dull.

In addition, death is a more extreme consequence of political violence than injury, and may well be a more stable measure of the intensity of the violence. The data do not distinguish serious injury from slight injury. It is likely that increased interest in political violence may have resulted in reporting as “injuries”, events which would not previously have been so reported. As pointed out above, it is the reported number of injuries to attacking groups that appears inconsistent with the other data

Last, data is presented on the reasons or motivation for the violence. Table 3 presents the results for broad categories of motivation, and Table 4 sets forth a selection of the particular subcategories that contributed the most to the trend within those broad categories.

Table 3. —Frequencies of reasons for politically violent events over time.

Interval Personal motivation Action against authority Foreign affairs protest To change official leadership Reaction of official groups Protests based on group antagonisms Total
1819–1849 6 0 0 0 0 16 22
1849–1878 27 11 0 0 2 60 100
1879–1908 89.7 18.4 0 3.2 12.4 178 301.7
1909–1938 50.6 77 6.6 6.6 33 191.4 365.2
1939–1968 61.6 123.2 39.6 2.2 4.4 235.4 466.4
Total 234 9 229.6 46.2 12 51.8 680.8 1255.3

The information collected is consistent with other historical analysis. Several trends appear in the data. In table 3, personal motivation is shown to rise as a reason for attack during the 1800’s but after the turn of the century, it falls quite rapidly. In contrast, action against authority shows a sharp rise within the last two thirty-year periods. Foreign affairs protests are heavily concentrated in the most recent thirty-year period. It thus would appear that personal motivations for politically violent events have in general been replaced by more deep-seated controversies over the role of government.

Table 3 indicates that there have been very few attempts to change official leadership through politically violent events. Although Table 3 shows that there has been a steady increase in protests based on group antagonisms, the sharp rises occurred prior to the turn of the century. There is an exceptionally high point, relative to population, in the post-Reconstruction era.

An important finding is that there has been a sharp decrease in political violence based on the reactions of official groups. The period in which this type of reaction was greatest was in the World War I depression era; in fact, that period accounts for almost two-thirds of the recorded incidents.

Table 4. -Frequencies of specific reasons for politically violent events over time & Code Numbers

1. Economic gain

2. Personal revenge

3. Political disagreement

4. To gain political advantage

5. To obtain a political goal

6. Response to social conditions

15. Protest police action

16. Protest action of local officials

23. Protest current involvement in war

25. To protest government action in foreign affairs

31. To effect change in political personnel

40. Religious antagonism

41. Labor antagonism

42. R acial antagonism

43. Political antagonism

44. Differences in social viewpoints

45. Internal group antagonisms

50. To maintain official authority by police

The general impression is that protests currently are more impersonal; that is, they involve protests against actions of authorities, group antagonisms, or, in the latest period, foreign affairs protests. Attempts to change official leadership have always been low in frequency. Official reactions as a basis for political violence occurred with frequency only in the 1879 to 1938 period. Personal motivation, although fairly high, has been decreasing since the post-Reconstruction era.

Table 4 shows some interesting changes within the broad categories. For example, although there has been a decline in the general category of personal motivation, there are countertrends with subcategories. Personal revenge and political disagreements were the major reasons in the post-Reconstruction era, while most of the incidents in the latest thirty-year period have been to gain political advantage.

In the “action against authority” category, changes result from the striking increase in the number of events in response to social conditions. The foreign affairs increase arises from contemporary protests over involvement in wars, specifically the Vietnam war.

Examination of group antagonism shows relatively few politically violent events due to religious antagonism. Similarly, relatively few incidents have been reported that deal with differences in social viewpoints or internal group antagonism. Further, although there have been more events based on political antagonism in recent periods, this is not a major category, and the number has decreased in the last thirty years.

Almost all the events based on group antagonism have occurred either because of labor or race. As expected, the level for labor increases sharply in the post-Reconstruction era, reaches a peak during the World War I-Depression era, and then drops sharply in the most recent period. Relative to population, in fact, the number of politically violent events based on labor antagonism is less during this most recent period than for any but the pre-Civil War period. On the other hand, racial violence has been highest during the latest period, although relative to population it was highest in the post-Reconstruction era.

General Summary of the Newspaper Study

As has been noted, the data from the newspaper study must be treated with caution. They are based upon a sampling drawn from only one newspaper for each given period of time. Some crude adjustments were made for population and newspaper space. The study has been an attempt to supplement intuitive historical judgments about levels of political violence over a period of one hundred fifty years. The basic conclusions of this study are:

1. The absolute number of politically violent events has increased greatly in recent years. However, adjustments for both newspaper size and population indicate that this period of history is no more politically violent than previous high points of political violence in our history.

2. With respect to the intensity of such events, the number of deaths as a result of political violence is far less in the most recent period than it has been in others.

3. The total number of injuries for both attackers and targets is quite high during the last thirty-year period. However, the number is below that of the World War 1-Depression period (1909–38). Data based on death provide a different picture from that based on injury, but the best judgment must still be that the present period is no more violent than some previous ones, and may be significantly less in violence resulting in death.

4. The motivation for political violence shows important changes. Group antagonisms and action against authority have been an increasing basis for politically violent events. Labor and racial antagonisms have dominated the picture. The post-Reconstruction era and the present period have witnessed the largest amounts of racial strife; the period between these two (World War II Depression) saw the height of labor violence.

5. Some motivation for political violence have been almost entirely absent in the history of the United States. Political violence to change official leadership and religious antagonism have been rare. Except for the period in which the greatest amount of labor violence occurred (1909–38), violence by official authority to maintain control has also been quite low.

C. Profile of Support Within the United States for Political Violence

This section seeks to identify the characteristics of persons within the United States who support political violence, based upon an analysis of a national cross-section sample survey designed by the Commission and administered by Louis Harris and Associates.[176] We seek to isolate both social-structural and personality factors which are causally related to support of political violence, and in turn to isolate for analysis groups of persons who are disproportionately supportive of violent political acts.[177] The survey was conducted in the latter part of October 1968, with a total sample of 1176 adults. Initial comparisons of the survey data with census data indicate that the sample conforms closely with the expected distributions of basic demographic characteristics of the population. The only exception is a slight overrepresentation of Negro respondents.[178]

A copy of the entire interview schedule is to be found in the Appendix to this report. It contains much of the standard demographic and political information in addition to items designed (1) to yield attitudinal responses which might indicate support for or approval of violence to achieve political goals in general, and (2) to determine by direct questions one’s willingness to support the use of violence in political situations perceived as unjust.[179]

We wish to caution against the tendency to leap from analyses of attitudes to expectations of behavior. It is important to remember that the results of this survey are based on a sample of the population who were interviewed in their own homes. In addition to the possible biases that may exist in the interview situation, there is the problem of deciding, on the basis of publicly expressed attitudes, the behavior in which individuals are likely to engage. The relationship is difficult to determine. Nevertheless, attitudes that are expressed in private to interviewers have been found to relate to the behaviour of individuals, and the material is, therefore, important for developing tentative hypotheses about the basis of political violence in the general population.

One finding of interest is that the attitudinal factors which appear to predict the use of political violence in general do not predict one way or the other stated approval of violence in situations of perceived governmental injustice. The two approaches apparently reveal different dimensions of support for political violence. We will discuss each dimension in order.

Table 5—Factors{20}

Factor I. Anomic authoritarianism

Item No. Item
16 A few strong leaders
13 People better off in old days
01 Justice rough and ready
14 Friendship lacking in world today
09 Everything changes so quickly these days
15 What young people need most is strong discipline

Factor II. Political vengeance

Item No. Item
25 Sometimes I have felt the best thing might be the death of political leaders
07 Government is enemy, not friend of people like me Some politicians have deserved death threats

Factor III. Acceptance of political violence

Item No. Item
10 If people go into politics they more or less have to expect that they might get killed
18 Politicians who change too fast have to expect death threats
21 A lot more people in government and politics will probably be assassinated in the next few years

Factor IV. Police violence

Item No. Item
24 Police wrong to beat up unarmed protestors
06 Police frequently use more force than necessary
20 Anyone who insults a cop has no complaint
19 Sex criminals should be whipped

Factor V. Military violence

Item No. Item
12 In dealing with other countries we are frequently justified in using military force
03 Government too ready to use military force
17 Unfortunate many civilians are killed but can’t be avoided in a war

1. Analysis of Groups Whose Attitudinal Responses Indicate Support for Political Violence

In order to discover basic underlying dimensions of attitudes, a factor analysis{21} was completed by Louis Harris and Associates.[180][181] Five factors emerged from the twenty-five original items. Those factors are set forth in Table 5, and the loading factors are shown in Table 6.

Factor I emerged from the items (with one exception) drawn from previously developed scales, the F-Scale and the Anomy Scale. This factor was named Anomic Authoritarianism.” Factor II, which we have called Political Vengenance,’ was drawn from three items which seem very directly to indicate approval of politically directed violence and the perception that the government was a hostile force and threatening to the respondent.

Factor II, which is called “Political Vengeance,” is based upon three items which appear to denote a less hostile set of attitudes about political violence. Passive acceptance of violence rather than the active participation and support indicated in Factor II seem to be the attitudes shown here.

Factor IV, “Police Violence,” is based on items which seem to measure support or disapproval of police violence. Factor V, “Military Violence,” is based upon items with similar intent dealing with military force. Table 7 presents the correlations of the items in the factors.

Table 6-Factor loadings

Factor I Factor II Factor III Factor IV Factor V
.6910 .7370 .7938 .7867 .7051
.6593 .6837 .7346 .6190 .6857
.6507 .6054 .6576 .6127 .5591
.5902 .3558

2. Political Vengeance

For this analysis, we selected Factor II, “Political Vengeance,” as the dependent variable (or variable to be “explained”). The three items in Factor II seem to offer a direct opportunity to support or reject violence as a political strategy and also to combine acceptance or rejection of political violence with a measure of the degree to which a respondent distrusted the federal government. Each of the items in this factor which concerns political violence is acceptably related to the “Government is the enemy” item, the correlations being .196 and .267, respectively. The other correlations of the items within each of the five factors are set forth in Table 7.

In the next section we will attempt to validate the selection of Factor II, “Political Vengeance,” as the key factor for analysis. Following that discussion, vze will proceed to an analysis of the politically vengeant person.

3. Political Vengeance and Other Types of Violence: An Attempt at Validation of the Measure

In order to validate the measure of Political Vengeance, we correlated it with a number of different measures drawn from the survey data. In addition to the four factors identified above, the following measures were used.

Table 7. Factor Intercorrelations, (unweighted) Pearson R

I. Anomic authoritarianism

16 13 01 14 09 15
16 .267 .240 .227 .243 .248
13 .300 .379 .308 .251
01 .267 .245 .259
14 .254 .387
09 .183

II. Political vengeance

25 22 07
25 .267 .251
22 .196

III. Acceptance of political violence

10 18 21
10 .441 .303
18 .310

IV. Police Violence

24 06 20 19
24 .250 -.130 -.078
06 .130 0.026
20 .283

V. Military violence

12 03 17
12 .012 .310
03 .019

Assassination Relief. Among other data sought in the survey was the degree of emotional distress, neutrality, or satisfaction experienced by the respondents after the assassinations of President Kennedy, Malcolm X, George Lincoln Rockwell, Medgar Evers, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Senator Robert Kennedy. We asked respondents to indicate to what degree they felt “Hopeless,” “Shocked,” “Afraid,” “Angry,” “Relieved,” and “Not Affected” at the time of each assassination. The resulting Assassination Relief Index isolated those who were the least “hopeless” and the most “relieved” with respect to each assassination and then each respondent’s score was combined in a summary over all the assassinations. The relationship of this measure of approval of real political violence (assassinations) and Political Vengeance was fairly high—a correlation of .226.

Revolutionary Violence. This index isolated those who said they would approve illegal sit-ins or the use of violence to counter perceived governmental injustices in four situations: (1) where Congress has imposed an unfair tax; (2) where Congress had forbidden free-speech criticism of the government; (3) where the government is arresting Negroes although there had been no trouble; and (4) where the government is arresting and shooting innocent people to maintain power (see Appendix, questions 18—21).

Personal Violence. This index isolated persons who said they had slapped^ kicked, punched, or beaten another person in anger as an adult. There was no relationship between this measure of violence and Political Vengeance.

Firearm Ownership. This index isolated the group of people who owned’ firearms. This factor did not correlate with any of the measures of political violence, but it was not controlled to isolate those who owned pistols from rifle and shotgun owners.

The correlations of the foregoing indexes and factors are set out in Table 8a.[182]

Table 8a.-Inter-factor Correlations

As shown in Table 8a, the Political Vengeance factor is related to several other factors which by their correlation partially validate that factor as a measure of support for political violence. For example, the correlations between the Police Violence factor and the Political Vengeance factor is +.221 and the correlation between the Assassination Relief scale is +.226. These are rather significant correlations in view of the number of respondents in the survey.

There is a somewhat more modest association between the Vengeance and Military Violence factors (r=.149), but is is in the expected direction, indicating that Political Vengeance and approval of the use of military force are associated far beyond the chance level.

The strongest correlation is the positive relationship between Political Vengeance and Acceptance of Political Violence (r=.300). This suggests that Political Vengeance is accompanied by a willingness to tolerate or accept as inevitable the occurrence of political violence.

A further examination of the Political Vengeance factor showed that the addition of the Acceptance of Political Violence factor did not substantially improve the predictive power of the Political Vengeance factor when it was tested against other violence-related variables such as the personal violence scale, authoritarianism, military violence and the like. A chart was constructed using the Political Vengeance and Acceptance of Political Violence factors. The scales were trichotomized into low, medium, and high, and a nine-cell typology resulted. The first cell contained persons very low on both Political Vengeance and Acceptance of Political Violence, and the ninth cell contained persons who were very high on both these measures. An examination of this chart indicated that, while Acceptance of Political Violence did not decrease or increase agreement with violence-related items against which they were run, cells in which persons were high on the Political Vengeance factor were equally good predictors of these measures as were cells in which the high vengeance and high acceptance respondents were located. In other words, the addition of the acceptance factor made no difference in the level of support or opposition to other measures of violence.

Thus, both a complex attitudinal measure of support for violence and a measure of relative approval of real political murders (the assassination relief scale) are positively associated with our measure of Political Vengeance, leading us to conclude that it is an acceptable attitudinal measure of support for political violence.

4. Analysis of the Social Structural Characteristics of the “Politically Vengeant”

Accepting the Political Vengeance factor as a valid indicator of support for political violence, we now move to the question of what accentuates the presence of this behavior in the American population.[183] For example, what are the demographic and social status correlations of high vengeance? What influence does the political system have on vengeance, and how often is strong policy opposition accompanied by a willingness to support political violence? We may also be able to give some very limited tests to several theoretical ideas which might be useful in predicting what groups in society might be prone to support political violence. Among these are the theory of relative deprivation, the class conflict model, and the influence of racial conflict on political vengeance.

For the purposes of this analysis, the scores individual respondents received on the Political Vengeance factor (hereafter called “Vengeance”) were combined into four groups. These groups were formed by collapsing the total distribution of the factor so that each group (with the exception of group 3) contained the number of respondents falling in two groups of scores on the original scale. In the case of the high group, identified as group 3, there were so few cases at the very extreme end of the distribution that this group was constructed to include all cases beyond a score of 9 on the Vengeance factor. An examination of Figure 5,will make this process clear. Thus, the original scores, ranging from 3 to 15 on the Vengeance factor, have been collapsed into four groups, as follows:

Group 0 = score of 3 or 4 on the Vengeance Factor
Group 1 = score of 5 or 6 on the Vengeance Factor
Group 2 = score of 7 or 8 on the Vengeance Factor
Group 3 = score of 9 through 15 on the Vengeance Factor.

According to Figure 5, there are one hundred and five cases that fall one standard deviation to the right of the mean of the scores (scores 9 and 10) or about nine percent of the sample: an additional 36 cases (about three percent of the sample) fall two standard deviations to the right of the mean.

][Figure 5,-Frequency distribution of scores of respondents on factor II, political vengeance]]

Thus more than twelve percent of the adult population in the country can be thought of as having relatively high levels of political vengeance. We do not, of course, know if this is a proportion of the population that is greater or smaller than at some other time in our history. It is safe to conclude, however, that political vengeance, and, by inference, support for political violence, is not a trivial or diminutive problem. One of every ten Americans supports statements that are, when viewed from the perspective of the responses of the remaining ninety percent of the population, rather highly supportive of political murder. Further, this support is accompanied by extreme distrust of the government. Translated into the terms of the resident civilian adult population, more than twelve million people in the United States share the views of the respondents at the higher end of the Vengeance scale.

5. Demographic Correlates of Political Vengeance

Race. Race was an important predictor of political vengeance. Figure 6 shows the distribution of two racial groups on the Vengeance scale from 0 through 3. About the same proportion of whites and blacks fall at the lowest end of the Vengeance scale, but as we approach the higher end, the proportionally Negroes increases; at the highest point on the scale there are, proportionally speaking, twice as many Negroes as whites. Such an extreme difference requires further explanation, and considerable attention will be devoted to the factor of race in the sections devoted to this question.

][Figure 6.—Racial factor in political vengeance]]

Regional difference. Figure 7 shows the distribution of regional groups by political vengeance. Although this table includes all respondents (i.e., both black and white), it is nevertheless interesting to note that the South contributes twice as many highly vengeant persons as the Midwest, more than twice as many as the West, and a third more than the East.

][Figure 7.—Regional factor in political vengeance]]

Many commentators have observed that the South is the locale of a violent culture. Martin Luther King, Jr., John Kennedy, Medgar Evers, and George Lincoln Rockwell were all assassinated in the South, the scene for years of lynchings, bombings, and other kinds of terror used to suppress the black and sometimes the white population. It is clear from the figure that this culture of violence is not a “one percenter” phenomenon. Almost twenty percent of the Southerners score at the high end of the Vengeance scale, and, unlike other regions, only fifteen percent of the Southern respondents manifest a relatively low level of vengeance.

It might be argued that these differences in part result from the fact that the South has a greater proportion of lower income persons with lower levels of formal education; it will certainly be necessary to control for income level and educational level in further examinations of this finding. However, with the data available, it is possible to control for race. This also has the effect of introducing a limited control for education and income, for blacks are, especially in the South, least likely to have high or middle incomes or relatively high levels of formal education. Figure 8 shows the distribution of Vengeance by region for blacks, and Figure 9 shows the same data for whites. These figures show that the pattern of Southern violence is especially prevalent among whites. Southern whites are twice as likely to be highly vengeant as Eastern or Western whites, and almost twice as likely as Midwestern whites. The pattern changes, however, for blacks. The Eastern blacks are by far the most vengeant segment of the population, with twenty-eight percent falling at the high end of the Vengeance Scale. Southern blacks are next, followed by Midwestern and Western respondents.

][Figure 8.-Distribution of vengeance by region for blacks]]

][Figure 9.-Distribution of vengeance by region for whites]]

Negroes in the Eastern States are largely located in the great urban ghettos of New York, New Jersey, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. Other sources of data indicate that these ghettos are the scene of much militant political activity and it is to be expected that this activity, along with the deplorable conditions of life in these areas, would yield great distrust of and hostility toward the government. Riots in these and other cities constitute further evidence that urban blacks have been disproportionately hostile to the government. Regretably, we do not know from these data whether the relative hostility of the black population in these areas has increased or declined. However, it is certain that a disproportionately large number of blacks, especially Eastern urban blacks, express profound hostility toward the government; more than a quarter of this population expresses rather general support for the statements that make up the vengeance scale.

Income and Education. As we have noted before, income and education are both variables that have a strong effect on the level of support or opposition that a respondent shows on the Vengeance scale. In general, the effect can be seen as a strong inverse relationship between increasing levels of income and education and support for political vengeance. Figures 10 and 11 present the distribution of education and income on the vengeance scale. These figures clearly show that, as income and education increase, the proportion of respondents in the high vengeance cells of the figure declines rapidly. For example, at the lowest levels of education—persons having an eighth grade education or less—roughly twenty-two percent—are found in the high vengeance group. This proportion falls to about seven percent among
those who attended college and declines to zero among those with a college degree. There is a slight increase in vengeance among persons in the sample with postgraduate degrees, but the number of cases is so small that this cannot be viewed as significant.

][Figure 10.— Vengeance and combined family income]]

The same general pattern can be seen in the figure reporting combined family income. At the lowest levels of income, between fourteen and twenty-one percent of the respondents fall at the high end of the Vengeance scale; at the higher levels, between zero and six percent are at the same level on the Vengeance scale.

It remains to be seen whether or not increased levels of income have the effect of diminishing vengeance among both racial groups. Figure 12 considers only persons at the two extreme ends of the vengeance scale. The line labelled “Low Vengeance” is made up of persons with a score of zero on the scale and those labelled “High Vengeance” are persons with a score of three. Figures 13 and 14 present the same data for whites and blacks. In these two figures, however, the income groups have been compressed from eight categories to five in order to increase the number of respondents in each income group at the extreme end of the vengeance scale.

][Figure 11. Vengeance and education level]]

As Figure 12 indicates, there is a strong and almost linear decline in the proportion of persons at the high and low ends of the vengeance scale as income increases and decreases. Essentially, this figure is simply a repetition of the data found in Figure 10 except for its exclusion of the middle range of scores on the Vengeance scale. Figure 13 presents the same data for whites, and it is quite clear that a similar pattern prevails among this group; as income increases, vengeance declines, as income decreases, vengeance increases. Figure 14, on the other hand, presents quite a different picture. Although the number of cases in this figure is rather small, it is still clear that increasing income levels among blacks does not have the same effect as it does for whites. Why is this the case?

Under a classical formulation of the class-conflict argument, we would expect that as we examine more and more deprived segments of the population there should be greater and greater levels of hostility to governmental structures—except at the very lowest level, where we should find little or no revolutionary sentiment. The curve for whites in Figure 13 gives some support to this argument, despite the fact that the relationship at the lowest level is not the expected direction. Although this is an extremely crude formulation of the class-conflict hypothesis and an equally crude measure (i.e., simply family income), the argument in general is supported within the white population.

Figure 12. Proportion of income groups at high and low ends of the vengeance scale

The picture for blacks, however, suggests two alternative formulations. On the one hand, the blacks may form the segment of the population that, in the contemporary United States, is the functional equivalent of the classical lumpenproletariat; perhaps they should not therefore be expected to show great differences in their hostility toward the government despite increasing income level. This argument is rather insubstantial, for, as we have seen, blacks are much more likely than whites to be high on political vengeance and cannot, therefore, be treated as a prerevolutionary segment in the classical Marxian sense. Therefore, it seems most reasonable to conclude at this stage
of the analysis that factors more imporatnt than simple class position are operating to produce the generalized support for vengeance found among the blacks. A number of possible factors might be: racial discrimination, relative deprivation irrespective of income level, the presence and increasing appeal of separatist and black-militant ideologies, and the allocation of federal monies for military expenditures at the expense of programs designed to improve the lives and expectations of the black population of the country. It may be that simply increasing income levels among Negroes will not necessarily increase their confidence in the government and the social system.

Figure 13.-Proportion of income groups among whites at high and low ends of vengeance scale

Unless the factors that have produced such high levels of distrust among the black population are attacked at the same time that their relative poverty is reduced, programs simply designed to increase income may not have the intended effect, i.e., the successful integration of the black population into the value and class system of the United States.

Figure 14.-Proportion of income groups among blacks at high and low ends of vengeance scale
Figure 15.—Education and vengeance for blacks

Figures 15 and 16 report educational levels of blacks and whites. The general pattern here is the same found in the data on income, except that increasing levels of education appear to have a stronger effect on vengeance among whites than does income. The data from the high and low groups on the vengeance scale are repeated in Figure 17, where the pattern is quite clear.

Figure 16.-Education and vengeance for whites
Figure 17 -Effect of education level on proportion of respondents at high and low levels of vengeance

Figure 18 is based on Figures 15 and 16, where vengeance is examined by the educational level of white and black respondents. Inspection of these figures indicates that low-vengeance blacks and whites have about the same proportion of respondents at each level of education, with vengeance varying inversely with increasing education. In the case of the high-vengeance blacks and whites, the two curves diverge rather sharply. As educational attainment increases among whites, the proportion of high-vengeance respondents falls off rapidly. This is not the case with blacks, among whom a large proportion of highly vengeant respondents are found at all but the highest educational levels. Again, however, the number of cases used to establish these curves is very small and should be taken as a suggestion rather than a substantial finding. Nevertheless, the overall effect of education on diminishing support for the Vengeance scale is far greater for whites than it is for blacks.

Figure 18 -Proportion of high and low vengeance groups by race at various levels of education

6. Vengence and the Political System: Party Identification and Policy Orientation

We have already seen (Table 8a) that high assassination relief scores are related to political vengeance and that political vengeance is closely tied to the concept of political trust. We therefore ought not to expect that our highly vengeant respondents have “normal” attitudes about the American political system. Nevertheless, it is worth while to give further consideration to the question of the political attachments of highly vengeant respondents. Let us look first at the national election of 1968.

Interest in the election is shown in Figure 19 for the persons reporting that they were “very interested” in the election and those “not much interested” in it. Presumably, disinterest in national elections is in part an indicator of alienation from the political system, and we should expect to find greater proportions of the low-interest respondents at the higher ends of the Vengeance scale. In fact, we do. Again, however, when race is controlled, blacks are found to contribute higher proportions of persons who are both disinterested in the election and highly vengeant. Indeed, thirty percent of the blacks in the “not much interested” group were at the high end of the Vengeance scale, compared with fourteen percent for whites. This underlines our previous analyses: blacks are disproprtionately alienated from the political system and express this alienation in the form of disinterest in one major intersection of public opinion and political policy.

Figure 19.-Interest in (1969) campaign

a. America’s Presidential Elections

A rather different pattern emerges when we look at the presidential preference of our respondents in the national election of 1968. Figure 20 reports these distributions for the entire sample.

][Figure 20.—Presidential choice (all respondents)]]

Although there were no substantial differences between Nixon and Humphrey supporters in the proportion of these groups located at the high end of the vengeance scale, persons who supported George Wallace contributed, proportionately, almost three times as many highly vengeant respondents as either the pro-Nixon or pro-Humphrey groups.

As we might expect, Wallace supporters were ninety-nine percent white. Wallace’s campaign was partially based on appeals to racism, and was also replete with violent or emotionally charged references to many of America’s political leaders—threatening to throw some of them in the Potomac, calling others traitors and communist sympathizers. This tactic evidently appealed strongly to about a fourth of his supporters. Among the set of highly vengeant white respondents with a presidential preference, just under half of them—forty-five and two-tenths percent—were found in the ranks of the Wallace supporters.

Wallace was successful in mobilizing by far the greatest share of politically vengeant white persons in the national election of 1968. He did so on the basis of appeals similar to those which have mobilized the opposition of the blacks to our political system. The implications of this finding are ominous indeed. Political vengeance is highest in two groups in the society who have little attachment to its political system and who have increasingly become the political, and in some cases revolutionary, targets of militant demagogues who openly espouse violence as a means of social change.

Figure 21 reports the partisan identification of the respondents in the sample. The question asked, “Regardless of how you may vote, do you usually consider yourself a Democrat, a Republican, an Independent or what?” There is little difference between the two major parties in their level of vengeance, with Republicans having a lower proportion at the high end of the vengeance scale—conceivably a product of their generally higher levels of education and income. “Other” (specific party) and Not sure reflect a disproportionate number of the politically vengeant but the low number of such respondents makes any detailed discussion impossible. In particular, the impact of Wallace’s American Independent Party cannot be assessed although such respondents should technically have listed themselves in the “Other” category; many may have called themselves ‘ Independent (American Independent Party) or Democratic. We can speculate that some persons attracted by Wallace but with a traditional party loyalty would appear in the “Not sure” category.

Figure 21 -Party identification

A final measure of political attachment and party switching produced a finding that is consistent with our expectations about political vengeance. Figure 22 reports the percentage of persons reporting party switches in a “conservative direction” (those who switched from the Democratic to the Republican Party), a “liberal direction” (those who switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party), and those remaining in their initial party. Consistent with Figure 21, the group contributing the smallest proportion of vengeant respondents was the stable identifiers. The largest was those switching away from the Republican Party in a “liberal direction.”

Figure 22 -Party switching

b. Vengeance and Position on Political Issues

When we analyze highly vengeant respondents in terms of their positions on selected political issues, we find that they tend to cluster at the two extremes. In other words, persons at the extremes are much higher in the proportion of respondents at the high end of the Vengeance scale. Figure 23 reports the distribution of opinion on the issues of preferred policy in Vietnam. While reading this table, it must be remembered that this question was asked before the bombing halt was ordered by former President Lyndon Johnson early in November 1968. As this figure shows, the proportion of highly vengeant respondents decreases as one moves toward the middle of the figure. The central column, containing persons favoring a continuation of the then current U.S. policy, contributes the smallest proportion of highly vengeant respondents. This same pattern appears in Figure 24, which reports respondents’ views on the speed of integration. Those stating that integration was proceeding too slowly and those saying it was proceeding too rapidly are more than twice as likely to have highly vengeant respondents in their ranks as the group who state that integration is going at “about the right” speed.

][Figure 23.-Policy favored as a solution to war in Vietnam (October 1968)]]

Figure 24.-Political vengeance and speed of integration-both races]]

Another measure of policy relating to civil rights (Figure 25) shows that persons favoring segregation are far more likely to be highly vengeant than those favoring integration or “something in between.

][Figure 25.-Political vengeance and segregation-both races]]

c. Conclusions to Political Vengeance Analysis

We have seen that region has had a substantial effect on the production of vengeance, with urban blacks and Southern whites being the most vengeant. Race is a high predictor of vengeance, as are low levels of education and income. The psychological variable, Anomic Authoritarianism, and the acceptance of political violence variable are closely associated with vengeance. Vengeance itself is very closely tied to low levels of political trust and adherence to the extreme positions upon the various political issues discussed above (Figures 23,24, and 25).

7. Analysis of Persons Who Indicate Support For The Use of Illegal Tactics or Violence in Response to Perceived Governmental Injustice

As noted in the introduction to this section, one extremely interesting relationship which appears from the data is the very weak (r=.O68) correlation of the Political Vengeance measure to the measure of willingness to support “revolutionary violence.” For the convenience of comprehension, the correlation matrix set forth in Table 8a is repeated here as Table 8b. The revolutionary violence measure was constructed from questions posing hypothetical situations in which the government is portrayed as having enacted increasingly repressive and dictatorial policies which would be expected to produce hostile responses from the population.

Table 8b. Inter-factor correlations

For example, the first hypothetical situation involved the imposition of a highly unjust tax by Congress, and the last involved the arrest and execution of innocent people by the government to keep itself in power. A series of responses were also proposed, including expressing an opinion about the matter, organizing a group concerned about it, illegally sitting in, and finally an armed revolt against the government. The Revolutionary Violence index was produced by considering only the two most extreme responses: participate in an illegal sit-in, and armed assault.

Because the Revolutionary Violence items attempt to measure opposition, though illegal or violent, to unjust and repressive governmental action, and because the vengeance measure is based on items that seem to measure indiscriminate support for political violence, we need not be surprised at the absence of a relationship between these two variables. To the extent that the questions about governmental injustice reveal “civil libertarianism,” we might expect the correlation with Political Vengeance to be negative. To the extent that the violence or illegality of the response eliminate those committed to the democratic form of government, we might expect the correlation with Political Vengeance to be positive. Perhaps the best conclusion at this stage of the analysis is that these are really two distinct types of violence and that the two sets of responses merit further study.

The fact that “Political Vengeance” and “Revolutionary Violence” did not tap the same groups is demonstrated by their different relationships to other violence factors investigated, as shown in Table 8b. Anomic Authoritarianism is a salient example.

The Anomy scale was initially devised to measure a person’s relationship to the social structure -in particular to isolate those persons who were socially alienated and detached from contemporary values. The authoritarianism scale was an attempt to isolate persons who, among other things, placed a great emphasis on toughness, were non-introspective, presumably tolerant of authoritarian governments because of their general submission to authority figures, and were ethnocentric. The Anomic Authoritarianism factor is strongly associated with many of the other variables in the matrix, such as Police Violence (r=.31O), Acceptance of Violence (r=.356), Military Violence (r=.335) and, of course, with Political Vengeance (r=.246). The social-psychological constructs which underlie the scales of authoritarianism and anomy are precisely those which we would expect to contribute a disproportionate number of persons to society who are potentially violent or who support violence in political and other forms. There is, however, a strong negative correlation between the anomic authoritarianism factor and the revolutionary violence scale (r=- .248). Thus, the persons who were high on items which purport to measure detachment from the social system and submissiveness to authority were very low on a measure of their willingness openly to oppose authority even when unjust, yet high in their support of violence in political contexts in general.

There are other striking differences. Acceptance of violence correlates very highly with Political Vengeance (r=.3OO), but not at all with Revolutionary Violence (r=.008). Perhaps more significantly, the Assassination Relief measure also correlates highly with Political Vengeance, (r=,226) but not at all with Revolutionary Violance (r=.007). In addition, Acceptance of Police Violence correlates with Political Vengeance, (r=.221) but again not at all with Revolutionary Violance (r=.O24).

Another difference, although not so strong and perhaps in an unexpected direction, is the moderate correlation between Revolutionary Violence and the experience and use of Personal Violence (r=.162), and the absense of any such correlation with Political Vengeance (r=.O14).

Thus, the persons who say they would respond with illegal or violent acts to governmental injustice—the “revolutionarily violent”—are quite unlikely to be anomic or authoritarian, and are likely to have had experience in personal violence (fist fights and the like). Apart from this, none of the other violence factors we have investigated serves to isolate revolutionarily violent persons from the rest of society.[184]

Thus we turn to an item-by-itcm analysis of the responses to each of the questions from which the revolutionary violence scale was derived in an attempt to shed some light on the revolutionarily violent and to analyze the significance ol different responses to different items in the revolutionary violence measure.

Item-by-item analysis of responses to perceived governmental injustice.

The Hypothetical Situations

The following situations were presented to the respondents:

1. Imagine that Congress has passed a law that makes you pay just as many dollars in taxes as people who make a lot more money than you do.

2. Imagine that Congress has just passed a law prohibiting anyone from saying anything against the government.

3. Imagine that the government has just arrested and imprisoned many of the Negroes in your community even though there had been no trouble.

4. Imagine that, in order to keep control of the country, the government starts arresting and shooting large numbers of innocent people including members of your family.


Respondents were first asked if they strongly approved, approved, disapproved, or strongly disapproved of each situation that was described. The results are presented in Table 9.

Table 9.-Degree of Approval-Disapproval For Each of the Four Hypothetical Situations{22}

Taxes Free speech Negro arrest Shooting innocent people
Strongly approve 2 2 1 1
Approve 1 2 0 u
Disapprove 21) 27) 311 10)
Strongly disapprove 74 68/ 65
Not sure 2 3 4 1

Actions That Individuals Would Take

For each of the situations, respondents were asked to indicate which of the following responses they felt it would be all right to take:

1. Express an opinion to friends on what is happening.

2. Sign a petition about what is happening.

3. Organize a group who is interested in what is happening.

4. If nothing else worked, participate in an illegal sit-in to express one’s feelings about what is happening.

5. If nothing else worked, participate in a physical assault or armed action because of feeling about what is happening.

In addition to being asked what actions the respondent felt it would be all right to take, he was also asked, if he responded yes, whether he himself would be likely to engage in it. The results are presented in Table 10.

Table 10,-Percentages endorsing each response by issue

Action Issue
Taxes Free speech Negro arrest Shooting innocent people
Express opinion 74 73 76 67
Sign petition 73 73 69 65
Organize a group 61 64 61 67
Illegal sit-in 11 17 18 37
Physical assault 3 9 9 48

Table 11 describes the extent to which the respondents would themselves take any given action. There are two numbers presented for each action. The first is the percentage of respondents who agreed that a particular action was all right and who then said they were likely to engage in it themselves. The second figure applies this percentage to the total number of respondents approving the action. In other words, seventy-four percent of the total respondents said it was all right to express an opinion with respect to the taxes item (Table 10). Of those seventy-four percent, ninety-three percent said they themselves would take that action (Table 11, first number). Ninety-three percent of seventy-four percent is sixty-nine percent (Table 11, second number), or the total of all respondents who responded both “all righit” and “likely to take the action themselves.”

Table 11.-Percentage taking personal action

Taxes Free speech Negro arrest Shooting innocent people
Express opinion 93/69 94/69 94/71 97/65
Sign petition 88/64 89/65 88/61 94/61
Organize a group 54/33 65/42 64/39 83/56
Illegal sit-in 53/ 6 66/11 69/12 83/31
Physical assaule 43/ 1 71/ 6 59/ 5 86/41

It would appear that the four items are in ascending degree of injustice, from unfair taxes to shooting innocent people. The results of overall disapproval, thus, are somewhat unexpected. (The total level of disapproval for each item was virtually unanimous and not significantly different, though it did tend to scale slightly upward, as expected). When strong disapproval alone is considered, we find that while shooting innocent people scores highest, the next highest response is to unfair taxes, with arrest of Negroes receiving the least amount of strong disapproval. The expected pattern of responses, however, returns if we consider only the most serious action responses—illegal sit-in and physical assault. The percentage of respondents who stated both approval of those actions and willingness to engage in those actions was lowest with respect to unfair taxes, tied as to prohibiting free speech and arresting Negroes, and was highest by a wide margin as to shooting innocent people.

The Political Activist

The foregoing responses were analyzed in terms of a number of factors. We selected for more detailed discussion one of these variables, which we called “Political Activity.” It was selected because it appeared to produce the most consistently significant explanation for “revolutionary violence,” i.e., high levels of stated approval of the most severe forms of response to governmental injustice and a high level of willingness to engage in such activities. This variable was constructed by asking all respondents to indicate which actions they personally had taken to express their views about political or social issues. Their replies follow:

Percent who have taken action Discuss with friends 97
Write a letter to a newspaper or to
an elected official.
Contribute money to an organization 32
concerned about the issue. 32
Sign a petition.
Express your opinion in person to a 53
Government official. 27
Organize a group.
Participate in a legally permitted 8
Participate in an illegal but 8
nonviolent demonstration.
Participate in a riot(Less than 14 of 1 percent) 3

The first action, discussion with friends, is so universal that it does not sufficiently discriminate between groups. The last two actions were engaged in so infiequently that they provided too few cases for analysis. Accordingly, our political activity factor was confined to consideration of the six other actions on the list.

All respondents were classified into three groups according to the number of different activities they had participated in: low (No or one activity), moderate (two, three, or four activities), and high (five or more activities). As expected, when actually applied to the survey data, the Political Activity index appears to be the variable which is most consistently explanatory of the more severe responses in each of the four hypothetical situations of governmental injustice.

For example, the political activity factor as applied to the unfair tax and the infringement of free speech items is shown in Tables 12 and 13:

Table 12.—All right response by political activity-free speech infringement

Response Political activity
Low Moderate High
Express an opinion to friends. 74 72 73
Sign a petition. 67 76 75
Organize a group. 54 66 82
If nothing else worked, participate in an illegal sit-in to express one’s feelings. 11 16 34
If nothing else worked, participate in a physical assault or armed action. 4 8 21

Table 13.-All right responses by political activity—unfair tax laws

Response Activity Low Moderate High
Express an opinion to friends. 76 73 74
Sign a petition 66 76 78
Organize a group. 51 62 81
If nothing else worked, participate in an illegal sit-in to express one’s feelings. 9 9 22
If nothing else worked, participate in a physical assault or armed action. 3 2 6

At the least severe level (expressing an opinion or signing a petition), there appear to be no significant group differences, but starting at the next level (organizing a group), the Political Activity index becomes highly discriminatory. For example, with regard to infringement of free speech, three times as many of the highly politically active would participate in illegal sit-ins, if nothmg else worked, than would those of low political activity (eleven percent vs. thirty-four percent). The ratio increases to five times (four percent vs. twenty-one percent) with respect to physical assault or armed action.

A high score on the Political Activity index was also a high predictor of severe action responses in the “shooting of innocent people” item[185] (Table 14).

Table 14.-All right response-shooting innocent people

Response Moderate High political activity
Participants in illegal sit-in 37 56
Physical assault or armed action 48 71

The Political Activity factor is related to a stated willingness to take the approved action. For example, in the “shooting innocent people” item, the percentage of those stating approval who also said they would take the action themselves is as follows:

Activity Low Moderate High
Participate in illegal sit-in 73 85 91
Physical assault or armed action 74 89 91

We cannot assume that high Political Activity factor entirely explains high Revolutionary Violence. As demonstrated above, however, the politically active do account to a highly significant degree for Revolutionary Violence, and their demographic profile differs greatly from the “politically vengeant discussed in the first part of this section.

The demographic profile of the political activist is shown in Table 15, which sets forth the Political Activity index for each variable considered. In brief, Table 15 shows that the most politically active are younger, have higher incomes, feel confident of their financial future, are males, are well educated, and are salaried or self-employed rather than hourly workers. A heavier than average proportion is Jewish, a smaller proportion Protestant. A high proportion was reared in a large city, and a disproportionately high number now lives in the suburbs. They are strongly represented in the West and heavily underrepresented in the South. Race alone does not predict political activity; the proportion of Negroes among the active group is as large as among the inactive group.

Age Low Moderate High
18–20 2 4 3
21–30 19 23 25
31–40 16 21 27
41–50 17 18 17
51–60 18 16 17
61–65 6 3 2
Over 65 22 15 9
White 78 86 81
Negro 20 12 18
Other 2 2 1
Under $3,000 21 22 4
$3,000-$4,999 20 11 6
$5,000-$6,999 18 19 17
$7,000-$9,999 25 25 20
$10,000-$ 14,999 13 22 32
$15,000-$19,999 2 8 12
$20,000-$24,999 1 2 4
$25,000 and over * 2 5
Financial status in
last few years
Getting better 37 49 56
Getting worse 17 15 11
Stayed the same 45 35 32
Not sure 1 1 1
Financial status in
next few years
Get better 40 51 57
Get worse 10 10 6
Stay the way it is 39 33 34
Not sure 11 6 3
Male 47 49 70
Female 53 51 30
4th grade or less 6 1 1
5 th to 8th grade 27 14 3
Some high school 28 17 13
High school graduate 28 36 22
Some college 8 19 29
College graduate 2 8 15
Postgraduate 1 5 17
Employment status
Hourly wage 39 30 24
Salaried 23 37 45
Self-employed 11 13 18
Employment Status Low Moderate High
Retired 19 13 9
Student 1 2
Military service * 1 1
Housewife 3 2 _
Unemployed 2 1
Other 3 2 1
Protestant 69 64 56
Catholic 26 28 25
Jewish 1 2 6
Other 3 4 8
Not classified 1 2 5
Church attendance
Regularly 38 44 45
Often 13 14 12
Seldom 41 35 33
Never 8 7 10
Where brought up
Farm 39 28 18
Town 27 28 29
Small city 13 16 13
Large city 21 28 40
Military service
Veteran 39 56 46
Active 1 1 1
Reserve 1 2 4
Never been in service 59 41 49
East 26 28 33
Midwest 28 30 24
South 36 24 14
West 10 18 29
Size of community
Metro city 31 27 32
Suburban 18 29 36
Urban town 21 21 20
Rural 30 23 12

Given such a disparity in demographic profile between the political activist and the politically vengeant, the absence of a negative correlation between Revolutionary Violence and Political Vengeance suggests that there are significant elements other than political activism that enter into Revolutionary Violence.

Another way to focus upon the distinction between Political Vengeance and Revolutionary Violence, is through analysis of another item, the so-called Senator item.

Response to “Legitimate” Political Conduct Perceived as

Highly Harmful to the Community—The “Senator” Item

The respondents to the survey were told:

Your senator has blocked legislation which you believe is essential to protect the rights of every citizen. The senator has come to your town and is making a speech in a public auditorium to gain support for his point of view.

A senator is a duly elected official who has the right in a democracy to block legislation even when some persons may strongly disagree with such action. Furthermore, he is engaged in the classic kind of conduct contemplated by democratic procedures—making a speech in an effort to gain support. On the other hand, the legislation he is blocking is “essential to protect the rights of every citizen.” The responses to the dilemma might shed light upon the nature of the revolutionarily violent and the politically vengeant.

Respondents were asked to indicate which of a selected list of activities they would condone, and which they themselves would be likely to participate in. The results of the entire line of questioning are detailed in Table 16.

Table 16.-Percentage condoning and participating in activities

Response Condone Likely to participate
Carry signs expressing disapproval of the position of the Senator 92 59
Boo during pauses in the Sanator’s speech where the Senator was expecting applause 36 66
Participate with others in systematically booing and stamping feet so that the Senator was unable to continue his speech and be heard 17 60
Throw rotten tomatoes or other objects which could not harm the Senator but which would demonstrate disapproval 5 55
Throw empty bottles or other objects which could not do serious or permanent harm to the Senator but which would demonstrate the extent of disapproval 2 20
Use a gun or other weapon to inflict serious enough harm to the Senator so that he would have to turn over his position to another person 1 14

Significantly, the data showed that the politically active, although more prone to approve booing, were no more likely than the average to condone more extreme forms of dissent. This tends to suggest that the politically active do not consider “revolutionary” violence an appropriate response to highly disfavored political conduct which is within the bounds of the democratic process.

Likewise, blacks do not differ from whites in refusing to condone the most extreme response of using a gun or other weapon (two percent), as would be expected under the Political Activist model, but not expected under the

Political Vengeance model. Blacks do, however, tend more to condone booing (fifty-five percent), booing and stamping in rhythm (37 percent), and throwing rotten tomatoes (sixteen percent) and bottles (seven percent). ’

In addition to asking what the respondents would condone or do themselves, the survey asked what their friends would condone and what activities their friends would be likely to engage in. The results are set forth in Table 17.

Table 11. -Percentages of those condoning and likely to participate (responses for self and for friends)

Self Friends
Response Condone Likely Condone Likely
Carry a sign 92 59 90 70
Boo 36 66 49 81
Participate in booing and
stamping of feet 17 60 30 78
Throw tomatoes 5 55 13 63
Throw empty bottles 2 20 7 48
Use a gun 1 14 3 52

Only in the case of the first response is there a greater percentage of stated endorsement for the individual than for his friends. Beginning with the second most serious response, the percentage for friends is greater than for the individual himself. This relationship continues through all of the remaining responses. The politically active, however, responded above the average level for all acts except for inflicting serious physical harm.

High political Total activity (percent) (percent)
Carry signs 90 93
Boo 49 68
Systematically boo and stamp feet 30 41
Throw rotten tomatoes 13 20
Throw empty bottles 7 11
Use a gun or other weapon 3 3

The picture with respect to Negroes also changes with the “friends” response. For all the more serious responses a much greater proportion of nonwhites than whites indicated that their friends would condone such an action. In the case of booing, fifty-nine percent of the non-whites indicated that their friends would support this action, while only forty-six percent of the white respondents do. In the next case, the percentages are forty-six to twenty-six percent, and so on. In fact, fully one out of every five non-whites said that they thought their friends would condone throwing bottles at the Senator, whereas only one out of twenty-five whites gave this response for their friends

Response Percent, Friends overall rates Percent, Friends White Percent, (Friends) Nonwhite
Carry signs 90 90 (n=657) 91 (n=158)
Boo 49 46 (n=332) 59(n=102)
Systematically boo and stamp feet 30 26 (n=187) 47(n=81)
Throw tomatoes 13 9(n=69) 28 (n=49)
Throw empty bottles 7 4(n=31) 20 (n=34)
Use a gun or other weapon 3 2(n-ll) 7(n=12)

The foregoing section is only a brief analysis of the data collected by the commission survey. We can, however, make the following tentative conclusions: Our finding with respect to political vengeance supports the basic assertions of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission) which summarizes its studies of recent disorders as follows: “Our nation is moving toward two societies, one black, one white—separate and unequal.”[186] Blacks in the United States, particularly those in urban ghettos, are manifesting their distrust of America’s political institutions and political system in ways that are strongly supportive of political violence. Whites, particularly those directly threatened by the prospect of black equality, are also responding with violent opposition to this same political system. The net result is the formation of large groups in our society who are violently antagonistic toward each other and, at the same time, hostile to the political order as we know it. This division in the society may be characterized as the formation of two warring camps of white racists and black militants. These two groups are so intensely hostile to the political system that they are willing to use violence against their political enemies and against the government in their quest for realization of their values and goals.

Our findings with respect to revolutionary violence indicate that those who state a willingness to respond with violence to perceived governmental injustice differ from the politically vengeant. To a significant extent, the latter group is composed of political activists; young, highly educated, urban, and with a relatively high income. This is the very group from which our democratic system should expect to derive its greatest support. This group tends to respond with violence to perceived governmental injustice, although our data suggests that they will tolerate, without violent response, political actions of which they highly disapprove if these actions still fall within the bounds of democratic procedure.

We believe that the findings in this section strongly support the basic finding of this report: i.e., the remedy for political violence in general, and assassination in particular, lies in meeting the root causes of social unrest and perceived injustice. We have found no shortcut to political tranquility.

D. The Rhetoric of Vilification and Violence in Contemporary America

Although assassination for political purposes has been virtually nonexistent in the United States, political groups within our society, especially those of an extremist nature, have used violence as a means to achieve their ends. In the 1960’s, violence by extremist groups, such as the Ku Klux Klan, the Black Panthers, and the Minutemen, has been a tactical device intended to achieve specified goals. Violent behavior also draws public attention to the organizations and their causes.


These groups use a rhetoric of vilification and violence. Groups advocating violent behavior justify its use and acceptance to achieve objectives of the organization. For the individual disposed to engage in violent acts, advocacy of violence by the group provides him with a rationale for his behavior and even the promise of increased acceptance within the group.

Some of this rhetoric goes beyond the advocacy of violence in general and the moral justification for individual acts of violence. Such rhetoric often pinpoints and vilifies a specific target—Martin Luther King, Jr., Robert Kennedy, the incumbent President, members of the police force (indiscriminately chosen), and the like. Some literature even goes on to indicate the weapon best suited for the task, appraising and evaluating the alternatives conveniently available or providing information as to where they may be obtained.

A group that uses the rhetoric of vilification and violence as an acceptable political stratagem, then, can supply an individual with a motive, a climate receptive to the act, the potential admiration of his peers, the target, a justification for the behavior, and information on the capability and availability of weapons. When these factors are combined with any psychological aberrations or personality disorders an individual might have, a tragedy may result.

Systematic vilification of political leaders has been identified as one of the preconditions for assassination in a democracy.[187] The preceeding posters are just three examples, the last perhaps the most sinister of all. In each, political figures are identified as criminals and in the last case home and office addresses are given as well as the usual route of travel between the two. The sources of these verbal and pictorial attacks are both left and right wing.

An extensive collection of the rhetoric of vilification and violence employed by contemporary groups appears in Appendix B.[188] The material illustrates the climate of violence encouraged by these groups, their directives for group members to arm and kill other human beings, their advice on weaponry, and specific examples of group-connected violent acts.

The evidence set forth in Appendix B indicates that exhortations to violence are connected with violent acts. We do not suggest that because this relationship exists the present scope of the protection of speech under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution should be narrowed. We do report that our studies indicate violent and inflammatory rhetoric and deliberate vilification of officeholders have a seriously corrosive effect upon democratic institutions and may be a substantial preconditioning factor for extreme political violence, including assassination. There appears to be no need for responsible journalists to depict the President of the United States as a deliberate murderer of children or a vice president as a sewer rat. Sewer rats should be killed. Do we mean to suggest that? Should we suggest that?

We repeat: we do not suggest any limitation of the right of free speech. Too much is to be lost by any such limitation. We do suggest that much more is to be gained from a responsible use of free speech than may have been previously realized. All of us should consider what we really mean before we attribute epithets such as traitor, murderer, fascist, and communist to those with whom we disagree.

E. Two Contemporary Violent or Potentially Violent White Vigilante-Type Groups

Our data, in particular section C of this chapter, have shown that a special potential for political violence exists in black ghettos and in those segments of the white population directly threatened by black aspirations. The black urban ghetto has been analyzed, among other places, in the report of the National Commission on Civil Disorders (the Kerner Commission). In analyzing the problems which lead to the violent and potentially violent confrontations between black and white, the white side of the equation is too often simply dismissed as “racism.” Racism, however, is a symptom of underlying social conditions. These conditions must be identified if the violence associated with white racism is to be reduced.

We selected for study two current American vigilante-type movements, neither a stranger to violence, and both responding to a perception of a black threat; (1) The North Carolina Ku Klux Klan—a product of the rural poor whites in the South, called by Peter Young, consultant to this Task Force, the White Ghetto; and (2) The North Ward Citizens’ Council of Newark, an example of a so-called backlash group.

This section is drawn from the work of Peter Young, consultant to this Task Force. He collected important original material of great value which included tape recordings of a Ku Klux Klan rally, interviews with Exalted Cyclops Billy Flowers and Grand Dragon J. Robert Jones, a Klan-sponsored radio program, semi-underground “segregationist” records distributed through the Klan, and an interview with Reverend Will Campbell, a churchman long concerned with ministering to the poor rural white ghetto from which the Klan draws its strength. In addition, Mr. Young tape-recorded a campaign speech and an interview with Tony Imperiale, leader of the North Ward Citizen’s Council in Newark, N.J., a so-called vigilante group representative of the white northern urban blacklash. He also interviewed Dan Watts, editor of the black nationalist magazine, The Liberator, and Paul Krasner, editor of The Realist and founder of the Youth International Party (Yippies). These tapes are summarized in Appendix D.

He describes the development of this interest as follows:

The first Klan rally I attended was held on the outskirts of Hillsboro, N.C., about ten miles from the wellspring of Southern liberalism at Chapel Hill where I had been a graduate student in the late 1950’s. I was at the rally as a newsman, representing WRAL-TV of Raleigh.

It was a small rally—only about 1,500 of the faithful in their dirt-stained dungarees and their sweat-stained gingham dresses. And as those raucous cries of nigger, nigger split the Southern night, I was shaken—perhaps stricken is more accurate—by the realization that the drive for minimal justice in behalf of black people had come to this: the ordinary white people of the South, God’s people, were on the edge of a collective nervous breakdown composed in roughly equal parts of ignorance, rage and paranoia....

I felt as though I had blundered into the scene of an awful disaster-with the dead, dying, maimed and crippled all around me. If you have read Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, you will recall the scene in which the protagonist, Yossarian, goes into the back of the plane to give first aid to Snowden. Yossarian thinks that he is dealing with a relatively minor wound, until he unzips Snowden’s flak suit and the youngster’s insides come tumbling out all in a heap on the floor of the aircraft.

After some months of debating with myself I committed my life into the hands of precisely those wounded men, women and children I saw in that first Klan cow pasture.

So I do not pretend to be a neutral, unbiased observer.

The section on the North Carolina Ku Klux Klan that follows uses Mr. Young’s words, selected and organized from the prolific material provided to this Task Force.

1. North Carolina Ku Klux Klan (White Ghetto)[189]

The forgotten man in America’s continuing racial crisis is the low-income white. He it is who has carved out, against considerable odds, a struggling, marginal existence symbolized by the little house, the car, the television set, and the tax bill that comes due each year.

Life has not been easy for this man; he is unimpressed by the argument that the average Negro has suffered even more. It is the low-income white whose precarious life style is directly and immediately threatened by the improvement in status of the Negro and his reaching out (with governmental backing) for better horizons which include a job, a decent home, and education for his children.

The reaction of the low-income white to the rise of the Negro was easily predictable. The white reacted with an explosive mixture of fear and hate. Since nobody else seemed to care about his situation, he became a sitting duck (in North Carolina) for recruitment by the Ku Klux Klan.

The stork did not bring 20,000 Kluxers to North Carolina. They were made here, in this America, our North Carolina, just as surely as the textiles, tobacco and furniture are also products of “Variety Vacationland.” These Kluxers, organized into more than 200 chartered Klan units, came out of the white ghetto as the indigenous leaders of a gravely wounded people.

Southern leaders have tended to minimize the importance of this phenomenon. In North Carolina in 1965, Governor Dan K. Moore said there were only “618 hard-core Klansmen” in the Tar Heel State. The Governor defined a hard-core Klansman as one who would drive hundreds of miles each week to attend Klan rallies and transact Klan business, all without pay, as a sort of labor of love. Dragon J. R. [Bob] Jones quite correctly replied that if the Governor’s own definition were accepted, then there were more “hard-core” Klansmen in the State than hard-core Democrats or Republicans.

A similar game is being played on the national level. The gaping wounds of American black people can no longer be denied, but it is still possible

for a little while longer yet to maintain the fiction that this is an isolated case and that the ordinary white American is doing very well indeed in this paradise of free enterprise and democracy. But truth will out—in fact, it already has. (The white ghetto exists just as surely as the Black.)

My dictionary defines a ghetto as “any section of a city in which many members of some national or racial group live, or to which they are restricted.” This definition does not have to be stretched very far in order for us to talk about the white ghetto of the Carolina Klan.[190]

The average Tar Heel Kluxer (as I have known him) was born into grinding poverty, poorly educated in substandard schools, economically exploited and officially harrassed.

Most white Americans (and many black people) have some difficulty in believing that in this year 1968, in this prosperous America, that white citizens exist by the millions in an environment which is so lacking in elemental respects as to be fertile breeding ground for hatred which is finally expressed in a murderous racism.

Permit me, then, to quote at some length from the report of another Presidential Commission, the National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty (Chairman Edward Breathitt), which issued its report in September, 1967. The quoted excerpts are from the Rural Poverty Commission’s summary of its report:

“Rural poverty is so widespread, and so acute, as to be a national disgrace, and its consequences have swept into our cities, violently.... They (the programs) were developed without anticipating the vast changes in technology, and the consequences of this technology to rural people...Most rural programs still do not take the speed and consequences of technological change into account[191]...In contrast to the urban poor, the rural poor, notably the white, are not well organized, and have few spokesmen for bringing the nation’s attention to their problems[192] ...The more vocal and better organized urban poor gain most of the benefits of current antipoverty programs[193]...the Nation’s major social welfare and labor legislation largely bypassed rural Americans ... we have been oblivious of the rural poor...Rural poverty in the United States has no geographic boundaries. It is acute in the South, but it is present and serious in the East, the West and the North. Rural poverty is not limited to Negroes...whites outnumber nonwhites among the rural poor by a wide margin...Hunger, even among children, does exist among the rural poor...The rural poor have gone, and now go, to poor schools...Unemployment and underemployment are major problems in rural America...Most of the rural South is one vast poverty area...The community in rural poverty areas has all but disappeared as an effective institution.”[194]

Those who profess surprise that an organization such as “The Klan” should emerge from the environment described above are naive. What do they expect?

As far as a descriptive picture of “the white ghetto” is concerned, there is nothing I can add to what is already so abundantly in the record from this previous Commission. But I can add several observations:

1. The appointment of each new Commission (including the Commission on Violence) is greeted by most citizens with a withering blast of cynicism. We have had a plethora of Commissions, federal and state, telling us rather precisely what is wrong and what needs to be done. Yet nothing is done; the recommendations are not followed. The problems continue. It is not so much that the recommendations are ignored: they are usually good for a “special” from Walter Cronkite. Rather, The System seems unable to do what its own best experts proclaim is essential. It is not entirely facetious to suggest that we might need still another Presidential Commission to examine the question of why previous Commissions have proven so ineffective!

2. We hear a great deal of easy talk these days (often from men whose colonial ancestors whirl in their graves) to the effect that “there is never any excuse or justification for violence, no matter how bad conditions may be.” It would be more correct, and not at all hypocritical, to say that people’s violence is often misdirected in terms of target and frequently counter-productive in terms of result. The fact is that the grievances so well summarized by the Rural Poverty Commission far exceed those grievances which caused our forefathers to separate (violently) from a distant and rather benign king. The same, of course, can also be said, and must be said, for our black and white brothers trapped in the misery of deteriorating cities. It was the Kerner Commission, which dissected that environment.

3. I am not in the business of comparing misery, of saying that Group A in the southern country side is more miserable (or less) than Group B in the northern metropolis.[195] I am simply saying that for both Group A and Group B—and perhaps Groups C through G as well—the level of unrelieved misery has long since passed the tolerance threshold, and we are therefore—surprise! suprise!—confronted by an explosive level of alienation that is marked by frequent incidents of violence.

4. For the low-income Southern white—whose grievances are numerous, legitimate and painfully real—it comes therefore as an unbearable shock to hear repeated expressions of governmental concern for the problems of black people. Never mind that these expressions are almost invariably hypocritical, designed simply for vote-getting purposes. The point is that the low-income Southern white—that bigot, that redneck, that racist, that hate-monger—doesn’t even get the hypocritical expressions of concern from the government which is also his. It is exactly at this point that the average white ghetto citizen displaces his hatred from government officials (where it belongs) to his black neighbors, who also are victims of the very same shell game. This shell game is profitable for some; the driving of a deep wedge between ordinary white and black citizens is precisely what perpetuates the power of a tiny minority, the country club elite. Quite often, the Klansman, as indigenous leader in the white ghetto, has a better understanding of this than do his followers. Example: the young preacher at the Klan rally at Four Oaks, N.C., shouted to the multitudes—“When they say HEW, they mean nigger health, they mean nigger education, they mean nigger welfare! You and I are just going to have to suffer it out by ourselves, the best way we can, like we always done.”[196] But is this Klan preacher, at rock bottom, furious with “niggers” or “they”? To ask such a question is to answer it. And it is similarly no accident that the overt expressions of hostility in the Wallace campaign are always directed at “pseudo-intellectuals, pointy-headed guideline writers,” etc.

(The white ghetto citizen has committed violent and atrocious acts—against both Negroes and whites—those whites such as civil rights workers which he sees as challenging his world. Their rhetoric is deadly sick with hatred for Negroes. See Appendix D, for many examples, as well as Appendix B.)

But at some level of his being, the white ghetto citizen knows he is living a lie. Dimly, he recalls his many human contacts with black people all along the twisted trail of his life. He is on fire with hatred, as the result of a difficult life in an impoverished environment; this diffused hatred is suddenly focused on “the nigger,” as if the latter were a lightning rod for all the ailments of the world. Yet in the very act of picking up his gun and acting out his hatred, the white ghetto citizen protests that it is not “niggers” whom he really hates. And to a considerable extent, he is right. What we call “racism” is more the expression than the cause of the highly contagious, collective frustration which afflicts the white ghetto these days in epidemic proportions.

You see, there is a magnificent Gravy Train which continues even now to roll across the American landscape. But unfortunately, it does not make all the required stops.[197]

White and. Black Ghettos: Similarities and Differences


1. No liquid capital for investment.

2. Low level of skills-people becoming “obsolete.”

3. Feelings of powerlessness, rage, alienation, etc.

4. Fierce compensatory pride.

5. Heavily armed and arming.

6. Violence as a life style-has been expressed internally, but now is beginning to be externalized.

7. Infrastructure of indigenous, secret organizations operating outside the legal, constitutional framework.

8. Significant political activity outside two-party system.


1. White ghetto: No intellectual leadership or indigenous professional services.

Black ghetto: Increasingly adequate intellectual leadership-black cultural explosion.

2. White ghetto: Family structure still intact, but under increasing strain.

Black ghetto: Family structure splintered-no father figure, matriarchy.

3. White ghetto: Vices largely private and unorganized, with possible exception of “moonshine” liquor.

Black ghetto: Racket-ridden community-heroin, prostitution, numbers, etc.

4. White ghetto: Few, if any, constructive governmental programs-much abuse, threats, etc.

Black ghetto: Many poorly conceived, mismanaged governmental and private programs—innumerable expressions of concern. Hopes aroused, then dashed.

5. White ghetto: Constant harassment from most state and federal law enforcement agencies but not ordinarily local police.

Black ghetto: Constant harassment from local police.

6. White ghetto: Advanced paranoid delusions that United States is about to be taken (or already has been taken) by Communist-Jewish-black conspiracy.

Black ghetto: Mild paranoid delusions among militants that official policy of overt genocide is just over the horizon.

2. North Ward Citizen’s Council (Urban Backlash)

The North Ward Citizen’s Council in Newark, N. J., has been labeled a white vigilante group and has been identified with the so-called “white backlash.” With the help of Peter Young, we taped a campaign speech and an interview with Mr. Anthony Imperiale, head of the North Ward Citizens’ Committee, who was running for city councilman-at-large. His campaign speeches were demonstrably successful; he won his seat by a greater majority than any other candidate. Thus, the campaign speech and the interview, both of which are summarized in the appendix, merit the reader’s special attention.

From the speech and interview we can conclude that the persons to whom Mr. Imperiale apparently appeals are not sick persons. They are, however, learning to resent what appears to them to be the position of favoritism taken by the government toward the urban Negro. They are beginning, like the Klansmen, to see the government as hostile rather than responsive to the needs of their community. They are quick to spot and resent the hypocrisy of the white legislator who requires the integration of the public school to which they must send their children because they cannot afford the private school to which the legislator sends his children.

Klan resurgence in North Carolina and white backlash vigilantism in Northern cities is a warning signal that the American racial crisis is not going to be solved at the expense of the low-income white. We have already heard from the Negro precincts that the crisis cannot be solved at their expense. This crisis can only be solved, not at someone else’s expense, but at ours.

F. Summary: Cultural Origins and Impact of Violence

As the previous portions of this report have pointed out, much of the violence in the United States today is based on the confrontation between black and white. We attempt, however, to go beyond the specific violence-producing circumstances of today to identify, if possible, the cultural basis for the recurrent resort to violence to redress perceived grievances throughout United States history.

Such violence in the United States, though directed toward broadly political issues, has not been directly associated with formal political parties. Indeed, the two-party system of the United States has been a remarkably stable mechanism. For one hundred eighty years, with the exception of the Reconstruction period, political power at local, state, and federal levels has shifted nonviolently from party to party.

Nor have third-party movements been violent, even though our system is designed to make them unsuccessful.”[198] The ballot, not the bullet was the method used by the Populists of the 1890’s, the different progressive parties of 1912, 1924, and 1948, the various socialist parties, and the plethora of other minor political parties that have arisen, including the Communist Party.

Organized political violence has characterized single-issue movements, almost all of which were ultimately successful in their broad goals. The values which this violence imposed on the social structure have often been adopted, and the violence condoned, by significant groups within the United States. Examples include the Abolitionist movement, the labor movement, agrarian movements of various kinds, the white supremacy movement in the South, and the temperance movement. The last two examples are not exceptions to the generality that the values supported by violence were ultimately adopted by the majority involved. The first Ku Klux Klan was successful in reimposing white supremacy which lasted nearly a century, until its serious challenge in the present decade. The temperance movement was successful in imposing prohibition. The experiment in prohibition was ultimately rejected, as we trust the experiment in white supremacy will ultimately be rejected, but the values espoused by movements characterized by violence were at least temporarily adopted by the dominant society.

Many theories have been advanced to explain the apparent high level of violence found within the United States, of which assassination is but one manifestation. The frontier tradition, with its emphasis on the individual’s often violent assertion and protection of his rights, is one explanation. The high level of immigration and the resulting friction between the newer and more established groups is another theme found in the analysis of violence within American society. Slavery, the Civil War, and the Reconstruction period eroded faith in legal processes as the chief means of resolving social conflict. Violence by groups seeking to direct attention to their plight and to force the political system to respond to their needs is another frequent theme. Violence is identified with the recognition of trade unions, the periodic revivals of the Klan, and the recent riots in urban areas.

By themselves, these explanations are not sufficient. Australia, for example, has a similar frontier tradition and has had immigration of different ethnic groups, although not on the scale of this country. Yet, assassination is virtually nonexistent in Australia; there have been only two unsuccessful attempts and one known assassination in the history of the country.

It would appear that supplemental conditions within the American experience help account for the American pattern. For example, there is a predominant emphasis on achieving specified ends or goals, with less consideration given the means for such achievement. In times of upheaval, little attention has been given to the procedural and institutional facilities designed to achieve change within the society. American folklore has also emphasized direct action and individual initiative. The use of violent acts to achieve personal goals—and, it should be noted here, usually nonpolitical personal ends—if not part of the general cultural mythology, is certainly the image reinforced by the visual and printed media. In many respects, the American cowboy, a powerfully attractive figure in American folk culture, has proved an amalgam of these themes. It is noteworthy that the heroes have been individuals who acted on their own to achieve their ends—Billy the Kid, Jesse James, and the classic portrayal of the Western sheriff.

Equally compelling within the American experience has been the emphasis placed on freedom of conscience. Many of the founding fathers sought to escape religious persecution. This search for freedom of conscience has continued to serve as a reason for migration to this country. The dedication to individual conscience, a product of the earlier Calvinist tradition, and the willingness to suffer ostracism and employ unconventional, even potentially violent, means to realize goals unpopular to a majority of citizens are recunent and accepted strains in American social history.

Finally, the prevalence of weapons in concert with the emphasis on direct action, the ends to be achieved, the glorification of individual initiative, and ideological commitment are supplementary explanations of the currents of violence throughout American history.

Perhaps the best insight into the subtle and perplexing relationship between political violence and American values and culture can be gained through an examination of vigilantism.[199] Vigilantism became such a pervasive feature of American life that it developed its own self-justifying ideology. There were four main elements in the philosophy of vigilantism:

(1) Self-preservation. It is the first law of society and the basis upon which its structure is built. To the vigilante, the threat ofcrime and disorder justified taking the law into one’s own hands as an act of self-preservation.

(2) 77?e right of revolution. Vigilante leaders recognized that taking the law into their own hands was, in effect, a revolutionary act against the authority of the state. They made this a virtue, claimed revolution as a right, and cited for their precedent the American Revolution of 1776.

(3) Popular sovereignty. To Americans of the nineteenth century, popular sovereignty meant that the rule of the people was superior to all else. The people, joined together for self-preservation in a vigilante movement, saw their organization as transcending the regular system of law and order, should the latter prove incapable of protecting life and property.

(4) The doctrine of vigilance. This doctrine swept America in the first half of the nineteenth century. For some reason it was the passion of Americans to be vigilant in all things and against all manner of threats and dangers. Vigilance committees and associations were formed in all areas of the nation, a great many of them having nothing whatever to do with the classic problems of crime and disorder. The widespread doctrine of vigilance was a powerful underpinning for classic vigilantism.

Vigilantism was often effective in the short run. Corruption was rooted out, outlaws were expelled, and “law and order” were reimposed. Those were only accomplished, however, at long-term cost, as the tradition of lawless vigilantism has grafted itself on this nation’s value structure.

Along with vigilante ideology grew that of anti-vigilantism. From the very beginning, there was always a cogent and vigorous philosophy that held that due process of law was among the most precious values of the Anglo-American legal heritage; that true law and order meant observing the letter of the law as well as the spirit; and finally, that the only way to get real law and order was to make the regular system work. The philosophers of antivigilantism were on strong ground in holding that, far from enhancing respect for law and order, vigilantism bred an insidious disrespect for law and order and planted in men the arbitrary tendency to judge for themselves when they should be orderly and lawful.

The vigilante tradition lives on. It has become a permanent part of American heritage. The memory of vigilantism is kept green by movies and television, by our novels and stories. The ideology of vigilantism is not dead, but is waiting to be used by the mischievous and the misguided. Since 1964, a number of quasi-vigilante movements have arisen: the neighborhood patrol movement of Crown Heights in Brooklyn (1964), the People’s Civic Association of the East New York, Brownsville, and Flatbush areas of Brooklyn (1967), the North Ward Citizens’ Council of Newark (1967–68), and the self-styled “vigilantes” of West Hollywood, Fla. (1968). Similar in character has been the Negro movement of Deacons for Defense and Justice in Bogalusa, La. (1965) and other Southern localities. None of these movements has, to our knowledge, taken the law into its own hands, but officials are rightly concerned that this will be the next step. The police and other concerned officials look upon these organizations as vigilantes, and refer to them as such. New Left, old Right, and even the traditional center appear to be seriously considering extralegal violence as an appropriate tactic. As we hope to have demonstrated, such violence is not peripheral to a study of assassination, but strongly and directly relates, along with the rhetoric of vilification and violence, to it.

By far the strongest tradition in American history is the anti-vigilante adherence to due process of law, but vigilantism is also a strong and recurrent part of the cultural heritage of the United States.

The tension between these two competing principles may explain how a nation which is impatient with rules resorts often to direct action. Far more violent than comparable countries, it has nonetheless persevered, with remarkable stability as a free nation under law through periods of social change and unrest.

G. Conclusion

We have shown that the level of assassination corresponds to the level of political turmoil and violence in general. In comparison to other nations, the United States experiences a high level of political violence and assassination events. The present level of assassination and political turmoil, however, is no greater than at times in the past. Violence to achieve political goals is a thread which runs throughout the history of the United States.

Our data indicate that the greatest source of violence today lies in the confrontation between blacks and whites. Other specific issues have spawned similar levels of violence in the past: agrarian reform, abolitionism, labor violence, etc. In each instance, single-issue “radical” movements, not formal political parties, were the immediate source of violence. The two parties formed a basis of stability while society eventually ameliorated the conditions which gave birth to violence.

To point out that the violence of today has parallels in our past history does not lessen the need for urgency and creative intelligence in attacking immediate causes of violence. We repeat the conclusion as set forth in the beginning of this report:

The continuing urgent search for strategies to cope with the fundamental causes of present disaffection in the United States, such as racial inequality, mounting crime, and the questioned use of military force in our foreign affairs, is of direct and not peripheral relevance to the problem of assassination. Such disaffection weakens the consensus upon which the strength of the government is based. We have not found a specific remedy for assassination and political violence in a democracy apart from the perceived legitimacy of the government and its leaders.


Appendix A: Data on Assassination Events

This appendix sets forth each assassination event collected by the Leiden group and by the Feierabend group.

I. The following is a list of each incident of attempted assassination both successful and unsuccessful, collected by the Leiden group for the period 1918 to October, 1968, arranged chronologically.

The key to the rank code is as follows:

1. Head of state, head of government, or dictator; former head of state or head of state-elect, e.g., presidents, kings, premiers.

2. Cabinet ministers; ambassadors; vice presidents; leading judges, bureaucrats, legislators; (but not necessarily former holders of those offices).

3. High ranking military officers.

4. Provincial governors; in general second level office holders; charge d’affairs.

5. Private persons but prominent politically.

6. Third level office holders, lower ranking officers.

The key to the result code is as follows:

1. Unsuccessful—target not killed.

2. Successful—target killed.

1. Data Collected by Leiden Group

Name Country Date Rank Result
William Frederick Holland 11/12/18 5 1
Henry Germany 11/25/18 5 1
Paes, Sidonia Portugal 12/ 7/18 1 1
Kuratchenko Russia 12/11/18 6 2
Paes, Sidonia Portugal 12/16/18 1 2
Zapata. Emiliano Mexico /19 3 2
Luxemburg, Rosa Germany 1/ /19 5 2
Liebknecht, Karl Germany 1/18/19 5 2
Russky Russia 1/27/19 3 2
Wong, T.H. U.S., D.C. 2/.1/19 4 2 2
Paul Alexandrovitch Russia 2/ 3/19 5
Eisner, Kurt Germany 2/29/19 1 1
Clemenceau, Georges Trance 2/29/19 1 1
Baronorsky, Lugan Russia 3/14/19 5 2
Trotsky, Leon Russia 3/15/19 2 1
Blanquet, A Mexico 4/19/19 3 2
Radko, Dimitrieff Russia 5/ /19 3 1
Paderewski, M. Poland 5/15/19 2 1
Habibullah Khan Afgan 5/17/19 1 2
Tidioaz Russia 7/28/19 5 1
Tinoco, Joaquin Costa Rica 8/15/19 1 1
Said, Mohammed Egypt 9/ 2/19 1 1
Ponti Italy 9/ 2/19 2 1
Baron Saito Korea 9/ 4/19 4 1
Lettow-Vorbeck Germany 9/ 9/19 3 1
Kolchak Russia 9/23/19 3 1
Haase, Hugo Germany 10/ 8/19 2 2
Hati, Ahmed Russia 10/27/19 6 2
Ferry Hungary 11/ /19 3 2
Borky Hungary 11/ /19 6 2
Hollan, Alexander Hungary 11/ /19 5 2
Menkina Hungary 11/ /19 6 2
Lord French Ireland 11/ 5/19 3 1
Cohen Egypt 11/22/19 6 2
Guajardo, Jesus Mexico /20 3 2
Sullivan, A.M. Ireland 1/11/20 5 1
Redmond Ireland 1/22/20 6 2
MacCurtain, T. Ireland 3/20/20 6 2
Bell Ireland 3/27/20 6 2
Romanovsky Turkey 4/ 7/20 3 2
Wilkinson, T.G. Ireland 5/14/20 5 2
Carranza, V. Mexico 5/21/20 1 2
Tewfik Nessim Pasha India 6/13/20 6 2
Wilson, L. Ireland 6/16/20 6 2
Smyth Ireland 7/19/20 6 2
Brooke, F. Ireland 7/31/20 4 2
Droubi Pasha Syria 8/23/20 1 2
Abderhaman Syria 8/23/20 2 2
Willoughby India 8/28/20 6 2
Johnstone Ireland 8/31/20 6 2
Saito Japan 9/ 6/20 4 2
MacCurtain, Mrs. T. Ireland 9/26/20 5 1
Dejelal Munif Bey Hungary 12/24/20 5 2
Tronkiewitz, M Russia /21 6 2
Fatzeas, Stefan Greece 1/ 8/21 6 2
Singh, Shir Germany 1/22/21 5 2
Holmes Ireland 1/30/21 6 2
Captain King Ireland 2/ 2/21 6 1
Dixon, R. Ireland 2/ 3/21 6 2
Craven, F.W. Ireland 2/ 4/21 6 2
Cumming Ireland 3/ 6/21 3 2
Clancy Ireland 3/ 8/21 6 2
O’Callaghan Ireland 3/ 8/21 5 2
Dato, Eduardo Spain 3/ 9/21 1 2
Gaxiola, Angel Mexico 3/10/21 6 2
Talaat Pasha Germany 3/16/21 2 2
Quinones, F. Cuba 4/ 3/21 4 2
Vicars, Sir A. Ireland 4/14/21 6 2
MacKinnon Ireland 4/16/21 6 2
Ferris Ireland 5/ 8/21 6 1
Gonzales, M. Mexico 5/ 8/21 6 1
Moguel, J. Mexico 5/ 8/21 6 2
Blake Ireland 5/17/21 6 2
Viscaino, Fernando Mexico 6/ /21 3 2
Peacock Ireland 6/ 2/21 6 2
Gareis Germany 6/12/21 6 2
Chailoner Ireland 6/21/21 6 1
Lambert Ireland 6/21/21 6 2
Pilsudski, General J. Poland 7/14/21 1 1
Draskovics, M. Yugoslavia 7/22/21 2 2
Erzberger, Matthias Germany 8/ /21 5 2
Robles, J.A. Mexico 8/10/21 3 2
Ball, L.H. U.S., D.C. 8/19/21 2 1
Rakovsky, Count J. Andressy Hungary 9/26/21 1 1
Pilsudski, General J. Poland 9/27/21 1 1
Dos Santos, Machado Portugal 10/21/21 1 2
Granjo, Antonio Portugal 10/21/21 1 2
Silva, Carlos Portugal 10/21/21 2 2
Mara, Carlos Portugal 10/21/21 3 2
Dimitroff, Alexander Bulgaria 10/23/21 2 2
Takashi Hara Japan 11/ 5/21 1 2
Heist, O. U.S., Ill. 11/20/21 6 1
Jones, Dr. Zmable Argentina 11/21/21 4 2
Meade, P. Ireland 12/13/21 5 1
Carrasco, Juan Mexico /22 3 2
Murguia, Francisco Mexico /22 3 2
Villa, Pancho Mexico 122, 5 1
Pruneda, Antonio Mexico 2/ 122 3 2
Ruiz, Antonio Mexico 2/ 122 3 2
Ritavuari Finland 2/15/22 2 2
Perez Lazono, Julian Spain 3/17/22 5 2
Tsang Hou France 3/22/22 5 1
Tcheng Loe France 3/22/22 5 1
Harrison Ireland 3/28/22 6 1
Milukoff, Paul N. Germany 3/29/22 5 1
Cardinal Pompilj Italy 4/ 8/22 5 1
Conner, P. U.S., N.Y. 4/14/22 5 2
Scheidemann, Philipp Germany 6/ /22 5 1
Flanagan, W. Ireland 6/ 5/22 6 2
Aragone,Juan F. Spain 6/19/22 5 1
London U.S., Okla. 6/21/22 6 1
Wilson, Sir Henry England 6/23/22 3 2
Rathenau, Walter Germany 6/24/22 2 2
Blanco, Lucio Mexico ‘ 7/ 122 3 2
Martinex, Candido Mexico ‘ll 122 6 2
Denize Haiti 7/30/22 6 2
Cremonesi Italy 8/14/22 5 2
Baron Udekem D’Acoz Belgium 8/14/22 5 2
Narutowicz, Gabriel Poland 12/16/22 1 2
Stambuliski, Alexander Bulgaria 1 123 1 2
Alvarado, Salvador Mexico /23 3 2
Buelna, Rafael Mexico /23 3 2
Estrada, Enrique Mexico 123 3 2
Vigil Garcia, Manuel Mexico 123 4 1
Villa, Pancho Mexico 123 5 1
Fenni, Mohammed Switzerland 1/11/23 5 1
Plateau, Marius France 1/23/23 5 2
Ali Chukri Bey Turkey 4/ 1/23 5 2
Card. Soldevilla y Romero Spain 6/ 5/23 5 2
Swan Palestine 6/19/23 6 2
Villa, Pancho Mexico 7/20/23 5 2
Dashkaloff, M. Czechoslovakia 8/27/23 5 2
Conati Albania 8/29/23 6 2
Scorti Albania 8/29/23 6 2
DeLeon, R. Mexico 10/ 4/23 6 1
Rodriguez, A. Mexico 11/ 4/23 3 2
Vorovsky, Vaslaw Colonel Krastitch Switzerland
Bulgaria 11/ 4/23
11/ 4/23 5 4 2 1
Sgarapuievilch Bulgaria 11/26/23 6 2
Amendola, G. Italy 12/23/23 2 1
Alecsa Lithuania 12/30/23 5 2
Zaghloul Pasha ‘ Egypt /24 1 1
Gomez, Jose F. Mexico /24 6 2
Imbrie, Robert Iran /24 6 2
Trevino, Ramon Mexico /24 5 2
Duparinof, L. Bulgaria 1/ 6/24 5 2
Heintz Germany 1/10/24 4 2
Daudet, Philippe France 1/18/24 5 2
Field Jurado, Francisco Mexico 1/23/24 2 2
Guminger, E. Germany 1/31/24 6 2
Buonservici, N. France 2/21/24 5 1
Dieguez, Manuel Mexico 4/ /24 3 2
Garcia, Alredo R. Mexico 4/ /24 3 2
Ocampo, Cristoforo Mexico 4/ /24 3 2
Vigil Garcia, Manuel Mexico 4/ /24 4 2
Delong, G.B Albania 4/ 7/24 5 2
Coleman, R.L. Albania 4/ 7/24 5 2
Maycotte, Fortunato Mexico 5/14/24 3 2
Cicaria, R.P. Spain 5/30/24 6 2
Baron Saito Korea 5/30/24 4 1
Matteoti, Giacomo Italy 6/ /24 2 2
Seipel, Ignatz Austria 6/ 2/24 1 1
Petkoff, M. Bulgaria 6/16/24 2 2
De Haan, Israel Palestine 7/ 2/24 5 2
Zaghloul Pasha Egypt 7/13/24 1 1
Fukuda Japan 9/ 3/24 3 1
Casalini, A. Italy 9/13/24 4 2
Alexandroff, T. Bulgaria 9/16/24 5 2
Kovatcheff Bulgaria 9/16/24 6 2
Menocal, M.G. Cuba 10/ 6/24 1 1
Morones Mexico 11/13/24 4 1
Guerrero z Mexico 11/13/24 4 1
Stack, Sir Lee Egypt 11/19/24 3 2
Greene, Alejandro Mexico 12/ /24 3 2
Greene, Carlos Mexico 12/ /24 3 2
Segouia, Fernando Mexico 12/ /24 3 2
Selas, M. Cuba 1/ 4/25 6 2
Kato Japan 1/11/25 1 1
El Maraghi, Mustapha Egypt 1/29/25 5 1
Mileff, N. Bulgaria 2/14/25 2 2
Strachinicoff, T. Bulgaria 2/19/25 4 2
Beginski Poland 3/31/25 5 2
Wierzorkiewicz Poland 3/31/25 5 2
Acosta Mexico 4/ 2/25 3 2
Boris Bulgaria 4/15/25 1 1
Gheorgieff Bulgaria 4/15/25 3 2
Iltcheff, M. Bulgaria 4/15/25 6 2
Tsankoff, Alex. Bulgaria 4/17/25 1 1
Klaoff Bulgaria 4/17/25 2 1
General Davidof Bulgaria 4/18/25 3 2
Colonchef Bulgaria 4/18/25 4 2
Kissof Bulgaria 4/18/25 4 2
Neresof Bulgaria 4/18/25 5 2
Ratchef Bulgaria 4/18/25 4 2
Menkoff Bulgaria 4/21/25 6 2
Yankoff, R. Bulgaria 4/22/25 6 2
Muravieff Bulgaria 4/23/25 5 2
Tchountoulof Bulgaria 4/24/25 5 2
Ivanoff, V. Bulgaria 4/27/25 5 2
Boumethoka, A. Bulgaria 4/29/25 5 2
Grantcharoff Bulgaria 4/30/25 5 2
Boris Bulgaria 5/ 2/25 1 1
Kossowsky Bulgaria 5/ 8/25 4 2
Petr ini Bulgaria 5/ 8/25 4 2
Panizza, Todor Austria 5/10/25 5 2
Amaral, F. Portugal 5/17/25 6 1
Kirk, Buck U.S., W.Va. 5/20/25 6 2
Fukuda, M. Japan 5/25/25 3 1
Tehouparinoff Bulgaria 5/31/25 6 2
Helling, Herman Germany 6/ /25 5 2
Mikhailoff, P. Bulgaria 6/16/25 5 2
Abramson Palestine 6/17/25 6 1
Amendola, Giovanni Italy 7/ /25 2 2
Hsu Sung-Chi China 7/ 9/25 2 1
Wu Hon Min China ‘ll 9/25 4 1
Bretherton, H.G. Mexico 7/19/25 6 1
Kasselo, A. Poland 7/31/25 6 2
Maurer, Robert Mexico 8/ 3/25 5 2
Richard, M. Martinique 8/23/25 4 1
Perez, M. Mexico 9/ 5/25 4 2
Burilo Bulgaria 9/ 8/25 5 2
Karkalasheff Bulgaria 9/ 8/25 5 2
Mussolini, Benito Italy 9/11/25 1 1
Cruz, C. Mexico 9/11/25 6 2
Carol Rumania 9/13/25 1 1
Lupporini, Cavaliere Italy 10/ 4/25 5 2
Benciolini, G. Italy 10/ 6/25 5 2
Barde, H. Switzerland 10/18/25 5 1
Tsankoff, Danoso Bulgaria 10/30/25 5 2
Mussolini, Benito Italy 11/ 4/25 1 1
Hong Chow-Ling China 12/ 9/25 3 1
Dammers, Heinrich Germany 12/12/25 5 2
Kuo Sing-Ling China 12/26/25 3 2
Hsu Shu-Cheng China 12/31/25 3 2
Panitza, Todor Bulgaria /26 5 2
Sloat, E.C. Jr. U.S., N.J. 1/15/26 6 1
Flores, Angel Mexico 4/ 4/26 3 2
Mussolini, Benito Italy 4/ 8/26 1 1
Esparragoza, Father Gregorio Mexico 4/21/26 5 2
McSwiggin, William H. U.SIU. 4/25/26 6 2
Kato Korea 4/26/26 6 1
Takayama Korea 4/26/26 6 2
Peltasohn Germany 5/21/26 6 1
Petlura, Simon Poland 5/25/26 1 2
Knight, C. Mexico 6/ 5/26 6 2
Beschapely, Gregoire France 6/11/26 5 2
Oskilko, Radziwill Poland 6/22/26 5 2
Luter, A.A. U.S., Tex. 6/23/26 5 1
Vincent, Mordel Mexico ‘ll 7/26 5 1
Zimmerman, Felton Cuba 7/ 7/26 5 2
Yerman, J. U.S., Ill. 7/11/26 6 2
Mellett, Don R. U.S., Ohio 7/17/26 5 2
Donaldson, Bert U.S., Ga 8/ 1/26 6 2
DeLloyd, Salustio Mexico 8/ 5/26 6 2
Dunfee, S. U.S., Ohio 8/ 6/26 6 2
Almeida, Jose Mexico 8/ 9/26 5 2
Violante, Raymundo Mexico 8/ 9/26 5 2
Pineda, J. Mexico 8/26/26 4 2
Graff Germany 9/12/26 6 2
Princess Louise (Sweden) Japan 9/18/26 5 1
Mussolini, B. Italy 10/13/26 1 1
Coutinho de Azevedo Mozambique 11/ 4/26 4 1
Stone, J. U.S., Ill. 11/ 8/26 6 2
Mejia, Marcelos Mexico 11/18/26 4 1
Dale, G.D. U.S., Ind. 11/26/26 5 1
Marina, Fernando Argentina 12/ 2/26 6 2
Cantoni, Aldo Argentina 12/ 2/26 4 1
Atanasoff, Philip A. Bulgaria 12/12/26 5 1
Ivanoff, Slawe Bulgaria 12/12/26 6 1
Adams, J. U.S., Ill. 12/13/26 6 2
Diaz Nicaragua 12/24/26 1 1
Swami Shradanand India 12/24/26 5 2
Salazar, Alberto Mexico /27 3 2
Cisneros, Antonio Mexico 1/24/27 4 2
Smetana Lithuania 1/30/27 5 2
Hernandez, T. Mexico 2/10/27 6 2
Nelson, G. Mexico 2/20/27 3 2
Ikonomoff, M. Bulgaria 3/ 7/27 4 2
Kantor, Ernst Germany 4/11/27 5 1
Cinarski Poland 4/15/27 6 2
Uribe, Father David Mexico 4/16/27 5 2
Voikoff, Peter Poland 4/20/27 2 2
Archbishop Chryostomos Greece 5/22/27 5 1
Turoff Russia 6/13/27 6 2
O’Higgins, K.C. Ireland 7/11/27 2 2
Har, L.M. Canada 8/10/27 3 2
Park, W. Canada 8/10/27 5 2
Steger, E. Germany 9/ 5/27 -6 1
Nardini, Count Carlo France 9/13/27 6 2
Artura Lasso de la Vega Mexico 10/ /27 3 2
Olivera, Norberto C. Mexico 10/ /27 3 2
Rodriguez, Alredo Mexico 10/ /27 3 2
Ariza, Carlos B Mexico 10/ 3/27 3 2
Peralta, Miguel A. Mexico 10/ 3/27 3 2
Vidal, Carlos A. Mexico 10/ 3/27 3 2
Peralta, Daniel Mexico 10/ 3/27 3 2
Serrano, Francisco Mexico 10/ 3/27 3 2
Pena, Augusto Mexico 10/ 3/27 5 2
Martinez de Escobar, Rafael Mexico 10/ 3/27 5 2
Monteverde, Enrique Mexico 10/ 3/27 5 2
Capetillo, Alonso — Mexico 10/ 3/27 5 2
Mendez, Ernesto V. Mexico 10/ 3/27 6 2
Almada, Octavio R. Mexico 10/ 3/27 6 2
Villa Arce, Jose Mexico 10/ 3/27 5 2
Gonzalez, Otilio Mexico 10/ 3/27 5 2
Jauregui, Antonio Mexico 10/ 3/27 5 2
Hermosillo, Luis Mexico 10/ 5/27 3 2
Kovachevitch Yugoslavia 10/ 6/27 3 2
Moran, Jose C. Mexico 10/ 6/27 3 2
Tsena Bey Czechoslovakia 10/15/27 2 2
Aguilar, Oscar Mexico 11/ /27 3 2
Gavriloff, Mirailo Yugoslavia 11/ 2/27 5 2
Gavriloff, Risto Yugoslavia 11/ 2/27 5 2
Gomez, Arnulfo Mexico 11/ 5/27 3 2
Obregon, Alvaro Mexico 11/13/27 1 1
Raditch, Stefan Yugoslavia /28 2 2
Mena, Luis Nicaragua 5/20/28 3 2
Basaritchik, G. Yugoslavia 6/21/28 4 2
Raditch, P. Y ugoslavia 6/21/28 4 2
Jacobobovitch, Ivan Rumania 7/ 3/28 5 2
Protogueroff, Alex Bulgaria 7/ 9/28 3 2
Morones, Luis Mexico 7/15/28 2 1
Calles, P.E. Mexico 7/17/28 1 1
Obregon, Alvaro Mexico 7/17/28 1 2
Ristovitch, V. Yugoslavia 8/ 6/28 5 2
Patrezi, Luigi Canada 8/30/28 5 2
Nanders, G. Yugoslavia 11/20/28 5 2
Constantinovitch Bulgaria 11/26/28 6 2
Bebi, A. Czechoslovakia 12/ 1/28 5 2
Clavery Algeria 12/12/28 3 2
Debenne Algeria 12/12/28 6 2
Pasquet Algeria 12/12/28 6 2
Melia, Julio Antonio Cuba /29 5 2
Chu Yun-Fung China 3/10/29 3 2
Schlegel, T. Yugoslavia 3/23/29 5 2
Aderholt, O.F. U.S., N.C. 6/ 8/29 6 2
Holt, P. U.S., Mont. 8/22/29 6 2
Holmes, J.A.. U.S., Tex. 9/14/29 6 2
Wiggins, Mrs. E.M. U.S., N.C. 9/15/29 5 2
Krokowski, T. U.S., Pa. 10/ 7/29 6 2
Galmot, Jean French Guiana 10/12/29 5 2
Zertuche, Antonio R. Mexico 11/ 2/29 3 1
Bentwick Palestine 11/24/29 4 1
Ashby, P.H. U.S., Ky. 11/25/29 6 2
Filho, Sousa Brazil 12/ /29 4 2
Wessel, Horst Germany 1/14/30 5 2
Viana, F. Melo Brazil 2/ /30 2 1
Ibarra, Leon Mexico 2/ /30 3 2
Ortiz-Rubio, P. Mexico 2/ 5/30 1 1
Barlow, Christopher Nigeria 2/ 9/30 6 2
Po Ching-King China 2/18/30 5 2
Wang Po-Ling China 2/18/30 5 2
Florian, A. Czechoslovakia 2/19/30 6 2
Kramer, Emil Germany 2/19/30 5 2
Lewis India 2/24/30 6 2
Poundeff, V. Bulgaria 3/ 5/30 5 2
Unya Estonia 4/ 5/30 3 2
Ghulum Agha India 4/22/30 6 1
Leguia Peru 4/26/30 1 1
Dr. Rintelen Austria 5/18/30 4 1
Lord Strickland Malta 5/24/30 4 1
Von Baligand, Dr. Henry A. Portugal 6/ 8/30 2 2
Chiesti, Giuseppe Albania 6/29/30 6 2
Pessoa, Joao Brazil 7/ /30 4 2
Angelescu, M. Rumania 7/22/30 4 1
Dennis, E.J. U.S., S.C. 7/25/30 6 1
Rusteika Lithuania 8/19/30 6 1
Sidky, Ismail Pasha Egypt 8/26/30 1 1
Tegart, Charles India 8/26/30 6 1
Hobson, Eric India 8/30/30 6 1
Lowman, Francis India 8/30/30 6 2
Dabski, M. Poland 9/ 1/30 5 1
Khaneband, Hassanand India 9/ 8/30 6 2
Freeman, R.L. U.S., Ga. 9/ 9/30 6 2
Holtz, Max Germany 9/ 9/30 5 1
Compmany Spain 9/24/30 6 2
Jenkins, J.B. U.S., Ga. 10/ 2/30 6 2
Simpson, Lenox China 10/ 2/30 6 1
Aziz, Khan Buhadan India 10/ 4/30 6 1
Sottosanti Italy 10/ 5/30 5 2
Suassuna Brazil 10/11/30 4 2
Pilsudsk i, General J Poland 10/14/30 1 1
Hamaguchi, Yuko Japan 11/14/30 1 2
Kukhan, Said Russia 11/21/30 4 2
Ludendorff Germany 11/29/30 5 1
Muketj i India 12/ /30 6 2
Simpson India 12/ 8/30 6 2
Graf, Herbert Germany 1/ 1/31 5 2
Schneider, Willi Germany 1/ 1/31 5 2
Ali, S. India 1/14/31 6 1
Curtis India 1/14/31 6 1
Moriotcheto, Traiiko Bulgaria 1/14/31 5 2
Mussolini, B. Italy 2/ /31 1 1
Beritch, A. Yugoslavia 2/ 5/31 6 2
Ghurkoff Bulgaria 2/ 9/31 5 2
Barnes, Captain India 2/18/31 6 2
Guzzi, Ercole France 2/19/31 6 1
Zog Austria 2/21/31 1 1
Topola, Major Austria 2/21/31 6 2
Machado, Gerardo U.S., N.Y. 2/25/31 1 1
Lal, Munshi India 3/ 2/31 6 2
Lassally Germany 3/13/31 5 1
Pertchetch Austria 3/16/31 5 1
Aniekieff Japan 3/17/31 6 1
Henning, E. Germany 3/17/31 6 2
Stern, T.H. Iraq 4/ 1/31 6 2
Heaney, Captain G.F. Burma 4/11/31 6 2
Peddie, James India 4/11/31 6 2
Austin, W.H. India 5/ 9/31 6 2
Chanan Singh India 5/14/31 5 2
Husain, Jawad India 6/ 9/31 5 2
Ruseff, N. Bulgaria 7/19/31 5 2
Soong, T.V. China 7/23/31 2 1
Hotson, Sir J.E.B. India 7/23/31 4 1
Garlick, R.R. India 7/28/31 6 2
Chiang Kai-Shek China 7/30/31 1 1
Tejada Mexico 8/ 8/31 4 1
Soong, T.V. China 8/23/31 2 1
Holowkos, T. Poland 8/30/31 2 2
Ismet Inonu Greece 10/ 2/31 1 1
Stepanoff Bulgaria 10/27/31 2 1
Hsuan Tung China 11/ 9/31 1 1
Barakat, S. Syria /32 1 1
Sanchez Cerro, L.M. Peru /32 1 1
Soong, T.V. China 1/ 3/32 2 1
Hirohito Japan 1/ 8/32 1 1
Gentile, G. France 1/ 9/32 6 1
Winkler, F. Austria 1/16/32 2 1
Carmona, E. Fragosa Portugal 1/17/32 1 1
Jackson, Ir S. India 2/ 7/32 4 1
Inouye, J. Japan 2/ 9/32 4 2
Dan. Baron T. Japan 3/ 5/32 5 2
Czechowski, E. Poland 3/23/32 2 2
Soong, T.V. China 3/25/32 2 1
Luther, Hans Germany 4/9/32 1 1
Casares Quiroga, S. Spain 4/20/32 2 1
Sidky, Pasha Egypt 5/ 6/32 1 1
Doumer, Paul France 5/ 7/32 1 2
Inukai Japan 5/16/32 1 2
Michailoff, Prof. D. Bulgaria 5/17/32 5 1
Mussolini, B. Italy 6 6/32 1 1
Chiang Kai-Shek China 6/10/32 1 1
Machado, Gerardo Cuba 6/11/32 1 1
Popovitch, V. Y ugoslavia 6/23/32 5 2
Wu Kwang-Rung China 9/22/32 3 2
Watson, Sir A. India 9/29/32 5 1
Bethlen, Count Hungary 10/20/32 5 2
Fostoa, G. de Span. Guinea 11/16/32 4 2
Roosevelt, F.D. U.S., Fla. 3/ 6/33 1 1
Cermak, Anton U.S., Fla. 3/ 6/33 4 2
Chen Chi-Tang China 3/10/33 5 1
Sanchez Cerro, L.M. Peru 4/30/33 1 2
Yuh Sueh-Chung China 5/ 6/33 4 1
Chang Ching-Yao China 5/ 8/33 3 2
Napetoff, P. Bulgaria 5/13/33 5 2
Sidky, Pasha Egypt 5/17/33 1 1
Venizelos, E. Greece 6/ 7/33 1 1
Mohammad Aziz Khan Germany 6/ 7/33 2 2
Steidle, R. Austria 6/12/33 5 1
Burge, B.E J. India 9/ 3/33 6 2
Grau San Martin, Ramon Cuba 10/ 4/33 1 1
Dollfus, Engelbert Austria 10/ 4/33 1 1
Carol Rumania 10/12/33 1 1
Benavides, C.P. Peru 10/23/33 1 1
Nadir Shah Afganistan 11/ 8/33 1 2
Primo de Rivera, J.A. Spain 11/13/33 5 1
Wakatzuki, Baron Japan 11/21/33 5 1
Tourian, L.E. U.S., N.Y. 12/25/33 5 2
Duca, Ion G. Rumania 12/30/33 1 2
Taymurtash, Abdul Husayn Iran /34 4 2
Khosrow, Arab Kai Iran /34 4 2
Chang, Pai-Yuan China 1/11/34 3 2
Sandino, A.C. Nicaragua 2/23/34 1 2
Estrada, F. Nicaragua 2/23/34 3 2
Umanzor, J.P. Nicaragua 2/23/34 3 2
de la Torriente, C. Cuba 3/ 8/34 2 1
Primo de Rivera, J.A. Spain 4/11/34 5 1
Koerbel, Edward Austria 4/12/34 6 2
Fey, Major Emil Austria 4/15/34 2 1
Huang Shao-Wen China 4/18/34 6 2
Anderson, Sir J. India 5/ 9/34 4 1
Von Papen, F. Germany 6/ /34 1 1
Von Schleicher, K. Germany 6/ / 34 1 2
Roehm, Ernst Germany 6/ /34 5 2
Hwang Fu China 6/ 3/34 4 1
Berenguer, Fernando Spain 6/ 7/34 3 2
Berenguer, Damaso Spain 6/ 7/34 3 1
Primo de Rivera, J.A. Spain 6/10/34 5 1
Mendieta, Carlos Cuba 6/16/34 1 1
Pieracki, Colonel B. Poland 6/16/34 2 2
Von Bredow, Kurt Germany 6/30/34 3 2
Heines, Lt. Edmund Germany 6/30/34 5 2
Von Kahr, Gustav Germany 6/30/34 5 2
Klausener, Erich Germany 6/30/34 5 2
Stempfle, Bernhard Germany 6/30/34 5 2
Strasser, Gregor Germany 6/30/34 5 2
Dollfus, Engelbert Austria 7/25/34 1 2
Wadij, J. Poland 7/26/34 5 2
Alexander France 10/ 9/34 1 2
Barthou, Jean Louis France 10/ 9/34 2 2
Pommer, Archbishop J. Latvia 10/13/34 5 2
Moreland, J.C. U.S., in. 11/ 4/34 6 1
Chiang Kai-Shek China 11/ 9/34 1 1
Kolodyer, M. Yugoslavia 11/28/34 5 1
Kiroff, S.M. Russia 12/ 1/34 5 2
Kondylis, George Greece 12/25/34 2 1
Miro Quesada, Jose A. Peru /35 5 2
Kasravi, Ahmad Iran /35 5 2
Mirza, Firuz Iran /35 4 2
Rojas Spain /35 6 1
Wilhelm II Netherlands 1/28/35 1 1
Songram, Luang Bipul Thailand 2/24/35 2 1
Shoriki, M. Japan 2/24/35 5 2
Abdul Aziz Saudi Arabia 3/16/35 1 1
Courtney, T.J. U.S., Ill. 3/25/35 6 1
Yeftich Yugoslavia 4/ 6/35 1 1
Terra Uruguay 6/ 3/35 1 1
Nagata, Tetsuzan Japan 8/12/35 3 2
Ghilardi, L. de Albania 8/16/35 3 2
Middleton, E.C. U.S.,Ky. 9/ 5/35 6 2
Long, Huey P. U.S., La. 9/ 8/35 2 2
Sun Chuan-Fang China 11/14/35 3 2
Tang Yu-Jen China 12/26/35 4 2
Harrison, John Ireland 12/27/35 6 1
Assad, Sardar Iran /36 2 2
Hazhir, Abdul Husayn Iran /36 2 2
Gomez, Eustaquio Venezuela /36 5 2
De Serval, Luis Spain /36 5 2
Niemerower, J.I. Rumania 1/12/36 5 1
Ganeff, M. Bulgaria 1/18/36 5 2
Deskoff Spain 1/21/36 6 2
Ni Mongolia 1/21/36 5 2
Gustluff, Sigmund Switzerland 2/ 4/36 5 2
Chien Wha China 2/ 7/36 5 2
Donkin, R. Zanzibar 2/11/36 6 1
Eberwein, C. U.S., N.J. 2/11/36 6 2
Humphrey, Ian Zanzibar 2/11/36 6 2
Jones, J.P. Zanzibar 2/11/36 6 1
Skinner, Leslie Zanzibar 2/11/36 6 1
Blum France 2/13/36 2 1
Aluwihara, W.H. Ceylon 2/24/36 6 1
Riggs, E F. U.S., P.R. 2/24/36 6 2
Okada, Admiral Japan 2/26/36 1 2
Saito, Viscount Japan 2/26/36 1 2
Suzuki, Admiral Japan 2/26/36 2 1
Takakashi Japan 2/26/36 2 1
Watanake, General Japan 2/26/36 3 2
Makino, Count Japan 2/26/36 4 1
Stoyadinovitch Yugoslavia 3/ 7/36 1 1
Asua, L.J. Spain 3/13/36 4 1
Martinez, Dr. Alfredo Spain 3/23/36 4 2
Somerville, H.B. Ireland 3/25/36 3 2
Torres de Sanchez, Count L. Spain 4/ 5/36 5 1
Ortega Gasset, Eduardo Spain 4/ 7/36 6 1
Rojas Spain 4/ 7/36 6 1
Pedregal, M.. Spain 4/15/36 6 1
Madia, Josep Spain 4/28/36 5 2
Madia, Miguel Spain 4/28/36 5 2
Gonzales, Major Cuba 5/11/36 3 1
Pedraza, J. Cuba 5/30/36 6 1
Li Shengta China 6/ 1/36 3 2
Schlick, Moritz Austria 6/22/36 5 2
Urdaneta, I. Panama 6/23/36 2 1
Sotelo, Calvo Spain 7/13/36 2 2
Edward VIII England 7/17/36 1 1
Garcia Lorca Spain 8/18/36 5 2
Al-Askari, Sayyid Jae far Iraq 10/ /36 2 2
Falconde, M. France 10/12/36 5 1
Y ang Y ung-Tai China 10/26/36 6 2
Martin, V. Brazil 12/24/36 4 2
Villaboas, J. Brazil 12/24/36 4 2
Grove, M. Chile 12/29/36 2 1
Ed-Dawlah, Solat Iran /37 5 2
Calles, P.E. U.S., Calif 1/ 2/37 1 1
Salah, Suleiman Bey Palestine 1/23/37 5 2
Shukry, Hassan Bey Palestine 1/23/37 6 1
Wang I-Cheh China 2/ 4/37 3 2
Graziani, Gen, Rudolfo Ethiopia 2/21/37 2 1
Leolta, Gen. Aurelio Ethiopia 2/21/37 3 1
Kyrillos, Abuna Ethiopia 2/21/37 5 1
Garcia, R. Mexico 3/14/37 6 2
Liu To-Chuan China 4/30/37 3 1
Ascasso, Francisco Spain 5/ 7/37 5 2
Sesa, A. Spain 5/ 7/37 4 2
Salazar, A. Portugal 7/ 7/37 1 1
Koc, Colonel Adam Poland 7/17/37 5 1
Sidki, Bakr Iraq 8/12/37 1 2
Ali Jawad, Muhammad Iraq 8/12/37 6 2
McEwan, P.R. Palestine 9/27/37 6 2
Andrews, L.Y. Palestine 9/27/37 6 2
Marriner, J.T. Lebanon 10/13/37 6 2
Nahas Pasha Egypt 11/28/37 1 1
Chinna, Swami India 2/28/38 5 2
Clark, J.R. U.S.,Ky. 4/12/38 6 2
Dykes, James U.S., Ky. 4/12/38 6 1
Bargas, Getulio Brazil 5/11/38 1 1
Epps, F.O. U.S., Ga. 7/10/38 6 2
Combs, Lee U.S., Ky. 8/ 5/38 6 2
Combs, Lewis U.S., Ky. 8/ 5/38 5 1
Deaton, Walter U.S., Ky. 8/ 5/38 6 1
Peeff, Jordan Bulgaria 10/10/38 3 2
Rath, Ernst Von France 11/ 7/38 6 2
Trivulzio, Prince Luigi Italy 11/ 9/38 5 2
Cedillo, Saturnillo Mexico /39 3 2
Sanderson, G.D. Palestine 1/ 1/39 6 2
Tegart, Sir C. Palestine 1/ 1/39 6 1
Blum Palestine 1/ 4/39 5 2
Bernstein Palestine 1/ 4/39 5 2
Keith-Roach Palestine 1/ 6/39 6 1
Shahbandar, Dr. Lebanon 1/17/39 2 1
Acosta, Pedro Cuba 1/24/39 6 2
Cristescu Rumania 1/27/39 5 2
Bingham, Hugh Palestine 2/ 3/39 6 1
Chow Chi-Tang China 2/ 7/39 6 2
Koo Pingtsun China 2/ 7/39 6 2
Stambouli, Hadi Palestine 2/10/39 6 1
Caltnescu, M. Rumania 2/13/39 2 1
Gazzera, Dr. Franco Ethiopia 2/13/39 6 2
Chen Loh China 2/21/39 4 2
Li, M. China 2/22/39 5 2
Kruschev, N. Poland 2/28/39 5 1
Tao Shan-Chen ( hina 3/ 1/39 6 1
Nashashibi, Adnan Palestine 3/ 6/39 5 2
Sternberg, Dr. Palestine 3/ 7/39 6 1
Monck-Mason, G.E,A,C, Iraq 4/ 5/39 6 2
Calinescu, Armand Rumania 9/21/39 1 2
Hitler, Adolph Germany 11/ 8/39 1 1
Balmaseda, Miguel Cuba 12/10/39 5 2
Almazan, Juan Mexico /40 1 1
Haydar, Rustum Iraq 1/18/40 2 2
Velazquez Rivera, Gen. R. Dom. Rep. 1/29/40 3 2
Arani, Dr. Taqi Iran 2/ /40 5 2
Bakior, Ivan Yugoslavia 2/ 8/40 5 2
Sumuano, E. Mexico 2/ 9/40 6 2
Ferrara, Dr. Oreste Cuba 3/10/40 4 2
Lamington, Lord England 3/10/40 5 1
Dane, Sir L. England 3/13/40 5 1
O’Dwyer, Sir Michael England 3/13/40 5 2
Santo Mauro, Duke of France 4/ 5/40 5 2
Rataj, Maciej Poland 5/ /40 5 2
Leimer, E. Czechoslovakia 5/ 6/40 5 2
Rodriguez, Felix Mexico 7/ 7/40 5 2
Ma You-Feng China 8/10/40 5 2
Daussa, Dr. R.V. Cuba 8/16/40 5 2
Chang Han-Yen China 8/20/40 5 2
Trotsky, L. Mexico 8/21/40 5 2
Bombelec, Count Yugoslavia 9/18/40 5 1
Garcia Mendez, A.M. U.S., P R. 9/30/40 6 1
Fu Siau-En China 10/11/40 4 2
C irias, Andino Honduras 10/24/40 1 1
Garcia de Caturla, Alejandro Cuba 11/13/40 6 2
Perry, R.F. U.S., Ala. 11/23/40 6 2
lorga, Nicolas Rumania 11/29/40 1 2
Fernandez Fiallo, Dr. R. Cuba 11/29/40 5 2
Frugoni, E. Uruquay 12/31/40 4 1
Boris Bulgaria /41 1 1
Bcti-. Bulgaria /41 1 1
Bon Bulgaria /41 1 1
Vkiot Emmanuel Albania /41 1 1
M.mdique, M. Cuba 1/14/41 5 2
Doc ring Rumania 1/21/41 c 2
Keswick, W.J. China 1/24/41 6 1
Erroll, Earl of Kenya 1/24/41 5 2
Sanchez Errazuriz, E. Chile 1/28/41 5 2
Menendez, Bernardo Cuba 2/ 1/41 6 2
Baldes Lamas, J. Cuba 2/ 1/41 6 2
Cortina, J.M. Cuba 4/ 1/41 2 1
Ayala, J. ( uba 4/26/41 5 2
Zaydin Almendares, R. C uba 4/30/41 4 1
Pinto,F Chile 5/17/41 5 2
Fernando Pinto, Sepulveda Chile 5/18/41 5 2
Faget, M. Cuba 6/ 3/41 6 1
Kusocinski, J. Poland 6/18/41 5 2
Hiranuma Japan 8/14/41 2 2
Laval, Pierre France 8/28/41 1 1
Deat, Marcel France 8/28/41 5 1
Durvez, P. France 8/28/41 6 1
Gitton, M. France 9/ 6/41 5 2
Frank, K.H. Czechoslovakia 10/ 7/41 4 1
Holtz, K.F. France 10/21/41 6 2
Alessandri, Arturo Chile 12/ 6/41 1 1
Okanda, S. U.S., Calif 12/21/41 5 2
Paringaux, Y. France 1/ 6/42 2 2
Von Papen, Franz Turkey 2/25/42 2 1
Zarate-Albarran, Gov. A. Mexico 3/ 7/42 4 2
Deat, Marcel France 3/28/42 5 1
Ebeid Pasha Egypt 4/14/42 2 1
Heydrich, Reinhard Czechoslovakia 5/28/42 4 2
Enriquez, General A. Ecuador 5/31/42 1 2
Clement, A. France 6/ 3/42 5 2
Louer, J. France 6/11/42 5 2
Demaret, Jean Belgium 7/ 9/42 6 2
Frank, Waldo Argentina 8/ 3/42 5 1
Gachelin, H. France 8/ 8/42 5 2
Griffiths, Dr. Iran 8/10/42 5 2
Tojo Japan 8/13/42 1 1
Chahab Iran 8/24/42 3 2
Drosch, Dr. Yugoslavia 8/28/42 6 2
Mulletti, General Albania 8/31/42 3 1
Tojo Japan 9/ 9/42 1 1
O’Brien, D. Ireland 9/10/42 6 2
Lebrasse France 9/12/42 6 2
Rondoz, Marcel Belgium 9/26/42 5 2
Antonescu, M. Rumania 10/ 1/42 2 1
Van Nieuwenhuyse Belgium 10/ 2/42 5 2
Box,John M. U.S., Miss. 10/19/42 6 2
Teughels, J. Belgium 11/21/42 6 2
Antonescu, M. Rumania 12/ 6/42 1 1
Darlan, Jean Algeria 12/24/42 3 2
Verdier, Jean France /43 6 1
Tre sea, Carlo U.S., N.Y. 1/11/43 5 2
Beraud, Henri France 1/12/43 5 I
Haas, Wilhelm Belgium 1/22/43 4 2
Camacho, Manuel A. Mexico 2/ 4/43 1 1
Seyffardt, Gen. Heordrik A. Netherlands 2/ 5/43 3 2
Fernandez Pelaez, J. Cuba 2/ 6/43 5 2
Seyffardt, H A. Netherlands 2/ 9/43 3 2
Ruiz Guinazu Argentina 2/11/43 2 1
Ravenzwaai, C. Van Netherlands 2/12/43 4 2
Reydon, Dr. H. Netherlands 2/12/43 6 2
Loukoff Bulgaria 2/14/43 3 2
Desslain, M. Belgium 2/18/43 6 2
Van Stenlandt, Albrecht Belgium 2/21/43 6 2
Glad, Dr. Wolfgang Belgium 2/26/43 3 2
Akkers, Jan Belgium 3/ 9/43 5 2
Savo,G. Albania 3/21/43 6 2
Brynder, J.E. Belgium 4/ 9/43 5 2
Curvers, Julien Belgium 4/ 9/43 5 2
Harnack, Von Germany 4/11/43 5 2
Janeff, Sotir Bulgaria 4/15/43 4 2
Colin, Paul Belgium 4/16/43 5 2
Yamamoto, Isoroku Japan 4/17/43 3 2
Hoffman, K. Poland 4/20/43 6 2
Chevalier, Maurice Belgium 4/21/43 5 1
Corteville, Cyrille Belgium 4/21/43 6 2
G.issowski, Paul France 4/25/43 6 2
Fischer, L. Poland 4/29/43 4 1
Laval, P. France 5/ 1/43 1 1
Cathala, Pierre France 5/ 1/43 2 1
Dietz, Hugo Poland 5/ 2/43 6 2
Kurtz, B. Poland 5/ 2/43 6 2
Nitsche, Georg Norway 5/ 6/43 6 2
Olitsch, Kurt Norway 5/ 6/43 6 2
Krueger, Gen. W. Poland 5/10/43 4 2
Rebus, 0. Poland 5/15/43 6 2
Baksh, K.B.A. India 5/15/43 5 2
Dirr, Raymond France 5/18/43 6 2
Guerin, Michel France 5/18/43 5 2
Leng Y un China 5/10/43 6 2
Haudtvin. Pierre France 5/31/43 6 1
Bouisson, Jean France 5/31/43 6 2
Klevkoff, Sapria Bulgaria 6/ 1/43 6 2
Abdul Ilah Iraq 6/ 5/43 1 1
Posthuma, Dr. F.E. Netherlands 6/ 8/43 4 2
Joltekenoff, Vassal Bulgaria 6/ 9/43 6 2
Ehrenlichter, L. Russia 6/26/43 6 2
Schmidt, F. France 6/28/43 5 2
Tissot, Paul France 6/30/43 6 2
Labreau, Maurice Belgium 7/ 4/43 5 2
Arrarista, Caroline Mexico 7/17/43 5 2
Aletrino, L. Rumania 7/22/43 5 2
Chierci Italy 8/ 1/43 6 2
Boris Bulgaria 8/24/43 1 2
DelaPlace, Jose France 8/26/43 5 2
Cinquin, Francois France 8/26/43 5 2
Varoteaux, Marcel France 9/21/43 5 2
Ritter, Julius France 9/29/43 6 2
Jolicoeur, Dr. France 10/ 1/43 5 2
Darbelle, Lucie France 10/10/43 5 2
Lespinasse, Paul France 10/12/43 6 1
De Brinon France 10/20/43 2 1
De Jong, Adrianus M. Netherlands 10/20/43 5 2
Barthelet, Jean France 10/27/43 6 2
Legnani Italy 10/28/43 3 2
Escofier, Eugene France 11/ 8/43 5 2
Edde, Emile Lebanon 11/14/43 1 1
Philippon, J. France 11/16/43 3 2
Bonamy, Andre France 11/18/43 4 2
Verdier, Jean France 12/ 7/43 6 2
Marion, J. .France 1/ 3/44 3 2
Toom ver Estonia 1/ 4/44 6 2
Hobel, Hans Italy 1/ 5/44 4 2
Munk, K. Denmark 1/ 6/44 5 2
Kaerra, Leo Denmark 1/14/44 5 1
Serlin, J. France 1/15/44 5 2
Mittica Italy 1/15/44 6 2
Kalyvas Greece 1/29/44 2 2
Harvy, J. France 2/13/44 6 2
Tan Shu-Kuei China 2/14/44 6 2
Ludberg, H. Poland 2/18/44 6 2
Loaiza, Colonel Rodolfo Mexico 2/22/44 4 2
Tommasini, D. France 2/29/44 5 2
Thompson, S. Denmark 3/26/44 5 2
Marion, P. France 4/ 4/44 2 2
Herrerias, I. Mexico 4/ 4/44 5 2
Chen Yao-Tsu China 4/ 7/44 4 2
Ibsen, Jense Albert Denmark 4/ 9/44 5 2
Camacho, Manuel A. Mexico 4/10/44 1 1
Mussolini, B. Italy 4/25/44 1 1
Ingarano. Colonel Italy 4/30/44 6 1
Grunwald, O. Poland 5/ 1/44 6 2
Sergius, Metropolitan of Vilna Poland 5/ 1/44 5 2
Humbert Italy 6/10/44 2 1
Herland, E. Norway 6/14/44 3 2
Parodi Italy 6/21/44 3 2
Koch, Lt. Italy 6/22/44 6 2
Norse, T. Norway 6/27/44 6 2
Henriot, Philippe France 6/28/44 2 2
Rolls, S. Norway 7/ 6/44 6 2
Mandel, Georges France 7/ 7/44 5 2
DeGrelle, Edward Belgium 7/ 8/44 5 2
Arze, Jose A. Bolivia 7/10/44 5 1
Bartelemy, Georges France 7/10/44 5 2
Hitler, Adolf Germany 7/20/44 1 1
Von Stuelpnagel France 7/25/44 3 2
Mussolini, B. Italy 8/ 7/44 1 1
McMichael, Sir Harold Palestine 8/13/44 4 1
Sandhoe, P. Denmark 3/13/44 6 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 8/28/44 1 1
Carretta, D. Italy 9/19/44 5 2
Lalis, Etienne France 9/21/44 5 2
Picout, Andre France 9/21/44 5 2
Pavolini Italy 9/26/44 5 1
Cordova, Alejandro Guatemala 10/ 3/44 5 2
Noguera Gomez Nicaragua 10/10/44 5 2
Lakatos Hungary 10/12/44 1 1
Wikin, T.J. Palestine 10/12/44 6 2
MacMichael, Sir Harold Palestine 10/12/44 4 1
Gilbert, H. Denmark 10/15/44 5 1
Corado Guatemala 10/23/44 3 2
Calvo, L Bolivia 11/ /44 4 2
Capriles, F. B oliva 11/ /44 4 2
Boncour, Jean Paul France 11/ 1/44 4 1
Moyne, Lord Egypt 11/ 6/44 2 2
Keitel Germany 11/18/44 3 1
Marion France 11/18/44 3 2
LeLong France 11/18/44 6 2
Stahr, J.E. Denmark 11/19/44 6 2
Voigt, R. Norway 12/10/44 6 2
Fitzpatrick, W.J. U.S., N.Y. 1/ 6/45 6 2
Hooper, W.G US., Mich. 1/12/45 6 2
Ribbentrop, Joachim Von Germany 1/15/45 2 1
Pospichal, E.J. U.S., N.Y. 1/29/45 5 2
Castro, Rosendo G. Mexico 1/30/45 4 2
Hitler, Adolf Germany 2/ /45 1 1
Freisler Germany 2/ /45 6 2
Loret, Giulio Italy 2/ /45 5 2
Fujui, Y. Macao 2/ 4/45 6 2
Martinsen, General Carl Norway 2/ 8/45 3 2
Fitzhum, Josef Austria 2/17/45 6 2
Maher Pasha, Ahmed Egypt 2/24/45 1 2
Radescu, Nicolai Rumania 2/25/45 1 1
Sarraut, Maurice France 3/ /45 5 2
Alvarez Cuba 3/12/45 2 1
Sforza, Count Carlos Italy 3/12/45 5 1
Berlinguer, M. Italy 3/14/45 6 1
Llanillo, Dr. Eugenio Cuba 3/16/45 5 2
Oppenhof, Franz Germany 3/25/45 6 2
Schirach. Baldur Von Germany 3/25/45 5 1
Salotti Italy 4/13/45 5 1
Dietrich, Sepp Austria 4/19/45 2 J
Fnriquez, E. Cuba 4/25/45 4 2
Benes, E. Czechoslovakia 5/ /45 1 1
Moravec, E Czechoslovakia 6/ /45 5 2
Sokol, S. Poland 6/18/45 5 2
Hill, General M. Chile 7/31/45 3 I
Passalides, M. Jean Greece 8/ /45 5 1
Nejedly, Z. C zechoslovakia 8/30/45 2 1
Gottwald, K. Czechoslovakia 8/30/45 2 1
Basch, Victor France 9/27/45 5 2
Anba, Theophilus Egypt 10/ 2/45 5 2
De Gasperi Italy 10/ 3/45 2 1
Lassen, R. Denmark 10/18/45 6 2
Mallaby Indonesia 10/31/45 3 2
Honl iri Japan 11/ 9/45 2 1
Arntzen Norway 11/28/45 2 2
Brito, Colonel A. Cuba 11/29/45 5 2
Ostrom, E.N. Indonesia 12/ /45 5 2
Nahas Pasha, M. Egypt 12/ 7/45 1 1
Nan Ung Korea 12/22/45 5 1
Chudzik Poland /46 6 1
Osman Pasha Egypt 1/ 6/46 5 2
Cofran, E. Germany 1/13/46 6 2
Moulheim, Tarrad Suria 1/13/46 4 2
Joglar, R.D. Cuba 1/20/46 5 2
Chang Hsi-Fu Manchuria 2/28/46 4 2
Sung Chu-Hsiang Manchuria 3/ 9/46 5 2
Baig, M.M. India 4/10/46 5 2
Song Chin-Woo Korea 4/11/46 5 2
Imperial, R. Philippine Is. 4/24/46 4 2
Aumeran Algeria 5/ /46 3 1
Mahidol, Ananda Thailand 6/11/46 1 2
Atherton, T. Yugoslavia 6/12/46 6 2
Tandogan, Nevzat Turkey 7/10/46 4 2
Roxas, Dr. P.M. Philippine Is. 7/16/46 6 2
Villaroel, Gualberto Bolivia 7/21/46 1 2
Khan, Sir S.A. India 8/26/46 4 2
Monje Gutierrez, T. Bolivia 9/ /46 1 1
Hartshorne, E.Y. Germany 9/ 1/46 6 2
Martinez Fernandez, L.J. Cuba 9/ 8/46 5 1
Rajagopalachari India 9/18/46 2 1
Scioborek, B. Poland 9/24/46 5 2
Donald, T.S. India 9/28/46 6 2
Rodrigues Araya, A. Argentina 10/ 4/46 5 1
Chang Taik Sang Korea 10/22/46 6 1
Charles, Sir Noel Italy 10/31/46 2 1
Scottoriggio, J. U.S., N.Y. 11/12/46 5 2
Buitenzorg Indonesia 11/19/46 6 2
Husseini, Fawzi Palestine 11/24/46 5 2
Gonzalez Piloto, D. Cuba 11/27/46 6 2
Ricci Sweden 12/ /46 2 2
Zeinati, Emir Mohammed Palestine 12/27/46 5 2
Levin, I. Palestine 12/27/46 5 2
Glountchitch Italy 2/ 1/47 6 2
Sachs, Camille Germany 2/ 1/47 6 1
DeWinton, R.W.M. Italy 2/11/47 3 2
Swerozewski, General Karl Poland 3/ /47 5 2
McNear, George P U.S., Ill. 3/10/47 5 2
Zeugous, John Greece 3/21/47 5 2
Contopoulos, Christos Greece 4/ /47 5 2
Davey, Peter Aden 4/15/47 6 2
Fawsitt, Dermott Ireland 4/26/47 6 1
Lonquest, A.E, Palestine 4/28/47 6 2
Anglin, Tom U.S., Okla. 5/ /47 6 1
Bevin, Ernest England 5/ 5/47 2 1
Eden, Anthony England 5/ 5/47 2 1
Santin, Antonio Italy 6/ /47 5 1
San U Aung Burma 7/19/47 1 2
Thakin Mya Burma 7/19/47 2 2
Mahn Ba Khaing Burma 7/19/47 2 2
Abdul Bazak Burma 7/19/47 2 2
U Ba Win Burma 7/19/47 2 2
U Ba Choe Burma 7/19/47 2 2
Sao Sam Heun Burma 7/19/47 2 2
Tut, U Tin Burma 8/ /47 2 1
Zeglicky, Tadeusz Poland 8/11/47 4 2
Tonski, Stanislaw Poland 8/11/47 5 2
Ukmar Trieste 8/27/47 5 1
Khristian, Abbe Trieste 8/27/47 5 2
Buselitch, Abbe Trieste 8/27/47 5 2
Taha, Sami Palestine 9/ /47 5 2
Masaryk, Jan Czechoslovakia 9/12/47 2 1
Paul Greece 9/23/47 1 1
Ramadier, Paul France 10/ 7/47 1 1
Truong Dinh Tri Indochina 10/10/47 5 2
Nu Thakin Burma 11/ /47 1 1
Chang Duk Soo Korea 12/ /47 5 2
Nizam of Hyderabad India 12/ 5/47 4 1
Masud, Muhammad Iran /48 5 2
Wasson, Thomas C. Palestine /48 6 2
Gandhi, M.K. India 1/20/48 5 1
Gandhi, M.K. India 1/30/48 5 2
Coirier Italy 1/31/48 6 1
DeFreminville Italy 1/31/48 6 1
Yahya, ibn Mohammed Yemen 2/17/48 1 2
Gaitan, Jorge E. Colombia 4/ 9/48 1 2
Reuther, Walter U.S., Mich. 4/20/48 5 1
Nahas Pasha, Mustafa Egypt 4/25/48 1 1
Ladas, Christos Greece 5/ 1/48 2 2
Tut, U Tin Burma 9/ /48 5 2
Arevalo Y Veitia, Juan Cuba 9/ 1/48 5 2
Bernadotte, Count Folke Israel 9/17/48 2 2
Serot, Colonel Andre Israel 9/17/48 6 2
Nukrashy Pasha, Mahmoud Egypt 12/28/48 1 2
Pahlavi, Mohammad Reza, Shah Iran /49 1 1
Kostelnik, Dr Ivov O.G. Russia 1/ 9/49 5 2
Lucie-Smith, Sir John Sierra Leone 1/ 9/49 4 1
Raulin-Laboureur, Ede France 1/21/49 4 2
Al-Banna, Hasan Egypt 2/ /49 5 2
Maule, A.C Poland 2/17/49 6 2
Bailey, E.H. U.S.,Ky. 4/26/49 6 1
Quezon, Mrs. Manuel Philippine Is. 4/29/49 5 2
Reuther, Victor U.S., Mich. 6/ 7/49 5 1
Torlonia, Alessandro Italy 6/20/49 5 2
Saada, Antun Lebanon 7/ /49 5 2
Arana, Francisco Javier Guatemala 7/19/49 1 2
Al-Barazi, Muhsin Syria 8/14/49 1 2
Zaim, Husni Syria 8/14/49 1 2
Stewart, Duncan George Malaysia 12/ /49 4 2
Christenson, F.J. U.S., Ill. 12/12/49 5 2
Hazhir, Abdul-Hu sayn Iran /50 1 2
Castaneda Philippine Is. 1/18/50 3 1
Gallostra, Jose Mexico 3/ /SO 6 2
Do Van Nang Vietnam 3/ 4/50 5 2
Alwani, Sheikh Adil Syria 3/ 7/50 6 2
El Solh, Riad El Lebanon 3/10/50 1 1
Armstrong, V.S. U.S., Pa. 3/12/50 6 2
Weston, J. South Africa 7/26/50 3 2
Nasir, Muhammad Syria 7/31/50 6 2
Graile, C Cuba 9/ 4/50 4 2
Al-Hinnawi, Colonel Sami Lebanon 10/31/50 1 2
Truman, Harry S. U.S.,D.C. 11/ 1/50 1 1
Delgado Chalbaud, Carlos Venezuela 11/13/50 1 2
Razmara, Ali Iran 3/ 8/51 1 2
Zangareh, Abdul Hamid Iran 3/20/51 2 1
Haas Vietnam 5/15/51 4 2
Rincon, J. Colombia 6/15/51 5 2
Henriquez Cuba 6/29/51 4 1
Al-Sulh, Riad Jordan 7/16/51 1 2
Abdullah Jordan 7/20/51 1 2
Chanson Vietnam 7/31/51 3 2
Thai Lap-Thanh Vietnam 7/31/51 4 2
Mazuera, H.J. Colombia 9/23/51 5 2
Liaquat, Ali Khan Pakistan 10/16/51 1 2
E scalante Cuba 10/17/51 4 1
Ousman, C. Saudi Arabia 10/19/51 6 2
Raymond Cambodia 10/31/51 4 2
Waruhiu Kenya /52 6 2
Ben Hamouda, Si Sliman Tunisia 2/15/52 5 2
Fatemi, Hussein Iran 2/16/52 2 2
F arouk Egypt 3/ /52 1 1
Rosselin, Bernard France 3/ 152 6 2
Zevaco Tunisia 4/ 2/52 6 1
Palmer, Colonel Jordan 4/10/52 6 2
Harjono, Colonel Netherlands 5/21/52 6 1
Pinkas, Zvi Israel 6/21/52 2 1
Didier, Paul France 7/16/52 6 1
Chenik Tunisia 7/21/52 4 1
Chedly Hayder Tunisia 7/28/52 6 1
Drummond, Sir Jack Switzerland 8/ 5/52 4 2
Carrion, Alejandro Ecuador 10/ /52 5 1
Hached, Ferhat Tunisia 12/ 5/52 5 2
Somoza, Anastasio Nicaragua /53 1 1
Beria, Lavrenti Russia /53 2 2
Peron, J. Argentina 4/15/53 1 1
Brassat France 5/1/53 6 2
Rais, Dr. Ben Tunisia 4/21/53 4 1
Kastalli, Chedly Tunisia 5/2/53 6 2
Azzedine Bey Tunisia 7/ 2/53 5 2
Peck, Mrs. Bernard Spain 8/ /53 5 2
Muhammad, Sidi Morocco 9/11/53 1 1
Chakir, Hedi Tunisia 9/13/53 5 2
Sierra, G.R.G. Cuba 10/25/53 5 2
Belasco Ibarra, Jose M. Eduador 11/ /53 1 1
Adenauer, K. Germany /54 1 1
Galoui, Si Hadi Thami Morocco 2/19/54 4 1
Roberts, Kenneth U.S., D.C. 3/ 1/54 4 1
Jensen, Ben F U.S., DC. 3/ 1/54 4 1
Bentley, Alvin M. U.S., D.C. 3/ 1/54 4 1
Davis, Clifford U.S., D.C. 3/ 1/54 4 1
Fulton, George H. U.S , D.C. 3/ 1/54 4 1
Muhammad Morocco 3/ 5/54 1 1
Montalvo, J. Guatemala 3/16/54 4 1
Faisal II Pakistan 3/24/54 1 1
Patterson, A.I.. U.S., Ala. 6/19/54 6 2
Hauteville, General Morocco 6/20/54 3 1
Eyraud, Dr. Morocco 6/30/54 5 2
Lacerda, Carlos Brazil 8/ 5/54 5 1
Vaz, Ruben Florentino Brazil 8/ 5/54 6 2
Kow Worawong Laos 9/20/54 2 2
Azhari, Ismail Sudan 10/27/54 1 1
Nasser, Gamal Abdel Egypt 10/27/54 1 1
Remon, Jose Antonio Panama 1/ 2/55 1 2
Ben Shain, Abdallah Morocco 1/ 4/55 6 2
Cutino, Arthur Morocco 1/ 8/55 5 1
Hoffman, J. Germany 2/ 5/55 4 1
Shalky, Ibrahim Al- Libya 2/ 8/55 6 2
Tran Van Lam Vietnam 3/ /55 4 1
Moulay Idriss Morocco 3/ 2/55 5 2
Nehru, J. India 3/12/55 1 1
Quiroz, F.L. Bolivia 3/13/55 6 2
Armitage, Sir Robert Cyprus 4/ 2/55 4 1
Boniface Morocco 4/10/55 5 2
Paz Estenssoro, Victor Bolivia 4/19/55 1 1
Al-Malki, Lt. Col. Adnan Syria 4/22/55 1 2
Dupuy Algeria 5/ /55 6 2
Adenauer, K. Germany 5/14/55 1 1
Armitage, Sir Robert Cyprus 5/24/55 4 1
Ellis, Eric Bermuda 5/24/55 6 1
Guidon Morroco 6/ 155 6 2
Naceur, Ridoub Amar Ben Algeria 6/ /55 6 2
Ben Azouz, Mekki Tunisia 6/ 3/55 5 1
Lemaigre-Dubreuil, Jacques Morocco 6/14/55 5 2
Peron,Juan Argentina 6/16/55 1 1
Russo, Tomas Argentina 6/16/55 3 2
Desanti, Mark Morocco 6/17/55 5 1
Allal, Said Morocco 6/20/55 6 1
Lebean Morocco 6/20/55 6 1
Tubman, W.S. Liberia 6/25/55 1 1
Naciri, Mohamed Morocco 6/27/55 4 1
Cemak, Matus W.Germany 7/ 5/55 5 2
Talow, Michael Morocco 9/16/55 6 2
Courvoisier, Raymond Lebanon 10/24/55 4 1
Gallo, Joseph Algeria 11/ 3/55 6 1
Nkrumah, K. Gold Coast 11/12/55 1 1
Ala, Hussein Iran 11/17/55 1 1
Berdadi Morocco 11/20/55 5 2
Djurhuus, K Denmark 11/21/55 4 1
Harding, Sir John Cyprus 11/26/55 4 1
Boutaleb Morocco 11/30/55 5 2
Diouri, Mustapha Morocco 11/30/55 5 1
Laraki Morocco 11/30/55 5 2
Mouakit, Mohammed Morocco 11/30/55 5 1
Galindez, Jesus de Dom. Rep. /56 5 2
Mao Tse-Tung China 2/28/56 1 1
Riesel, V. U.S., N.Y, 4/ 6/56 5 1
Harding, Sir John Britain 6/ 4/56 4 1
Batista, F. Cuba 6/26/56 1 1
Shaw Bernard V. Cyprus 6/26/56 6 1
Hernandez, J.T. Mexico 9/ 6/56 5 2
Somoza, Anastasio Nicaragua 9/21/56 1 2
Chang, John M. S. Korea 9/28/56 2 1
Salas Canizares, R. Cuba 10/ /56 2 2
Blanco Rio, Antonio Cuba 10/ /56 4 2
de la Maza, Octavio Dom. Rep. /57 5 2
Piedra, Orlando Cuba 1/13/57 6 1
Jahid, Ghassan Lebanon 2/19/57 6 2
Ngo Dinh Diem Vietnam 2/23/57 1 1
Batista, Fulgencio Cuba 3/13/57 1 1
Azikiwe, N. Nigeria 4/17/57 1 1
Salah, Kamal Eddine Somalia 4/17/57 6 2
Voroshilov, K. Indonesia 5/25/57 2 1
Chekhol, Ali France 5/27/57 5 2
Koussa, Addi Algeria 6/ 5/57 5 2
Massu, J. Algeria 6/24/57 3 1
Rojas, Isaac Argentina 6/24/57 3 1
Zahir Shah, Mohammed Afganistan 7/12/57 1 . 1
Daud Khan, Sardar Afganistan umsi 1 1
Castillo Armas, Carlos Guatemala 7/26/57 1 2
Si Henni Jah Ahmed Algeria 8/ 8/57 5 2
Borgeaud, Henri France 11/ 1/57 4 1
Barakrok, Abdelkader France 11/28/57 2 1
Sukarno, A Indonesia 12/ 1/57 1 1
Arboleda de Uribe Colombia 2/ /58 5 1
Paramo Arias Colombia 2/ /58 5 1
Sardi Garces Colombia 2/ /58 5 1
Soustelle, Jacques France 2/ 8/58 2 1
Arbelaez-Cifuentes, Fabio Colombia 3/12/58 5 2
Figuerola, Jose Argentina 3/14/58 5 1
Sevillano, Emilio Argentina 3/14/58 5 1
Chapel, Jean Algeria 3/26/58 4 1
Pharaon, Henri Lebanon 3/27/58 5 1
Harahap, Burhanuddin Indonesia 4/ 7/58 5 2
Mohr, Dr. Ernst Guenther Germany 4/10/58 4 1
Devieux, Samuel U S., D.C. 4/14/58 2 2
El-Solh, Sami Lebanon 4/20/58 1 1
Dejoie, Louis Haiti 5/ 4/58 2 2
Duncan, Victor Haiti 5/ 4/58 5 2
Sabalat, Ernst Haiti 5/ 4/58 5 2
Drew, Gerald A. Haiti 5/ 7/58 2 1
Mitry, Nasib El- Lebanon 5/ 8/58 5 2
Khan Sahib, Dr. Pakistan 5/ 9/58 5 2
Haas, Arthur D. Haiti 5/11/58 5 1
Rey, Santiago Cuba 6/13/58 5 2
Balboalopez, Angelico Cuba 6/18/58 5 1
Marquez Monreal, Jose de Jesus Mexico 6/22/58 5 2
Shuttlesworth, F.L. U.S., Ala. 6/29/58 5 1
Rivero Aguero, Nicolas Cuba 7/ 1/58 5 1
Abboud Abdul Arzzak Lebanon 7/11/58 5 1
Abdul Hah Iraq 7/14/58 1 2
Faisal II Iraq 7/14/58 1 2
El-Khalry, Khulousy Iraq 7/14/58 2 2
Ibrahim Hashim Iraq 7/14/58 2 2
Toukan, Suleiman Iraq 7/14/58 2 2
Nuri Al-Said Iraq 7/16/58 1 2
El-Solh, Sami Lebanon 7/29/58 1 1
Salah Samarai Lebanon 8/30/58 6 2
Soustelle, Jacques France 9/15/58 2 1
Wentworth, John Page Cyprus 9/18/58 6 1
King, Martin Luther, Jr. U.S., N.Y. 9/20/58 5 1
Chmine, Mohammed France 9/21/58 6 2
Vega, Anibal Cuba 9/29/58 4 2
El-Sohl Wadih Lebanon 10/13/58 6 1
Ameziane, Ait Ahcene Germany 11/ 5/58 5 2
Ah Ann Malaya 11/ 6/58 5 2
Chai Swee Sang Malaya 11/ 6/58 5 2
Thuveney, Auguste Morocco 11/23/58 5 2
Kassem, Abdul Karim Iraq /59 1 1
Guerrero Rosario. T :ofilo Dom. Rep. 2/ /59 5 2
Altamirano Herrera, Rafael Mexico 3/ 7/59 4 2
Aris, El Lebanon 3/16/59 5 1
Almond, James U.S., Va. 4/12/59 4 1
Inonu, Ismet Turkey 5/ 3/59 1 1
Rodriguez Echazabal Haiti 5/ 3/59 2 1
Karam i Lebanon 5/19/59 2 1
Rodriguez Echazabal Haiti 6/ 7/59 2 1
Somoza Debayle, Luis A. Nicaragua 6/ 8/59 1 1
Shakerch, G.D. Iraq 6/22/59 5 2
Buis, Dale R. Vietnam 7/10/59 6 2
Moghabghab, N. Lebanon 7/29/59 4 2
Suramarit, Norodom Cambodia 9/ 1/59 1 1
Busso Argentina 9/18/59 5 1
Bandaranaike, Solomon W.R. Ceylon 9/25/59 1 2
Kassem, Abdul Karim Iraq 10/ 8/59 1 1
Plaza Argentina 10/24/59 5 1
Naim, Sardar Mohammed Afganistan 11/24/59 2 1
Rodriguez Reyes, M. Mexico 12/ 4/59 2 1
Ibrahim, Bin Oman 12/13/59 2 1
Hakim, A. Lebanon 12/19/59 5 1
Botet Argentina 12/20/59 5 2
Ben Messaoud, Ali Algeria /60 3 2
Pardo Llada, Jose Cuba 1/ 9/60 5 1
Kemajou, Daniel Cameroon 1/13/60 5 1
Lemos, Laercio Brazil 2/ 6/60 5 2
Sihanouk, Norodom Cambodia 2/18/60 1 1
Rousseau, Dr. Roger Haiti 3/ 2/60 5 2
Sukarno, A. Indonesia 3/ 9/60 1 1
Cabrera, Rene Argentina 3/12/60 6 1
Lagalaye, Juan Argentina 3/27/60 3 1
Frondizi, Arturo Argentina 3/28/60 1 1
Henrik Verwoerd South Africa 4/ /60 1 1
Sevilla Sacasa, Dr. Oscar Nicaragua 4/ 1/60 5 1
Calderon Forero, Jairo Alberto Dom. Rep. 4/14/60 5 2
Chabert, Paul-Emile Laos 4/21/60 6 2
Abdesselam, Robert France 5/ 4/60 4 1
Ben Mahmoud Algeria 5/19/60 5 2
Kawakami, Jotaro Japan 6/17/60 5 2
Betancourt, Romulo Venezuela 6/24/60 1 1
Henriques, Josue Lopez Venezuela 6/24/60 2 1
Armas Perez, Ramon Venezuela 6/24/60 6 2
Sequero, Francisco R. Dom. Rep. 6/24/60 5 1
Lumumba, Patrice Congo ‘ll 8/60 1 1
Kishi, Nobusake Japan 7/14/60 1 1
Asafu-Adjaye, Sir Edward D. England 7/23/60 2 1
Higgins, Mark H. Congo 7/25/60 5 2
Altamirano, Alberto J. Mexico 7/28/60 5 2
Pathammavong, Sounthone Laos 8/ 9/60 3 2
Majali, Hazza Jordan 8/29/60 1 2
Assem Taijo Jordan 8/29/60 6 2
Ishasat, Mamdoh Jordan 8/29/60 6 2
Zuha Iddin Hammoud Jordan 8/29/60 4 2
Lumumba, Patrice Congo 9/15/60 1 1
Zevaco, Raoul Algeria 9/29/60 5 2
Asanuma, Inejiro Japan 10/12/60 2 2
Moumie, Dr. Felix Switzerland 10/16/60 2 2
Kalowa, Boniface Congo 10/26/60 6 2
Heard, Roby H. U.S., Calif. 11/12/60 5 2
Hodgson, Edward Congo 11/23/60 5 2
Knauf, Elton G. Congo 11/23/60 5 2
Mirabel de Tavarez, Dr. Minerva Dom. Rep. 11/29/60 5 2
Mirabel de Gozman, Maria Teresa Dom. Rep. 11/29/60 5 2
Mirabel de Gonzales, Patricia Dom. Rep. 11/29/60 5 2
Newaye,Germane Ethiopia 12/24/60 4 2
Strom, Carl W. Bolivia 12/25/60 2 1
Ben Youssef, Salah Germany /61 5 2
Lumumba, Patrice Congo 1/17/61 1 2
Mpolo, Maurice Congo 1/17/61 2 2
Okito, Joseph Congo 1/17/61 2 2
Bourguiba, Habib Tunisia 1/26/61 1 1
Finant, Joseph Congo 2/ /61 6 2
Songolo, Alphonse Congo 2/ /61 5 2
Yahya, Ahmed Ibn Yemen 3/ /61 1 1
Trujillo Molina, Rafael Dom. Rep. 5/30/61 1 2
de la Maza, Ernesto Dom. Rep. 5/31/61 5 2
Roman Fernandez, Jose R. Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 2 2
Diaz, Juan Tomas Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 3 2
Imbert Barrera, Segundo Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 3 2
Baez Diaz, Miguel A. Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 5 2
Diaz Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 5 2
Garcia Guerrero, Amado Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 6 2
Haviera, Juan Dorn. Rep. 6/ /61 5 2
de la Maza Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 5 2
de la Maza, Antonio Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 6 2
Roman Fernandez Dom. Rep. 6/ /61 5 2
DeGaulle, C. France 9/ 9/61 1 1
Rivagasore, Louis Burundi 10/ /61 1 2
Caceres, Luis M. Dom. Rep. 11/18/61 5 2
Diaz, Modesto Dom. Rep. 11/18/61 5 2
Estrella Sadhala, Salvador Dom. Rep. 11/18/61 5 2
Livio Cedeno, Pedro Dom. Rep. 11/18/61 5 2
Pastoriza, Roberto Dom. Rep. 11/18/61 5 2
Tejeda Pimentel, Huascon Dom. Rep. 11/18/61 5 2
Olympio, S. Togo 1/22/62 1 1
Mahendra, King Mepal 1/24/62 1 1
Gizenga, Antoine Congo 1/28/62 2 1
Stogner, H.D. Congo 2/15/62 6 2
Ngo Dinh Diem S. Vietnam 2/27/62 1 1
Salan, R. France 5/ /62 3 1
Sukarno, A. Indonesia 5/14/62 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 5/22/62 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 5/31/62 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 6/15/62 1 1
Tovey,N. Bahamas 6/16/62 6 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 8/23/62 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 9/13/62 1 1
Al-Badr, Muhammad Yemen 9/28/62 1 1
Nkrumah, Kwame Ghana 9/29/62 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 10/22/62 1 1
Joachim, Paul U.S., Ill. 10/23/62 3 2
Hoffa, James U.S., Tenn. 12/ 6/62 5 1
Bourgiuba, Habib Tunisia 12/27/62 1 1
Chausevanh Laos /63 6 2
Ketsana Laos /63 6 2
Konthi Laos /63 6 2
Olympio, Sylvanus Togo 1/13/63 1 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 1/29/63 1 1
Kassem, Abdul Karim Iraq 2/ 9/63 1 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 3/ 1/63 1 1
Lafond, Henri France 3/ 6/63 5 2
Houphouet-Boigny, Felix Ivory Coast 4/11/63 1 1
Khemisti, Mohammed Algeria 4/11/63 2 2
Djalawi, Abdul Aziz Ben Saud France 4/17/63 5 2
Kouyoumjian, Shavarsh Syria 4/17/63 5 1
Nolting, Frederick S. Vietnam 5/28/63 2 1
Evers, Medgar U.S., Miss. 6/12/63 5 2
Betancourt, Romulo Venezuela 6/13/63 1 1
Savang Vathana Laos 10/31/63 1 1
Ngo Dinh Diem S. Vietnam 11/ 2/63 1 2
Ngo Dinh Nhu S. Vietnam 11/ 2/63 2 2
Kennedy, John F. U.S., Tex. 11/22/63 1 2
Connally, John B. U.S., Tex. 11/22/63 4 1
Oswald, Lee Harvey U.S., Tex. 11/23/63 5 2
Leuang Laos 12/ 6/63 6 2
Henderson, George Aden 12/10/63 4 2
Barrientos Ortuno, Lt. Gen. Bolivia /64 1 1
Barrientos Ortuno, Lt. Gen. Bolivia /64 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 1/18/64 1 1
Blitzstein, Marc Martinique 1/24/64 5 2
Hassan II Morocco 2/ 4/64 1 1
Ketsana Vongsonavanh Laos 2/12/64 6 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 2/13/64 1 1
Inonu, Ismet Turkey 2/22/64 1 1
Prasuth Laos 3/18/64 6 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 3/19/64 1 1
Reischauer, Edwin Japan 3/24/64 2 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 3/25/64 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 4/ 1/64 1 1
Doiji, Jigme P. Bhutan 4/ 5/64 1 2
Welcome, Verda U.S., Md. 4/11/64 6 1
Arias, Roberto Panama 5/21/64 5 1
Calvo, Escolastico Panama 5/21/64 5 1
Ben Bella, A. Algeria 6/ 1/64 1 1
Agede, Abate Sweden 6/ 5/64 2 2
Sanyal, H.N. India 9/ /64 4 2
Al-Shishakli, Gen. Adib Brazil 9/27/64 1 2
Wiesenthal, Simon Austria 12/20/64 5 1
Pahlavi, Mohd. Reza Shah Iran /65 1 1
Ngendandumwe, Pierre Burundi 1/15/65 1 2
Mansour, Hassan Ali Iran 1/21/65 1 2
Kairon, Pratap Singh India 2/ 6/65 6 2
Matsokota, Lazare Congo 2/15/65 2 2
Pouabou, Joseph Congo 2/15/65 2 2
Mussouemi, Anselme Congo 2/15/65 4 2
Malcolm X U.S., N.Y. 2/22/65 5 2
Rceb, Rev. James J. U.S., Ala. 3/ 9/65 5 2 1
Barriento Ortuno, Lt. Gen. Rene Bolivia 3/21/65 1
Liuzzo, Viola U.S., Ala. 3/25/65 5 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 3/28/65 1 1
Al-Zubairy. Mohd. Yemen 4/ 1/65 4 2
Diori, Hamani Niger 4/14/65 1 1
Arreaga, Col. Ernesto M. Guatemala 5/21/65 4 2
DeGaulle, Charles France 5/24/65 1 1
DeGaulle, Charles France 7/17/65 1 1
Taylor, Maxwell D. Vietnam 7/20/65 2 1
Castro, Fidel Cuba 7/27/65 1 1
Aragones, Emilio Cuba 7/27/65 5 1
Daniels, Jonathan M. U.S., Ala. 8/ /65 5 2
Al-Sallal, Abdullah Yemen 8/ 7/65 1 1
Charles, Sir Arthur Aden 9/13/65 4 2
Macapagal, Diosdado Philippine Is 10/29/65 1 1
Mendez Montenegro, Mario Guatemala 10/31/65 1 2
Ali Benahmed Aden 11/ 4/65 5 2
Balewa, Sir Abubakar Nigeria 1/15/66 1 2
Okotie-Eboh, Festus Nigeria 1/15/66 2 2
Akintola, Sumuel L. Nigeria 1/15/66 4 2
Bello, Sir Ahmadu Nigeria 1/15/66 4 2
El-Airiny, Abdullah Yemen 4/13/66 2 2
Iriani, Abdul Yemen 4/14/66 2 2
Rahoumi, Ahmed Yemen 4/14/66 2 1
Hernandez Martinez, Maximliano Honduras 5/18/66 3 2
Calwell, Arthur Australia 6/ /66 2 1
Meredith, James U.S., Miss. 6/ 6/66 5 1
Kittakachorn, Thanom Thailand 7/ /66 1 1
Nasser, G.A. Egypt 7/ / 66 1 1
Ironsi Aguiyi, J.T.V. Nigeria 7/30/66 1 2
Costa E Silva, Arthur Brazil 8/ /66 1 1
Bassendawah, Ahmed Aden 8/ /66 4 2
Verwoerd. Hendrik F. S. Africa 9/ 6/66 1 2
Van Der Poel, J. England 9/13/66 6 2
Van, Tran Van S. Vietnam 12/ 7/66 2 2
Aptheker, Dr. Herbert U.S., N.Y. /67 5 1
Khider, Mohammed Spain 1/ 3/67 5 2
Diop, Demba Senegal 2/ 3/67 2 2
Hassan, Sayed Mohammed Aden 2/26/67 4 2
Mackawee, Abdul Q. Aden 2/2-/67 5 1
Nagi, Mohammed Aden 3/ 5/67 6 2
Girgerah, Abdurrahman Aden 3/20/67 2 2
Senghor, Leopold S. Senegal 3/22/67 1 1
Senghor, Leopold Senegal 3/23/67 1 1
Shamshair, Haider Aden 4/ 4/67 6 2
Qassem, Abdurrahim Aden 4/19/67 5 2
Amoodi, Sheik Salem Al- Aden 4/19/67 5 2
Eyadema, Etienne Togo 4/24/67 1 1
Yafai, Haidera Saleh Mohammed Aden 5/ 8/67 5 2
Gonzalez, Rodolfo Venezuela 5/28/67 4 2
Bohlen, Charles E. France 6/ 9/67 2 1
Wilkins, Roy U.S., N.Y. 6/22/67 5 1
Duvalier, Francois Haiti 6/25/67 1 1
Fedama, Sheik Ali Salih Aden 7/ 3/67 5 2
Bun, Lam Hong Kong 8/ /67 5 2
Rockwell, George Lincoln U.S., Va. 8/26/67 5 2
Eshkol, Levi Israel 9/28/67 1 1
Guevara, Che Bolivia 11/ /67 5 2
Bui Quang San S. Vietnam 12/14/67 2 2
Munro, Ernest A. Guatemala 1/ /68 6 2
Webber, John D., Jr. Guatemala 1/ ./68 6 2
King, Martin Luther, Jr. U.S., Tenn 4/ 6/68 5 2
Boumedienne, H. Algeria 4/25/68 1 1
Chiari, Modesto Panama 5/25/68 5 2
Chainoun, Camille Lebanon 5/31/68 1 1
Kennedy, Robert F. U.S., Calif. 6/ 5/68 2 2
Al-Iryani, Abdul Rahman Yemen 7/ 7/68 1 1
Kachailov, Yevgeny N. Russia 7/26/68 4 2
Manzanas, Militon Spain 8/ 2/68 6 2
Papadopoulis, George Greece 8/13/68 1 1
Mein, John Gordon Guatemala 8/28/68 2 2
El-Farrah, Shawki Gaza 9/16/68 6 2
Chandler, Charles R Brazil 10/12/68 6 2
Roman, Jose Philippine Is. 10/21/68 6 2

2. Data Collected by Feierabend Group

The following is the definition of assassination used by the Feierabend group and a print out of assassination attempts and plots data, collected by the Feierabend group for the period 1948 through 1967. Included as well is the complete code index. The data are arranged by country alphabetically.

Definition of Assassination Event

An assassination event was defined as an act that consists of a plotted, attempted or actual murder of a prominent political figure (elite) by an individual (assassin) who performs this act in other than a governmental role. This definition draws a distinction between political execution and assassination An execution may be regarded as a political killing, but it is initiated by the organs of the state, while an assassination can always be characterized as an illegal act. A prominent figure must be the target of the killing, since the killing of lesser members of the political community is included within a wider category of internal political turmoil, namely, terrorism. Finally, we used a minimal definition to distinguish assassination from homicide. The target of the aggressive act must be a political figure ratner than a private person. The killing of a prime minister by a member of an insurrectionist or underground group clearly qualifies as an assassination. So does an act by a deranged individual who tries to kill, not just any individual, but the individual in his political role—as President, for example.

There are three additional aspects of our definition. (1) We included assassinations carried out by agents of foreign governments and assassinations perpetrated against a political figure while he was visiting on foreign soil. (2) There is implicit the notion of premeditation in our definition, thus ruling out accidental and “crime of passion” types of killings. (3) We counted assassination plots and alleged plots within our data, although they are distinguished from assassination atempts. It is impossible to determine, in the case of alleged plots, whether the plot in fact existed and was discovered by the regime, or whether it served as an excuse for a wave of political arrests.

Within the notion of prominent public figure, we counted all top governmental office-holders, heads of state and government, presidential candidates, cabinet members, legislators, and judges. We also included military figures, chiefs of staff, generals, and occassionally colonels if they seemed to play an important role in the political arena. Some important local officials, such as mayors of cities or chiefs of police qualified in our definition of political prominence. Beyond governmental officeholders, we included leaders of political parties, large trade unions, social and religious movements, leaders of minority groups and other prominent members of important, visible social institutions. Undoubtedly, the definition of political prominence is difficult and, at times, drawing a meaningful line between prominence and non-prominence was tortuous.

Col 1–2
Col. 3–5
001 Afghanistan
002 Albania
003 Argentina
004 Australia
005 Austria
006 Belgium
007 Bolivia
008 Brazil
009 Bulgaria
010 Burma
011 Cambodia
012 Canada
013 Ceylon
014 Chile
015 China (Taiwan)
016 China (Mainland)
017 Colombia
018 Costa Rica
019 Cuba
020 Cyprus
021 Czechoslovakia
022 Denmark
023 Dominican Republic
024 East Germany
025 Ecuador
026 Egypt
027 El Salvador
028 Ethiopia
029 Finland
030 France
031 Ghana
032 Greece
033 Guatemala
034 Haiti
035 Honduras
036 Hungary
037 Iceland
038 India
039 Indonesia
040 Iran
041 Iraq
042 Ireland
043 Israel
044 Italy
045 Japan
046 Jordan
047 Korea
048 Laos
049 Lebanon
050 Liberia
051 United States
052 Luxembourg
053 Malaya
054 Mexico
055 Morocco
056 Netherlands
057 New Zealand
058 Nicaragua
059 Norway
060 Pakistan
061 Panama
062 Paraguay
063 Peru
064 Philippines
065 Poland
066 Portugal
067 Romania
068 Saudi Arabia
069 Spain
070 Sudan
071 Sweden
072 Switzerland
073 Syria
074 Thailand
075 Tunisia
076 Turkey
077 Union of South Africa
078 United Kingdon
079 Libya
080 Uruguay
081 U.S.S.R.
082 Venezuela
083 West Germany
084 Yugoslavia

West Germany = Federal Republic of Germany

United Kingdom = Sum of data for England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland

Egypt = United Arab Republic


  • Col. 6–7 (month)

  • Col. 8–9 (day)

  • Col. 10 (year)


  • Col. 12

    • 1-successful

    • 2-unsuccessful


  • Col. 13

    • 1-attempt

    • 2-plot


  • Col. 14

    • 1-Yes

    • 2-No

7. NATURE OF TENSION (reason for event)

  • Col. 15

    • 1-political

    • 2-religious

    • 3-economic

    • 4-ethnic

    • 5-educational


  • Col. 16–17 initiator

  • Col. 18–19 target

02-clandestine (group, movement, paramil.)
03-social or political movement/leader
04-extremist political group
05-extremist political group-Communist

11-big business/managers/professional
12-small business/shopkeepers
15-trade union group/leader

20-Chief of State or military junta
21-former Chief of State
22-member of cabinet
23-presidential candidate
24-other national govt, official
25-political party/leader
26-judicial (national)
27-legislative (national)
31-hereditary heir
32-tribal chief or official
33-colonial official
34-foreign government official
35-state governor
36-state legislator
37-state judiciary
38-other state official

40-educational, unspecified
41-educational, students
42-educational, professor/teacher
43-educational, leader/administrator

50-religious leader


80-International Organization


Col. 20–22 initiator

Col. 23–25 target

*** code only if minority involved ***

999 — no data

001 — all minorities

002 — majority of minorities

003 — Arab

004 — Assamese

005 — Baluchi

006 — Bantu

007 — Bengali

008 — Berber

009 —

010 — Buddist

011 — Catholic

012 — C hinese

013 — Christian

014 — Christian, Battak

015 — Christian, Copt

016 — Colored

017 — Croats

018 — French

019 — Gujarti

020 — Hindu

021 — Hindu, Balinese

022 — Indian (India)

023 — Indian (Western Hemisphere)

024 — Indian, Mulatto

025 — Indian, Negro

026 — Italian

027 — Jewish

028 — Jakartan

029 — Kannada

030 — Kurd

031 — Macedonian

032 — Madurese

033 — Magyar

034 — Malay

035 — Malayalam

036 — Maori

037 — Marathi

038 — Menangkaban

040 — Mestizo-Indian

041 — Moor (Ceylon)

042 — Moslem

043 — Moslem, Bosnian

044 — Moslem, Malay

045 — Mulatto

046 — Negro

047 — Negro-Mestizo

048 — Negro-Mulatto

049 — Oriya

050 — Protestant

051 — Punjabi

052 — Scotch

053 — Sikh

054 — Slovak

055 — Slovene

056 — Sudanese

057 — Sundhi

058 — Swedish

059 — Tamil

060 — Tamil, Ceylon

061 — Torajada

062 — Turkish

063 — Walloon

064 — Welsh

065 — Moslem, Druse

066 — Moslem, Sunni

067 — Moslem, Maronite

068 — Puerto Rican

069 — Buganese

070 — Flemish

071 — Sinhalese

072 — Episcopal

073 — Jurassian

074 — Dukobors, Orthodox

075 — Dukobors, Extremist

076 — Spanish

077 — German

078 -Telegu

079 — Nagas (India)

080 — Moslem, Shia

081 — Mexican-Americans

082 — Nungs (S. Vietnam)

083 — Papuans

084 — Karens (Burma)

085 — Oriental

086 — Cao Dai, Hoa Hao, etc.

087 — Sumatrins (Indonesia)

088 — Rumanians

089 — English

090 — Bahais (Iran)

091 — Huks (Philippines)

092 — Greeks (Cyprus)

093 — Kachens (Burma)

094 — Bedouins (Syria)

095 — Biharis (India)

096 — Greek Orthodox

097 — Geogian (USSR)

098 — Sorbs (E. Germany)

110 — Moslem Brotherhood

111 — Dutch

200 — majority

201 — Majority group
sympathetic to minority

202 — Majority group
unsympathetic to minority group

300 — Government, federal

301 — Government, state provincial

302 — Government, local municipal

303 — Government, foreign

304 — United Nations

305 — Colonial government


Col. 26

1. through 9


Col. 27

1 through 9


Col. 31–54


Col. 55–69


Col. 70–71 (month)

Col. 72–73 (day)

Col. 74–75 (year)

Col. 77–78 (page number)

Col. 80 (column number)

NOTE: If an EB appears in columns 78–80, then the reference is the Encyclopedia Brittanica Yearbook.

NOTE: If a DD appears in columns 79–80, then the reference is the Deadline Data service.

In all other cases the reference is the New York Times.

Explanatory Notes: Assassination Code Index

Field 3. DATE

a) In cases where the assassination date is not known the DATE field is filled with zeroes indicating missing data. Thus, if the code 040059 appeared in the DATE field, the assassination would have taken place in April on an unknown day in 1959.

b) Since the data were collected from the New York Times Index in the majority of cases, the date of the assassination event is given as the date of the New York Times issue in which the article appeared, unless specific reference was given to the actual date in the index. The time lag between the assassination event and the date the story was reported in the New York Times is typically one to three days.


An assassination is coded as successful only if the primary target of the assassination is killed.

Field 5. ACTION

a) An assassination is operationally defined as the successful or unsuccessful premeditated murder of a politically significant person. The assassin must actively try to murder the target or be apprehended in the attempt.

b) | An assassination plot is by definition unsuccessful since it never reaches the stage of attempted murder. Typically, the government will report that a plot to assassinate the Chief of State has been broken up and the ringleaders arrested.


Minority hostility is coded “yes” whenever the target and the assassin are of different minority groups or one is of a majority and the other of a minority group. The groups involved are further described by the coding in Field 9 NATURE OF GROUP. Field 9 is always coded if Field 6 is coded “yes.” |


This coding tries to discriminate among the reasons or motivations for the assassination event. If the reason cannot be determined then a “1” (political) is coded. |

2. Data Collected by Feierabend Group

00107115722210130 00 ZAHIR SHAH, KING 071257,18.1
00111245921210122 01 NAIM, MIN 112459,30.6
00210244911210427 10 BISBASH, DEPUTY ANTI-COMMUNIST 102449,09.7
00204055011212222 10 SHEHU DEP PREMIER SHEHU A, UND SEC 040550,02.2
00309254822213420 00 PERON, PRES 092548,25.1
00302255021210125 01 MINSK H, RADICAL PTY 022850,21.1
00303295122210120 00 PERON, PRES REYES C 032951,11.3
00304275222210120 00 PERON, PRES USA, CHARGED 042752,22.1
00300005321210120 00 PERON, PRES EE
00305055322210122 00 REMORIN, MIN 050553,05.3
00308165522210320 00 PERON, PRES OLIVER RC, NTLST 081655,01.5
00306245722210122 00 ROJAS, VICE-PRES 062455,30.7
00308136421210121 00 FRONDIZI A, EX-PRES DD
00403136021210128 00 CABRERA, MAJ HOME BOMBED 031360,04.6
00406226621210125 01 CALDWELL, OPP LAB PTY LDR KOCAN PR 062266,05.2
00506056211210129 10 LAPUSNYIK, SEC POL CHF 060562,01.2
00608195011210105 10 LAHAUT L, COMM PTY CHRMN GUNMEN 081950,01.6
00704195522210120 00 PAZ ESTENSSORO, PRES 041955,13.2
00705035611210139 10 ROCA H, GUAYARAMERIA POLIT OPP 050456,06.8
00701255822210120 00 SUAZO S1LES, PRES 012558,05.6
00712266021210134 00 STROM, AMB, (US) HOME BOMBED 122660,02.4
00702266421210128 00 ORTUNO B,GEN SHOT 022664,02.5
00708166421210124 00 BARRIENTOS, VP CAR BOMBED 081664,64.4
00709066421210124 00 BARRIENTOS, VP HOUSE BOMBED 092264,06.1
00703236521210123 00 BARRIENTOS, GEN 032365,10.4
00705236521210123 00 BARRIENTOS, GEN 052365,04.1
00804174821210522 00 PEREIRA DE COSTA, MIN 041748,05.5
00809105011210136 10 ARTTIAGA G, STATE LEGIS 091050,04.1