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White House Shootings: A History Of Violence Against The Home Of The President

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WHITE HOUSE SHOOTINGS
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History.com - Yesterday, Pennsylvania police arrested a man suspected of firing shots at the White House last week. On the evening of November 11, Secret Service officers heard gunshots near the executive mansion; four days later, investigators found bullets on White House grounds. According to reports, the individual in custody might have been targeting President Obama, who was out of town. This is hardly the first time armed or otherwise dangerous intruders have attacked the presidential compound. Find out about some of the most serious incursions below.

August 16, 1841
Faced with an economy plagued by wildly fluctuating currency valuation and bank fraud, President John Tyler vetoed Congress’ attempt to reestablish the Bank of the United States. When word of his decision spread, angry supporters of the bank gathered outside the White House. The rioters hurled stones, shot guns into the air and hung an effigy of the president that they then set on fire. As a result of the unrest, the District of Columbia decided to create its own police force.

December 25, 1974
On Christmas Day, 25-year-old Marshall Fields crashed his Chevy Impala through a White House gate and drove to the north portico. Surrounded by officers, he claimed to be the Messiah and threatened to detonate what appeared to be a bomb strapped to his body. After four hours of negotiations, Fields surrendered; his explosives turned out to be flares.

October 29, 1994
Just six weeks after the Corder incident rattled the capital, Francisco Martin Duran opened fire on the White House in an apparent attempt to kill Clinton, who was watching football in the mansion’s family quarters. Secret Service officers tackled and subdued the 26-year-old gunman. Although one bullet managed to penetrate a window in the West Wing, nobody was hurt. Duran was found guilty of trying to assassinate a president and is still serving jail time.

For a full list of attacks on the White House, click here for more from History.com.

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