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661 Jan 27
Ali ibn Abu Talib, caliph of Islam (656-61), was murdered in Kufa, Iraq. Caliph Ali, son-in-law of Mohammed, was assassinated and his followers (Shiites) broke from the majority Muslim group. A member of the anarchist sect of Kharajites assassinated Ali. This sect believed that there are no verdict’s but God’s.
Links: Iraq, Islam, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1584 Jul 10
William of Orange (1533-1584), Prince of Orange (1544-1584), Count of Nassau (1559-1584), and first stadholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, was assassinated by Burgundian Balthasar Gerard (25) with a handgun. Philip II of Spain had called for a volunteer assassin due to William’s reluctance take a public stand on religious issues. William was succeeded by his 17-year-old son, Maurice of Nassau. In 2006 Lisa Jardine authored “The Awful End of Prince William the Silent.”
Links: Spain, France, Netherlands, Guns, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1672 Aug 20
Jan de Witt, Dutch politician and mathematician, was assassinated by a carefully organized lynch "mob" after visiting his brother Cornelis de Witt in prison. He was killed by a shot in the neck; his naked body was hanged and mutilated and the heart was carved out to be exhibited.
Links: Netherlands, Murder, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1696
In England a Jacobite plot to assassinate King William III and restore James II failed.
Links: Britain, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1792 Mar 16
Sweden's King Gustav III was shot and mortally wounded during a masquerade party by a former member of his regiment. He was murdered by Count Ankarstrom at an opera. It became the inspiration for Giuseppe Verdi's Un Ballo in Maschera. Gustav died 13 days later.
Links: Sweden, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1860 Jan 10
Ezequiel Zamora (1817-1860), leader of the Federalist Army in Venezuela, was assassinated.
Links: Venezuela, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1863
Radama II, ruler of Madagascar, was assassinated. He was succeeded by his wife Rasoherina, who was later succeeded by another of Radama's wives, Ranavalona II.
Links: Madagascar, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1865 Apr 14
On the evening of Good Friday, just after 10 p.m., Pres. Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington DC. Southern sympathizer John Wilkes Booth burst into the presidential box and shot Lincoln behind the ear. Booth shouted out “sic semper tyrannis” (thus always to tyrants), Virginia’s state motto, after shooting Pres. Lincoln. He leaped to the stage, breaking his left leg on impact, and escaped through a side door. Lincoln was carried to a nearby house where he remained unconscious until his death at 7:22 the following morning. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, who had kept vigil at Lincoln's bedside, said, "Now he belongs to the ages." As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.”
Links: USA, Virginia, Theater, DC, LincolnA, Assassin, Civil War (US)     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1865 Apr 15
President Lincoln died, several hours after he was shot at Ford’s Theater in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. Andrew Johnson, Vice-President under Lincoln, became the 17th President (1865-1869) of the US upon the assassination. The first Mourning Stamp was issued after his assassination, a 15-cent black commemorative. In 1999 Allen C. Guelzo authored "Abraham Lincoln: Redeemer President," an intellectual biography. In 2002 William Lee Miller authored "Lincoln’s Virtues: An Ethical Biography." In 2004 Ronald C. White Jr. authored “The Eloquent President.” In 2005 Doris Kearns Goodwin authored “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln.” In 2006 Douglas L. Wilson authored “Lincoln’s Sword: The Presidency and the Power of Woods.”
Links: USA, Biography, LincolnA, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1900 Jul 29
Italian King Humbert I was assassinated by Gaetano Bresci, an Italian-born anarchist who had resided in America before returning to Italy to murder the king. The murder was believed to be due to the king’s 1898 decision to fire cannon rounds into a crowd of starving peasants and workers that had assembled asking the king for assistance; 100s were killed; Bresci was arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to a life of hard labor at Santo Stefano Prison on Ventotene Island. Humbert was succeeded by his son, Victor Emmanuel III.
Links: Italy, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1908 Mar 23
In San Francisco Durham White Stevens (56), Japan’s foreign advisor to Korea, was shot by a Korean nationalist. Stevens died 2 days later from internal injuries. Chang In Hwan and Chun Myung Un had attacked Stevens as he approached the ferry landing. Chun was released from prison in June, 1908, and fled the country. Chang was convicted of 2nd degree manslaughter and sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was paroled after 10 years.
Links: USA, Japan, Korea, SF, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1909 Jul 1
In England Indian army officer Sir Curzon Wyllie (b.1848) was shot dead on a Kensington street by Indian student revolutionary Madan Lal Dhingra. Vinayak Savarkar was suspected of encouraging Dhingra.
Links: Britain, India, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1913 Mar 22
In China Song Jiaren (30), a leader of the new Nationalist Party, died following a March 20 attack at the Shanghai railway station. All those involved in his killing died or went missing within a year.
Links: China, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1914 Jul 31
Jean Jaures (b.1859), French Socialist leader, was assassinated by French nationalist Raoul Villain (29).
Links: France, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1922 Dec 16
Gabriel Narutowicz (b.1865), a Lithuanian-born, Swiss banking engineer and Poland’s first post WWI president was assassinated while attending an art exhibition, in the National Gallery of Art.
Links: Poland, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1932 May 15
Japan’s PM Tsuyoshi Inukai (b.1855) and his family were assassinated by young right-wing naval officers. His son Ken Inukai, watching a Sumo wrestling match with Charlie Chaplin, survived.
Links: Japan, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1940 Aug 21
Leon Trotsky, exiled Communist revolutionary, died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin the day before. Earlier this year Josef Grigulevich (27), a Lithuania-born KGB agent, established a safe house at Zook's Pharmacy in Santa Fe, NM, for the assassins of Leon Trotsky. The pharmacy, visible in archive photos, was replaced in 1990 by a Haagen-Dazs ice cream shop. Grigulevich was recruited by Soviet strongman Josef Stalin's secret police as a university student in Paris and learned the assassin's trade during the Spanish civil war. He later published 58 books on Latin American history. In 2011 intelligence expert E.B. Held authored "A Spy's Guide to Albuquerque and Santa Fe."
Links: Russia, Lithuania, Mexico, USSR, New Mexico, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1946
Thailand’s King Ananda was assassinated.
Links: Thailand, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1948 Sep 17
Count Folke Bernadotte (b.1895) of Sweden, the UN mediator for Palestine, was assassinated in Jerusalem by members of the extreme Zionist Stern Group. Yehoshua Zettler (d.2009 at 91), one of the founding members of the group, masterminded the assassination.
Links: UN, Israel, Sweden, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1951 Oct 16
Pakistan’s PM Liaquat Ali Khan (b.1896), son of a Punjabi prince, was assassinated in Rawalpindi, ushering in a period of political instability.
Links: Pakistan, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1956 Sep 21
Anastasio Somoza Garcia (b.1896), Nicaraguan dictator, was shot by poet Rigoberto Lopez Perez. He died on Sep 29 after being sent to a Panama Canal Zone hospital.
Links: Nicaragua, Poet, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1957 Dec 25
Ramdane Abane (b.1920), Algerian Berber revolutionary leader, was assassinated in Morocco.
Links: Algeria, Morocco, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1959 Oct 15
Stepan Bandera (b.1909), a Ukrainian nationalist, was assassinated in Munich by a KGB agent who used a spray gun to fire cyanide gas into his face. In 2010 Ukraine Pres. Yushchenko issued a decree posthumously awarding the nation's highest award to Bandera weeks before his term ended in February. Yushchenko called Bandera patriot, but the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a leading Jewish rights group, said Bandera's followers were linked to the deaths of thousands of Jews. In April 2010 a court overturned the decree.
Links: Russia, Ukraine, Germany, Jews, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1963 Nov 22
Two amateur films recorded the assassination of Pres. Kennedy. A 24 ˝ sec. video by Orville Nix Sr. and Abraham Zapruder, a dress manufacturer, captured the assassination on video tape. In 1981 David Lifton published "Best Evidence," on the medical evidence of the assassination. In 1993 Gerald Posner published "Case Closed," a book on the Warren Commission report. In 1998 new testimony was released that a 2nd set of pictures was taken at the autopsy that were never made public. In 2007 David Talbot authored “Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years.” In 2007 Vincent Bugliosi authored “Reclaiming History: The Assassination of President John F. Kennedy.”
Links: USA, Texas, KennedyJ, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1963 Nov 22
Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit was slain by Lee Harvey Oswald 45 minutes after Pres. Kennedy was shot when he called Oswald over for questioning. Oswald was arrested inside the Texas Theater, 321 W. Jefferson Blvd., just before 2pm.
Links: USA, Texas, KennedyJ, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1966 Jan 15
Nigeria’s PM Abubakar Tafawa Balewa (b.1912) was assassinated in the country's 1st military coup.
Links: Nigeria, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1967 Jan 4
Mohamed Khider (b.1912), Algerian politician and a leading figure in the FLN, was assassinated in Madrid, Spain.
Links: Algeria, Spain, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Apr 11
Riots erupted in West Berlin after the shooting of student leader Rudi Dutschke (1940-1979). He survived the assassination attempt by a right-wing extremist, living for another twelve years until related health problems caused his death.
Links: Germany, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1968 Jun 8
Authorities announced the capture in London of James Earl Ray, the suspected assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Links: Britain, USA, Black History, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Mar 3
Sirhan Sirhan testified in a court in Los Angeles that he killed Robert Kennedy.
Links: USA, California, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1969 Apr 17
A jury in Los Angeles convicted Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. 6 days later he was sentenced to death.
Links: USA, California, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Apr 23
Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.
Links: USA, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1969 Jul 5
Tom Mboya (b.1930) of Kenya’s Luo tribe was assassinated in Nairobi. He was the expected successor to Pres. Jomo Kenyatta (1894-1978).
Links: Kenya, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1971 May 3
James Earl Ray (1928-1998), Martin Luther King's assassin (1968), was caught in a jail break attempt in Tennessee.
Links: USA, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Mar 25
King Faisal ibn Abd al-Aziz (68) of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness. The nephew was beheaded the following June. In 2008 Joseph A. Kechichian authored “Faisal: Saudi Arabia’s King for All Seasons.” In 2013 Alexei Vassiliev authored “King Faisal of Saudi Arabia: Personality, Faith and Times.”
Links: Saudi Arabia, Biography, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1975 Aug 15
Bangladesh army officers killed Sheik Mujibar Rahman, the country's founding leader and father of Hasina Wajed. A total of 20 people, including domestic staff, were killed when the group of officers stormed his house. General Ziaur Rahman, father of Khaleda Zia, became the military ruler. Rahman had introduced a one-party socialist system and assumed almost dictatorial powers. In 1997 the government charged two people with his assassination. In 1998 15 men were found guilty and sentenced to death. Three were acquitted in 2001. Of the remaining 12, five appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court, six are in hiding and one is believed to have died in Zimbabwe. In 2010 the Supreme Court upheld the death sentence for five killers.
Links: Bangladesh, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Sep 22
President Gerald R. Ford dodged a second assassination in less than three weeks. Sara Jane Moore, an FBI informer and self-proclaimed revolutionary, attempted to shoot President Ford outside a San Francisco hotel, but missed. Oliver Sipple (1941-1989), a disabled former Marine, knocked Moore’s arm aside. A bullet she fired slightly wounded a man in the crowd. Moore was sentenced to life in prison, but was paroled at the end of 2007 after serving over 30 years without getting into trouble.
Links: USA, SF, FBI, Assassin, FordG     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Oct 6
Chilean Vice Pres. Bernardo Leighton and his wife, Anita Fresno, were shot in Rome. Anita was left permanently disabled. In 2000 Chilean authorities arrested former Gen. Eduardo Iturriaga for the shooting.
Links: Italy, Chile, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1975 Nov 26
A federal jury in Sacramento, Calif., found Lynette Fromme, a follower of Charles Manson, guilty of trying to assassinate President Ford. [see Sep 5]
Links: USA, California, Assassin, FordG     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1976 Sep 21
Chilean exile Orlando Letelier, one time foreign minister to Chilean President Salvador Allende, was killed when a bomb exploded in his car in Washington D.C. He was assassinated by order from Chile by Gen’l. Manuel Contreras, head of the secret police known as DINA. Ronni Moffitt (24), an American colleague of Letelier, was also killed. Contreras was convicted of the order in 1993 and sentenced to a 7-year prison term. In 2000 Gen. Pinochet was linked to the killing. In 2015 declassified US documents relating to the assassination reportedly pointed to Pinochet's role in ordering the murder.
Links: Chile, USA, DC, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1977 Mar 18
Marien Ngouabi, the military president of the Republic of the Congo (Congo-Brazzaville), was assassinated.
Links: Congo Rep., Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 Jun 10
James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., escaped from Brushy Mountain State Prison in Tennessee with six others; he was recaptured Jun 13.
Links: USA, Tennessee, Black History, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1977 Jun 13
James Earl Ray, the convicted assassin of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Junior, was recaptured following his escape three days earlier from a Tennessee prison.
Links: USA, Tennessee, Black History, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Jan 4
Said Hammami, the PLO representative in London, was assassinated. It was initially believed to be the work of Abu Nidal but was later reported to have been organized by Yasser Arafat.
Links: Britain, Palestine, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Mar 8
In Nicaragua General Raynoldo Perez Vega, the National Guard Chief, was assassinated.
Links: Nicaragua, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1978 Sep 6
Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov, living in London, was stabbed in the leg by a man carrying an umbrella; Markov died four days later, an apparent victim of the Bulgarian secret police using a ricin-coated pellet. The assassin was later identified as Francesco Gullino (Guillino, Giullino), code name Piccadilly, an Italian-born Dane, operating under instructions from Vasil Kotsev, Bulgaria’s top spymaster.
Links: Bulgaria, Britain, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978 Oct 12
In Uganda Idi Amin escaped an 11th assassination attempt.
Links: Uganda, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1978
Romania’s Gen. Ion Pacepa, a top ranking Securitate officer, defected to the United States. Pres. Ceausescu hired Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, aka Carlos the Jackal, to assassinate Pacepa but he failed.
Links: Romania, USA, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1979 Oct 26
South Korean President Park Chung-hee was shot to death by the head of the Korean Central Intelligence Agency, Kim Jae-kyu. Choi Kyu-hah (1918-2006) became acting president after the assassination of President Park Chung-hee. The void created by Park's death was filled by Maj. Gen. Chun Doo-hwan, a Park protege and commander of the powerful Defense Security Command. Chun staged an internal coup to take control of the military, then persuaded the new president, Choi Kyuh-hah, to impose martial law and name Chun chief of the KCIA. Choi was forced to resign 8 months later following a military coup.
Links: South Korea, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1979
The US House Select Committee on Assassinations reported that conspiracies were "likely" in John F. Kennedy’s death.
Links: USA, KennedyJ, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1980 Mar 24
Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, one of El Salvador's most respected Roman Catholic Church leaders, was shot to death by gunmen as he celebrated Mass in San Salvador. In 1993 a UN-sponsored truth commission determined that the assassination was ordered by a former army major and Maj. Roberto D'Abuisson, founder of the Nationalist Republican Alliance party (ARENA). D’Abuisson (d.1992) was also credited with founding the national death squads. In 2004 a California federal judge found Alvaro Rafael Saravia, a retired Salvadoran air force captain living in Modesto, Ca., liable in the slaying of archbishop Romero and ordered him to pay $10 million in damages.
Links: El Salvador, Murder, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 May 29
In Fort Wayne, Indiana, there was an attempted assassination of Vernon Jordan Jr., National Urban League president. in 1996 an acquitted sniper told a newspaper that he did shoot and wound Vernon Jordan, then president of the Urban League, outside an Indiana hotel in 1980.
Links: USA, Indiana, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 May 30
In Bangladesh General Ziaur Rahman was assassinated by dissident army officers.
Links: Bangladesh, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Jun 26
In Syria there was an assassination attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood on Pres. Assad. Syrian security forces retaliated by killing hundreds of Islamist inmates at the Tadmur prison. The Syrian public did not find out about this until January 1981.
Links: Syria, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1980 Sep 17
Former Nicaraguan president Anastasio Somoza was assassinated in Paraguay. Enrique Gorriaran Merlo, Argentine super-guerrilla, claimed responsibility. Merlo was captured in Mexico in 10/95 and extradited to Argentina where he had multiple charges against him.
Links: Argentina, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Mexico, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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1981 May 30
In Bangladesh Major Gen’l. Abdul Manzoor was shot and killed after he led a failed uprising that killed Pres. Ziaur Rahman 1980. Hussein Mohammed Ershad and 4 army officers were later accused of the killing.
Links: Bangladesh, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 May 30
The president of Bangladesh, Ziaur Rahman, was assassinated in a failed military coup.
Links: Bangladesh, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1981 Aug 30
Mohammad Javad Bahonar, prime minister of Iran, was assassinated by a bomb.
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1981 Oct 6
Egyptian Pres. Anwar Sadat was killed by Islambouli, an Islamic fundamentalist (Takfir wal Hijra) and Egyptian army lieutenant, at the parade ground of Nasser City during a ceremony commemorating the Egyptian crossing of the Suez Canal during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. Although authorities were warned of a death plot hours earlier, the information did not get to the president in time. Abboud and Tarek el-Zomor were convicted in 1984 of plotting the assassination and of belonging to the outlawed Islamic Jihad group, but not of actually killing Sadat. The two were sentenced to 20 years in prison. The five prime suspects, including the shooter, were captured and executed. The events are described in a book by Fouad Allam: "The Brotherhood and I." In 2000 Mohammad Khan produced the film "Days of Sadat," starring Ahmed Zaki.
Links: Egypt, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
 
1983 Aug 21
Philippine opposition leader Benigno S. Aquino Jr., ending a self-imposed exile in the United States, was shot dead moments after stepping off a plane at Manila International Airport. Fabian Ver (d.1998 at 78), leader of the Philippine army, was among 20 men later charged in the murder of Aquino. Ver fled to Hawaii in 1986 along with Marcos.
Links: USA, Philippines, Assassin     Click to see the source(s) for this event 
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