October 14 - 1912 - The Attempted Assassination of Theodore Roosevelt
Although John Flammang Schrank shot former President Theodore Roosevelt at point blank range while Roosevelt was campaigning for another term in 1912, Roosevelt was not seriously harmed. This was because Schrank's bullet went first through Roosevelt's fifty page speech, then bounced off of Roosevelt's glasses case and just barely lodged in Roosevelt, next to his rib. In fact, Roosevelt gave a full campaign speech before receiving treatment. This made Schrank's assassination attempt a mere historical footnote. Yet it took place in a bizarre presidential election and could have had a bigger impact. Roosevelt was running on a third party ticket, the Progressive Party, because he was unhappy with the conservative direction the presidency took under his handpicked successor, William Howard Taft. Roosevelt also was worried about the Democratic nominee, moderate Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey, because Wilson could win. Had Schrank been a more successful assassin, perhaps such a bizarre election would have become even more outrageous. Instead, Schrank would be immediately arrested, ruled insane, and died in an insane asylum four decades later.