January 30 - 1948 - The Assassination of Mahatma Gandhi

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was such an influential figure as a leader of the Indian independence movement that as India gained independence from Great Britain in 1947, he was universally known as "Mahatma," the great soul, and widely called "Bapu," an endearing term for father. Yet the independence of India had seen what was British India split into two, with Muslim majority areas in the East and West becoming Pakistan. This then led to mass migration, violence, and intense conflicts. Gandhi tried to ease the suffering of all people and resolve the disputes. For that, he raised the ire of many right-wing Hindu nationalists, such as Nathuram Godse. Godse followed Gandhi for weeks, seeking to assassinate him because of what Godse saw as a betrayal of Hindus. Finally, on the next to last day of January 1948, Godse was able to approach Gandhi as he walked to prayers and fired three shots at point blank range. Gandhi would die that evening, and Godse would be executed for the assassination.

William Floyd