The President of the United States of America is one of the most powerful and influential people in the entire world. Although the president is elected in a democratic matter there is always some opposition to the policies or ideals of the current president. Most opposition is handled in a calm and peaceful manner, but sometimes this means that the president is also a target for people with differing views. As it currently stands, there have been at least 20 known attempts to assassinate current and former presidents.
How many US Presidents have been assassinated?
There has been four successful assassinations of American presidents. The first was President Abraham Lincoln who was gunned down by John Wilkes Booth on April 14, 1865. The second was James Garfield who was gunned down by Charles Guiteau on July 2, 1881. He died 11 weeks later due to infection. The third assassination was President William McKinley who was shot on September 6, 1901 by Leon Czolgosz. The most recent presidential assassination was on November 22, 1963, when President John F. Kennedy was shot by Lee Harvey Oswald with the sniper rifle.
There have been two presidents, Zachary Taylor and Warren G. Harding, that some people believe were assassinated. It is certainly true that both of their deaths were suspicious, but assassination has never been proven.
Other assassination attempts
At least 12 presidents have been the known targets of assassination attempts, but this number could be much higher. Today, the president is one of the most well protected people on the planet. The president is protected by the Secret Service, which was created after the successful assassination of William McKinley.