Welcome

Welcome
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Operation Northwoods: The CIA’s plan to commit terror attacks in America.

Operation Northwoods: The CIA’s plan to commit terror attacks in America. 



“The courses of action which follow are a preliminary submission suitable only for planning purposes. We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other cities and even in Washington. The terror campaign could be pointed at Cuban refugees seeking haven in the United States. We could sink a boatload of Cubans en route to Florida. (real or simulated). We could foster attempts on lives of Cuban refugees in the United States even to the extent of wounding in instances to be widely published. Exploding a few plastic bombs in carefully chosen spots, the arrest of(supposed) Cuban agents and the release of prepared documents substantiating Cuban involvement also would be helpful in projecting the idea of an irresponsible government”

In the 1990s, through unclassified documents, the world learned about the CIA’s Operation Northwoods begun in the early 1960s as a means to rid the world of Cuba’s dictator, Fidel Castro by causing a war between the US and that island nation.  
Our intelligence sources and our state department were caught mostly unprepared for the toppling of the once American dominated Batista government by Castro in 1959. For the next decade, the US government did its best to discredit Castro and remove him from power. But almost all of those efforts failed and failed miserably including the ill planned Bay of Pigs Invasion in 1961.
In 1962 Operation Northwoods was created by the CIA as a solution to the Castro problem. The plan was drafted by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and signed by Chairman Gen. Lyman Lemnitzer. The operation called for a series of terrorist attacks on American military bases and civilian targets,  conducted by CIA personnel disguised as Cuban agents.  Federal officials would find direct evidence linking the attacks to Cuba  and therefore have full justification for an invasion of Cuba.
In the overall plan, Anti-Castro Cubans living in the US, disguised as Castro’s army,   would attack the Army Base at Guantanamo Bay while a series of terrorist attacks would be conducted by CIA agents in Miami (Where a number of Anti-Castro Cubans would be murdered)  and Washington and other places.
There was also a plan to hijack a commercial jet and simulate a crash with an empty airplane that would give the appearance of all of the innocent passengers being killed. A boatload of Cuban refugees on their way to Florida would be killed and that too, would also be blamed on Castro. In the crashed plane plan, the agency suggested using Cuban refugee pilots to provoke a distracting in-flight argument with a Cuban pilot over the radio. There was another plan to distribute valid one-way airline tickets to Mexico City or Caracas, Venezuela, to create unrest and dissension amongst the Cuban people.'
There was a plan for a random, mass shooting of civilians on the street by men dressed as Cuban military, the bombings of various well known buildings, and a sort of “Remember the Maine” boat bombing. The last stage of the plan also called for a fleet of captured MiG fighter jets to fly over American airspace, harassing civil aviation and perhaps even shooting down an American airliner bound for the Caribbean. 
President Kennedy personally rejected the proposal. One member read “The President said bluntly that we were not discussing the use of military force, that General Lemnitzer might find the U.S. so engaged in Berlin or elsewhere that he couldn't use the contemplated 4 divisions in Cuba."
In a follow-up memorandum to Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, General  Lemnitzer wrote that the Joint Chiefs believed that the Cuban problem “must be solved in the near future. Further, they (The Joint Chiefs) see no prospect of early success in overthrowing the present Communist regime either as a result of internal uprisings or external political, economic or internal uprisings. Accordingly they believe that military intervention by the United States will be required to overthrow Castro.
Kennedy then removed Lemnitzer as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, although he became Supreme Allied Commander of NATO in January 1963. He remains the only person in history to serve as Army Chief of Staff, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Supreme Allied Commander for NATO.
But the rift between Kennedy, the Intelligence communities and the military only worsened because the Pentagon and the spies began to believe that Kennedy was too soft on Cuba. The rift only widened during Kennedy's disagreements with the service chiefs over the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Remarkably, almost unbelievably, in 1975, President Gerald Ford appointed Lemnitzer to the Rockefeller Commission on CIA Activities within the United States. Part of the committees job was  to investigate whether the Central Intelligence Agency had committed acts that violated US laws, and allegations that E. Howard Hunt and Frank Sturgis were involved in the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

The tragic death of Princes sunandha Kumariratana



In 1880, Princess Sunandha Kumariratana, age 19, was the queen consort of Siam (modern-day Thailand)meaning that she was the first of the three wives of Siamese King Chulalongkorn. The other two wives were Sunandha’s sisters.


Sunandha was the daughter of Rama IV, or King Mongkut who had 82 children. She had been married to Rama V, (AKA King Chulalongkorn) as a very young teen. Rama was an enlighten and progressive king (He reigned from 1868 until 1910) who brought around many reforms that helped bring his kingdom into the modern world and this avoided colonization by Western powers, specifically France and England. 


He established an auditory office for tax collection, a duty that had previously been performed by corrupt tax collectors, which took most of the revenue away from the aristocracy and thereby effectively limited their power. He created the Royal Military Academy to train a Western-style military, abolished slavery and instituted democratic reforms, turning the Kingdom of Siam into a constitutional monarchy, and allowed dissenting, radical voices to be published and released people who had been political prisoners.

Sunandha Kumariratana had given the king one daughter and was expecting another child. In May 1880, Sunandha was on a trip to the royal family’s summer residence, outside of Bangkok which was reached by crossing the wide Chao Phraya River, Thailand’s biggest river.

Sunandha, accompanied by her daughter, Princess Karnabhorn Bejraratana, were traveling in their own boat, which was pulled by a bigger boat carrying her servants and guards. They traveled alone because it was unlawful for any ordinary person to touch a member of the royal family. Breaking this law was punishable with death.


Suddenly,  Sunandha’s boat capsized in a strong current, and she and her two-year-old daughter were tossed into the fast running and deep river. But instead of saving her, mindful of the law of touching a royal, Sunandha’s entire escort stood and watched her drown because the head of her guard detail refused to let anyone into the water to save the young woman and her 2-year-old baby. (There was also an ancient belief that   saving a person who was drowning in the river was associated with a life of bad luck.) misfortune.

So Sunandha and her child and the unborn child she was carrying, drowned. It was a  senseless death that could have easily been avoided. The guard who ordered others to watch and not help was jailed because the king felt that his interpretation of the law was too strict. It was King Rama’s belief that the law was intended to be followed in spirit on given occasions. He also had the archaic law that repealed.


Rama was overcome with grief. He arranged a funeral procession that would be one of the most expensive and elaborate in history and had the two children embalmed so that they sat upright on gold thrones, surrounded and adorned with gold and costly jewels as if they were still alive with their rightful places as children of the king. However, he waited seven months before allowing Sunandha’s body to be cremated.

Quote by Thomas Merton on writing



"No writing on the solitary, meditative dimensions of life can say anything that has not already been said better by the wind in the pine trees."





Quote by John Steinbeck



 I got you to look after me, and you got me to look after you, and that’s why. John Steinbeck; Of Mice and Men



Quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald


 All the bright, precious things fade so fast. And they don’t come back. F. Scott Fitzgerald; The Great Gatsby




The love and passion for writing of Gloria Emerson



In covering the world of writing and writers on this blog, it’s important to note the life of Gloria Emerson.


Emerson was a journalist and author who, as the New York Times put it “wrote with angry dignity about the effects of war on Americans, Vietnamese and Palestinians” and sadly, on August 3, 2004, at age 75, suffering from Parkinson's disease and fearing she would be unable to write, and unable to contemplate a future without her lifelong passion,  she took her own life in her apartment in Manhattan.



In the span of her amazing life, Emerson worked as a foreign correspondent for The New York Times in Vietnam and Paris, as a writer of nonfiction and fiction books. She won the George Polk Award for excellence in foreign reporting (1971) a James Aronson Award for Social Justice Journalism and the 1978 National Book Award in Contemporary Thought for her book about the Vietnam War, Winners and Losers.


Emerson was born in Manhattan to a wealthy, old-line family, the Emerson’s. She began her career in The Times's women's news department in 1957, ''I applied for a job at The New York Times many years ago, and felt correctly that my life depended on it,'' she explained in a note written just before her death. ''I didn't go to college I ran away from an alcoholic wretched home and went to work on a hotel giveaway magazine…..getting a job on the women's page was a gift from heaven although I hated writing about shoes and clothes, all under the eye of the advertising department who measured editorial mention of retailers. You cannot imagine what it was like in those days.'' She left the paper in 1960 to live in Brussels with Charles A. Brofferio, whom she described as ''an ill-suited husband'' she divorced a year later.

The Times hired her back as a reporter in Paris in 1964 ''on the understanding that I would cover the haute couture collections twice a year,'' she explained. Moving to the paper's London bureau in late 1968, she made her way to Belfast to write some articles about the conflict in Northern Ireland, and in 1970, as she put it, ''I was allowed to go to Vietnam because the war was supposed to be over, so it didn't matter if a female was sent. Et voilà!''
Her only novel, Loving Graham Greene, published in 2000 was described as "beguiling and memorable... a funny, moving and strangely profound novel" and was based on her  fascination with the British novelist Graham Greene whom she had interviewed in Antibes in March 1978 for the magazine Rolling Stone.



In December 1969, Emerson conducted a combative interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Apple Records headquarters in London, during which she disputed the effectiveness of Lennon and Ono's anti-war campaign. The conversation all but left the hopelessly pampered Lennon speechless and enraged him.

Although I disagree with Emerson’s politics and her approach to reporting on the war in Vietnam as well as her anti-Israel stance regarding Gaza, she wrote with passion and centered much of what she wrote on the ordinary soldiers. Those who knew her said that she was generous to a fault to veterans, refugees and street beggars and although her literary voice was always gravely serious, in person, she was eccentrically funny.



You can't fault them for trying: Operation Acoustic Kitty




In 2001, the CIA disclosed Operation Acoustic Kitty launched by the Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology during the height of the Cold War. It started when the CIA noticed that Russians assigned to almost every Soviet Embassy in the world, would often gather in small circles outside the embassy build and hold hushed conversations. Whatever they were discussing, it was more than probably some sort of dissent, could be valuable information. The problem was, for the US, getting an earful of the discussion.  
At the time, the CIA was testing methods of audio surveillance by inserting miniature microphones (developed by hearing aid manufacturers) into bullets strong enough to withstand the force of a gunshot and still keep recording. These tests yielded smaller, rugged microphones, but no “spy-bullet,” since microphones would pick up all sounds, relevant or not, making most recordings largely useless. So in 1961, the CIA had been conducting successful research in radio equipment and animal training and had worked on creating surgically altered cats (Cats were selected because, like humans, their cochlear anatomy allows them to filter and focus sound.) who were implanted with state of the art acoustic and radio transmission technology. 
The concept was that the cats would be free to wander the ground of the Soviet properties around DC, recording conversions.  At a cost of a remarkable $100 million, a prototype cat had been trained to wander around building and people. In an hour-long procedure, a veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone in the cat's ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of its skull and a thin wire into its fur, allowing the cat to innocuously record and transmit sound from its surroundings.

CIA officer Victor Marchetti wrote; “They slit the cat open, put batteries in him, wired him up. The tail was used as an antenna. They made a monstrosity. They tested him and tested him. They found he would walk off the job when he got hungry, so they put another wire in to override that. Finally, they’re ready. They took it out to a park bench and said, “Listen to those two guys. Don’t listen to anything else – not the birds, no cat or dog – just those two guys” (It should be noted that Marchetti was a prominent critic of the CIA)
A heavily redacted memo on the project was declassified in 2001, implying the CIA was too embarrassed disclose all the details of the project so there are two version of what happened next. Robert Wallace, a former Director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service, said that the project was abandoned due to the difficulty of training the cat to behave as required,  “The cat” he said “wanted to do what the cat wanted to do, and not what we wanted it to do”  and that “the implant could not affect any of the natural movements of the cat, nor could the cat experience any sense of irritation or the presence of the device, lest it induce rubbing or clawing to dislodge components or disturb performance……. the equipment was taken out of the cat; the cat was re-sewn for a second time and lived a long and happy life afterwards".
The second version is that the cat was driven in a van loaded with equipment to the Soviet Embassy’s communal residence building on upper Wisconsin Avenue in D.C. (The Soviets somehow managed to get a property located at the highest point in the city)  The cat was let out of the van and when it walked across the street was run over and killed by a taxi. The project was cancelled in 1967.




FBI's Time Line of Boston Organized Crime

We lost an H Bomb

We lost  an H Bomb

By
John William Tuohy



In 1968 a US plane carrying four H-bombs crashed into sea ice in Greenland and exploded, contaminating the area around the site with radiation.
Operation Chrome Dome was a US airborne alert program initiated in 1961 during the Cold War. As part of the operation’s, nuclear-armed Boeing B-52 Stratofortress bombers were flown to designated points on the Soviet Union’s border as a deterrent to the  Soviets. Four bombers remained on alert each day, with the flights being conducted without the knowledge of civilian authorities in the States.



On or about January 21, 1968, one of the B-52 bombers was assigned to fly over the Thule Air Base, the US Air Force’s northernmost base on the Danish territory of Greenland. The bomber carried four hydrogen bombs.
It was an otherwise normal flight until, six hours into the flight, a fire started in the plane and the crew couldn’t extinguish the flames. A mandatory third pilot named Major Alfred D'Mario had placed three cloth-covered foam cushions on top of a heating vent under the instructor navigator's seat in the aft section of the lower deck. Shortly after take-off, another cushion was placed under the seat which ignited.  
The captain declared it an emergency and requested emergency landing at Thule airbase. Minutes later the plane lost electricity and the cockpit was overwhelmed by dense smoke rendering the instruments useless to read and making an emergency landing impossible. Six members of the crew managed to,  but co-pilot Leonard Svitenko died in the accident. (Captain Curtis R. was found six miles away from the base, lost on the ice for 21 hours. Although he suffered hypothermia, he survived by wrapping himself in the parachute.)
The bomber had continued flying, over the air base and crashed into dense sea ice in the nearby North Star Bay. The hydrogen bombs detonated on impact, but a nuclear explosion was not triggered due to the design of the weapon. However, the detonation still dispersed a huge nuclear payload that contaminated the area with radioactivity. Gallon and gallon of Jet fuel burned for six hours after the crash, melting the ice sheet sinking the bomber into the ocean.

The entire area was filled with radioactive contamination. Understandably, the Danes demanded the nuclear material not be left in Greenland after the cleanup operation was complete, so the contaminated ice and wreckage were packed in steel tanks and shipped back to the US. Some 700 specialized personnel from both countries had worked for nine months to clean up the site, usually without adequate protective clothing or decontamination measures.
Worse yet, one of the bombs had not been recovered although the US Military insisted that all four bombs were destroyed. In 2008, a partly declassified documents appeared to confirm that within weeks of the accident, investigators realized only three of the weapons could be accounted for.

The Chrome Dome operation was suspended immediately following this disaster. The incident caused a major political scandal in Denmark because the country had designated itself a nuclear-free zone, yet government officials knew that the US Army was stockpiling nuclear weapons there.
In the US, the scandal deepened after it was learned that in 1966, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara proposed cutting the flights because they had been made obsolete by new technology. Also, cutting the operation would save the US $950 million dollars. However, the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and the Joint Chiefs of Staff opposed the plan and McNamara agreed to a compromise of allowing a smaller force of four bombers would be on alert each day. But the SAC continued the operation without the knowledge of civilian authorities who SAC commanders determined did not have the "need to know" about specific operational points.




Its been a busy month in Foster Care abuse




Foster care worker accused of sex offenses involving teen

MARION, N.C. (AP) - A North Carolina woman identified as a foster care worker is accused by authorities of an inappropriate relationship with a teenager boy for nearly a month.
The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office says in a news release on Monday that 32-year-old Tiffany Lynn Forscutt of Marion is charged with statutory rape/statutory sex offense and sex act by a governmental or private institutional employee. The sheriff’s office says the contact occurred earlier this year.
According to an incident report, Forscutt was employed by a local therapeutic leadership academy for boys. Authorities allege that Forscutt had an inappropriate sexual relationship with a 14-year-old male earlier this year.
Forscutt’s is jailed on a $250,000 bond. It’s not known if she has an attorney.



A child reported his dad abusing him. Last year, a toddler girl died in foster care at the same home.

DIANNA M. NÁÑEZ | ARIZONA REPUBLIC
Updated 8:39 p.m. EDT May 9, 2019
 
Corrections & Clarifications: A previous version of this story gave an incorrect date for when Colin Steffee spoke to police.
A toddler girl died last year in the same Arizona foster placement where, in April, an older child sent police an email reporting his father had physically abused him for two years, according to several people who know the family.
In a chilling email to El Mirage Police Chief Paul Marzocca, the boy said he was “afraid to go home,” according to court records. When police visited the boy at Riverview Elementary School, he told officers that the night before, his father "punched him, choked him, threw him into the cabinet, striking his head on the counter and floor," according to court records. The boy said when he was on the floor, his father, Colin Steffee, 27, kicked him in the ribs.
His mother told police she witnessed the beating.
Now, people familiar with the Steffee parents have told The Arizona Republic that a 1-year-old girl the family called Bella died for unknown reasons while in the foster parents’ care. And the family of a child who was temporarily in the Steffees' foster home are questioning whether the state Department of Child Safety is adequately investigating foster parents.
“The morning of 9/11/18 the Steffee family woke up” but their “baby girl did not,” states a Sept. 16 GoFundMe for the child. “Anything would help so they can” grieve with their “other children and not worry about anything.”
The now-defunct fundraiser includes two photos of a little girl with soft brown eyes. She's dressed in a red onesie with polka dots in one image and wearing pink in another. In both photos, the child is smiling, her baby teeth still coming in.
Donations over six months raised $500, falling short of the fundraiser's $1,000 goal. The child isn’t named. A caption under the toddler's photo reads: "Steffee family." There’s no information about how she died.
On Feb. 28, the foster mother posted a photo holding a toddler girl in pigtails with a banner that reads: "SUDC Awareness." Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood, or SUDC, occurs in children beyond the age of 12 months, according to the SUDC Foundation's website.
"The cause of death remains unexplained after thorough case investigation including: examination of the child and family's medical history," the site says.
A relative of the Steffees' says the child's death was investigated and no wrongdoing was found. Others wonder if the death should get a second look in light of Steffee telling police he abused his son.
'Their first baby died'
News reports about the allegations of abuse against Steffee sparked questions about whether the Arizona Department of Child Safety is thoroughly vetting foster parents before placing children in their homes.
The family of a toddler in the Steffees' foster home said the child arrived for a family visit last month with cuts under his eyes and scratches on his cheek. The family reported the toddler’s injuries to DCS nine days before the older boy told police that Steffee had abused him.
 The mother of the toddler boy who had been in foster care at the Steffees' home said she didn’t know about the older boy’s allegations of abuse when a DCS caseworker told her on April 24 — the same day police arrested Steffee — that caseworkers were returning her son to her home.
When news of the abuse allegations broke about a week later, the toddler boy's mother and grandmother began to unravel what they knew about the Steffee family. They immediately remembered what the Steffees said about a foster girl they almost adopted.
“Colin told me their first baby died,” the grandmother said. “They said from SIDS. He said they were going to adopt her.”
The Republic knows the names of the foster mother and the family of the toddler boy, but it does not typically identify children in the child-welfare system.
The foster child the Steffees called Bella died on Sept. 11, 2018, according to people familiar with the Steffees and the GoFundMe for the child.
The grandmother said the conversation happened during a doctor's visit for her grandson where she and her daughter-in-law met Steffee and his wife.
The grandmother said the Steffees had another foster child with them that day, a boy.
“He was just a baby,” the grandmother said. “They said they were going to adopt it.”
The toddler boy's family said they've been mostly happy with DCS' handling of the case. Now, the grandmother and mother of the toddler are questioning whether the Steffee home was safe for foster children, or for any child.
They want to know how after a quick Google search they uncovered a 2014 YouTube video of Steffee saying that since recently taking testosterone he noticed "that I've been a little bit more mad, a little bit more upset, I guess, emotional-wise.”
The video worried the grandmother, because Steffee made similar comments on April 24 to police. After his arrest, Steffee said he harmed the child "because he has anger issues," court documents say.
The old video, the little girl's death, her grandson's injuries should have served as red flags to dig deeper into what was happening in the Steffees' home, the grandmother said. The Steffees adopted five foster children, according to the grandmother and Thomi-Lyn Stansky, a friend of the Steffees.
Steffee admitted to police that he abused his son, according to court records. And the boy's mother confirmed to police that she had witnessed her husband strike the child's face by throwing a large Tupperware container, push the child to the ground and kick him in the ribs.
The mother said she feared for the safety of her son, according to police.
Steffee is charged with three felony counts involving child abuse and aggravated assault against a minor and was released on April 25 with electronic monitoring.
'Absolutely no wrongdoing'
A relative of Colin Steffee said the toddler girl's death was no one’s fault.
"There’s absolutely no wrongdoing — it was investigated like every child is by the Arizona Department of Child Safety,” the relative said. “They determined no foul play and they closed the case."
The Republic is not identifying the relative because the family has received threats amid news coverage of the alleged abuse, according to the relative.
“They’ve been very good parents thus far,” the relative said. "They have a lot of beautiful children."
Neither Colin Steffee nor his wife responded to The Republic’s request for comment on the child-abuse case or reports of a child dying in their home.
DCS did not respond to The Republic’s questions about whether a toddler girl died in the Steffees' foster home, whether the child's death was investigated or the cause of death. Nor did DCS respond to questions about the whereabouts of Steffee’s five adopted children or about the foster infant in Steffee's care at the time of his arrest on child-abuse charges.
DCS did not respond to questions about whether a report about Bella, the foster child who died, is in DCS’ public fatality and near-fatality reports online.
"We cannot comment on specific cases due to confidentiality laws," said DCS spokesman Darren DaRonco.
State law requires that the department “shall promptly provide DCS information to the public regarding a case of child abuse, abandonment or neglect that has resulted in a fatality or near fatality as follows.”
Stansky, the Steffee family friend, said she's known the foster parents for about six months. They bonded over both families having autistic children. She counts the mother as one of her best friends.
She recently watched a few of the Steffees' sons while the parents went to Disneyland on vacation. Stansky said the family typically takes the children with them everywhere. This was a rare respite for the couple.
Stansky said the parents are still mourning the little girl they almost adopted. They have her photo on a wall in their home. When Stansky's son asked about the little girl, the family broke down.
“Colin just fell into tears,” she said. “She really triggers an emotional spot for Colin.”
When the Steffees came home, they talked about the little girl they wanted to name after a Disney princess. "They said they wished they would've taken Bella to Disneyland," she said.
Stansky said the Steffees adopted five siblings who were in their foster care. The oldest is 13. He reported Colin Steffee abusing him, she said.
Stansky said she's never seen either Steffee parent abuse their children and she'd feel safe having her own sons in their care.
“I would’ve never in a million years expected what happened to Colin to have happened," she said. "They’re both extremely loving."
Stansky said she never met Bella. She knows bits and pieces from the Steffees.
They were in the process of adopting the toddler. She was almost 2. She died on 9/11.
“All they told me was that they were waiting for the autopsy to come back,” she said. “They got it back and they said they don’t know why she died.”
Infant foster child removed from the Steffee home
Stansky said the Steffees were planning to adopt a sixth foster child, an infant they called Christopher.
“Baby Christopher … he’s 2 months old,” she said. “They had him since he was born.”
The infant was removed from the home after Steffee's arrest, she said.
“They are not getting custody of Baby Christopher, a different family will,” she said. “They’re no longer allowed to have any contact.”
The Steffees' five children are back in foster care. Three children with one foster family; two with another, she said.
“They’ve gotten to see them once,” she said.
Stansky said she got a call from Steffee's wife the day after Colin's arrest. The mother was devastated. Stansky hopes the family gets counseling and is reunited.
"Without their kids, they’re so completely lost," she said.
She thinks health issues are to blame for Colin's alleged abuse of his son. She said Colin told her he was diagnosed with a brain tumor about two weeks ago.
“Colin’s brain tumor is what’s getting the best of him,” she said. “I think it’s the testosterone or whatever, but I think it’s bringing on a side of Colin that he doesn’t know how to handle himself and he just took it out on the wrong person.”
Republic reporters Mary Jo Pitzl and Gabriella Khalaj contributed to this article.

The Assassin Richard Lawrence


The Assassin Richard Lawrence
By
John William Tuohy





Richard Lawrence was born in England in or about 1800 and arrived in the US when he 12 or 13 years old. His father died in the District of Columbia, in the old Ward One sector, in or about 1829.
Lawrence, a handsome young man, was known to be sober, well spoke but shy and reserved and by 1832, according to his family, seemed to be losing his sanity. He lived with his sister and brother-in-law for a while but after an attempt to murder his sister for no known reason, he was arrested and later moved to a boarding house.
Since he made his living as a house painter, there is considerable speculation on the possibility that exposure to the chemicals in the paint had affected Lawrence’s mind.
On January 30, 1835, a cold, rainy and generally miserable day Lawrence was seen in his paint shop in Georgetown (then a part of Maryland) on the corner of Pennsylvania and 21st Street, having a very loud argument with himself which ended when he screamed “All right, I’ll be damned if I don’t do it”
A few hours later went up to the Capitol building to murder President Andrew Jackson while he attended to the wake of Rep. Warren Davis of South Carolina at a State Funeral Service at the Capitol.



As the frail President, leaning on his walking stick, enter the building, Lawrence leaped out from behind a pillar near the East Portico brandished two single-shot brass pistols that had belonged to his father.


Lawrence leaped out from behind the pillar and standing less than five feet from the President fired his pistol, but it misfired.  President Jackson, with Treasury Secretary Taney on his left, had been expecting an attempt on his life cussed Lawrence, raised his cane and charged the assassin thrashing him.



Lawrence stepped back, fired the other pistol, but that too misfired. (US Marshal’s tested the pistols he used and retested them and each time they performed flawlessly. A New York Times article calculated the chances of both of Lawrence’s pistols misfiring to be 1 in about 125,000.)  A Navy Lieutenant named Gedney, who was with Jackson, leaped on Lawrence, wrestled him to the ground and pulled the two pistols out of his hand.
Richard Lawrence’s act was the first instance of a President of the United States being the target of an assassination. A few years before, Jackson had become the only president to be physically assaulted.
On May 6, 1833, Jackson, age 66, ill and frail, sailed on USS Cygnet to Fredericksburg, Virginia, where he was to lay the cornerstone on a monument near the grave of Mary Ball Washington, George Washington's mother.
(Jackson was rarely in good health to begin with.  During his life he suffered from
smallpox, osteomyelitis, malaria, dysentery, rheumatism, dropsy, “cholera morbus” (widespread intestinal inflammation), amyloidosis (a waxy degeneration of body tissues) and bronchiectasis (inflamed and dilated bronchial tubes). He also had a
bullet lodged inside his lungs from a duel.)
Jackson had fired Navy lieutenant, Robert Randolph for embezzlement. During a stopover near Alexandria, Jackson decided to entertain visitors to the boat and Randolph, walked aboard, said nothing, walked up to President, removed his gloves and punched him in the face. (Some say that Randolph punched the President, some say he slapped him and other say he tweaked  the President’s nose)
 Jackson, who had been reading a book, fell back and was trapped in his chair behind the table as Randolph was quickly held back by some of Jackson’s associates and some of Randolph’s own friends who had boarded the steamboat with Randolph.
 Jackson angrily yelled, “What, Sir!  What, Sir!”, as he scrambled to get out of his seat and lunged for his cane. Rather than face an angry Jackson man to man, Randolph broke loose and fled only to be run down and captured by Jackson's staff and friends including the writer Washington Irving.
Jackson was not seriously hurt but he was furious and embarrassed. “Had I been apprised that Randolph stood before me” he said “I should have been prepared for him, and I could have defended myself.  No villain has ever escaped me before; and he would not, had it not been for my confined situation.”
 Jackson declined to press charges, but Randolph was arrested anyway. By the time Randolph went to trial for attacking Jackson, the President was retired to his estate in  
Tennessee.  In a letter to the new President Martin Van Buren, Jackson said, “I have to this old age complied with my mother’s advice to ‘indict no man for assault and battery or sue him for slander’, and to fine or imprison Randolph would be no gratification."  Jackson asked President Van Buren to pardon Randolph if his assailant was found guilty for the attack. 
Back in Washington in 1836, during questioning, it quickly became clear that the shooter Richard Lawrence was a babbling lunatic who offered no less than six reasons to explain the shooting including his belief that he was the secret king of England, Richard III who died in 1485 and that Jackson was his clerk. In fact, on his first day in court, where he was defended by Francis Scott Key, Lawrence, impeccably dressed and well spoken, rose and addressed the court with great dignity and said "I am under the protection of my father at home. The throne of Great Britain and the throne of this country of right belong to me. I am superior to this tribunal. I ask you to consider whether you are safe in your course of proceedings.” The judge respectfully reminded Lawrence that he would be heard through his Counsel, and politely requested him to take his seat.
When the Jurors were sworn in on the Bible, Lawrence rose again and shouted "Swear on that book, but remember that I am King of England and of this country, and will most assuredly punish you"
When the court ordered Lawrence to sit and be silent he said, "I will not" and remained standing until a federal marshal sat him down and stood by his chair for the rest of the trial.
A half a dozen doctors testified that they believed that Lawrence was insane; and that he was unable to discriminate between right and wrong in a case connected with his delusion; and that if the act of assaulting the President was connected with the subject of his delusion, he was not to be considered as morally accountable for the act. Lawrence was institutionalized at what would become St. Elizabeth’s hospital (He was the institution's seventh inmate) until his death in 1861.
Jackson suspected that a circle of his political enemies orchestrated the attempt on his life, but his suspicions were never proven. His primary suspect was his decades-long enemy Henry Clay and Senator John C. Calhoun. Jackson told aides that he suspected both were involved in his potential assassination and had likely hired or convinced Lawrence to pull the trigger. Speculation grew so severe that Calhoun (Below) made a statement on the Senate floor that he was not connected to the attack.


Jackson also suspected Senator George Poindexter of Mississippi, who had used Lawrence to do some house painting a few months earlier. There were several reports, by reliable witnesses, that on the morning of the failed assassination, that Lawrence had been to Poindexter’s house. Poindexter (below) denied the charges but was soundly defeated for re-election anyway.


(Footnote on Poindexter’s interesting private life.  In 1804 Poindexter married Lydia Carter the daughter of a prominent Natchez businessman and plantation owner. The couple had two sons , George and Albert but Poindexter publicly accused his wife of infidelity and claimed that their second child, Albert, was the product of an extramarital affair between his wife and their neighbor. In 1816 Poindexter married Agatha Ball Chinn, part of an old and distinguished southern family, but had a life-long liaison with a slave woman who worked on his plantation.)


President McKinley's carnation


President McKinley's Carnation

by
John Wiliam Tuohy



President William McKinley, an Ohioan  wore a red carnation in his lapel at all times (The red carnation was Ohio’s state flower, he actually wore different color carnations depending on his suit color) At the White House during his administration, bowls filled with red and white carnations and placed around the mansion.
 Mostly he wore carnation boutonnière as a personal trademark although somewhere along the line, the story developed that he wore them as a good luck charm. Actually, one of  McKinley’s customs was to remove his lapel carnation and offer it to guests as a souvenir.
In September 1901, when McKinley visited the Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY, he wore his usual boutonnière.

McKinley entering the hall where he would be shot

 Toward the end of the hand-shaking reception, he offered his carnation to one of the visitors, a twelve-year-old girl. Several minutes later, the lunatic Leon Czolgosz, pumped two bullets into President, which eventually led to the president’s death.




 Czolgosz, after hearing a speech by anarchist Emma Goldman in Cleveland, had decided to do something he believed would advance the cause. A grand jury indicted him on one count of first-degree murder. The judge and the jury believed the defense claim that Czolgosz was insane, by claiming that no sane man would have shot and killed the president in such a public and blatant manner, knowing he would be caught. However, in New York State, the legal definition of insanity, Czolgosz was legally insane only if he was unable to understand what he was doing.


Under those guidelines, the jury convicted him in less than a half-hour of deliberations, the judge sentenced him to death. Czolgosz’s last words were: "I killed the President because he was the enemy of the good people – the good working people. I am not sorry for my crime. I am sorry I could not see my father."
The body was buried on prison grounds following the autopsy. Prison authorities had planned to inter the body with quicklime to hasten its decomposition but decided otherwise after testing quicklime on a sample of meat. After determining that they were not legally limited to the use of quicklime for the process, they poured sulfuric acid into Czolgosz's coffin so that his body would be completely disfigured.
Emma Goldman was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the assassination, but was released, due to insufficient evidence. The Temple of Music, was demolished in November 1901, along with the rest of the Exposition grounds. A stone marker in the median of Fordham Drive, a residential street in Buffalo, marks the approximate spot where the shooting occurred.