AMERICAN GUNFIGHT The Plot to Kill Harry Truman - and The shoot-out That Stopped It

Author: Hunter (Stephen) & Bainbridge, Jr. (John)
Year: 2005
Publisher: Simon & Schuster (New York)
Edition Details: 1st US Edn.
Book Condition: F/F
ISBN: 9780743260688
Price: 8.00
Hardback. On November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican Nationalists named Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola pulled German automatic pistols and attempted to storm Blair House, at 1651 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C., where the president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, was at that moment - 2.20pm on an abnormally hot Wednesday - taking a nap in his underwear. They were opposed bya 3-man Secret Service detail and 4 White House Police officers. In the brief exchange - under 40 seconds - between 29 and 31 shots were fired in an area about 90' by 20', though the exchange broke into two actions at either end of the property, where the ranges were much shorter. When it was over one man was dead, another was dying, and two more were seriously injured. The story was of course gigantic news - for about a week. What's remarkable about it is not how big a story it was but how quickly it went away. Today, few Americans even remember it. If they do, it always encompasses the following points : The grievances Oscar and Griselio were expressing were fundamentally absurd: Puerto Rico had been given the gift of United States culture and political traditions and was rapidly becoming Americanised, as it should be; In Washington, the two gunmen further expressed their deep state of mental disorganisation by acting in strange ways; In the actual fight itself, the Secret Service and the White House policemen essentially brushed them aside; The two never came close to getting into Blair House. And even if they had, it would have made no difference as an agent with a tommy gun was waiting just inside the door. Harry Truman was never in any mortal danger. There is only one problem with assigning these meanings to the 38.5 desperate, violent seconds of November 1, 1950. Every single one of them is wrong. Illus., Epilogue, Source Notes, Bibliog. + Index. 368pp. lge. 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. F. in F. dw.


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