A bomb ‘for peace’
In 1915, a German-born Harvard University professor planted dynamite near the Senate Reception Room. No one was injured when it exploded around midnight. The professor wrote to newspapers, saying he had done it as “an exclamation point in my appeal for peace.” He was later detained and committed suicide while in custody.
Attack by Puerto Rican nationalists
In March 1954, four Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire on the House floor from the visitor’s gallery above, wounding five members of Congress. The perpetrators were caught and imprisoned. One was released in 1978; the others were released the next year after President Jimmy Carter pardoned them.
The Weather Underground bombing
In March 1971, the extremist group set off a bomb inside a bathroom on the Senate side of the Capitol. No one was hurt, but it resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage. The group claimed responsibility for multiple bombings in the late 1960s and 1970s, including at the Pentagon and a New York City police station.
The Armed Resistance Unit bombing
A decade later, in 1983, a leftist group protesting military action in Lebanon and Grenada set off a bomb inside the Capitol, this time blowing off the door of Sen. Robert Byrd’s office and shredding a portrait of Daniel Webster. After a five-year hunt, three women were charged and given lengthy prison sentences. After this incident, the House and Senate chambers added metal detectors and increased security, which the pro-Trump mob breached on Wednesday.
The Capitol was also targeted on Sept. 11, 2001, but the terrorists were unsuccessful. There have also been several shootings at the Capitol that were not politically motivated.
Some of Wednesday’s rioters carried Confederate flags, but the real Confederates never breached the Capitol during the Civil War. The closest they got was Fort Stevens on the north side of the city in July 1864. President Abraham Lincoln visited the site during the battle and was shot at, prompting a Union officer to ask him to leave.
Philip Bump contributed to this report.
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