March 1

This Day in History

General Interest

Mar 1, 1954:

Puerto Rican nationalists wound five representatives

In the U.S. Capitol, four members of an extremist Puerto Rican nationalist group fire more than 30 shots at the floor of the House of Representatives from a visitors' gallery, injuring five U.S. representatives. Alvin Bentley of Michigan, George Fallon of Maryland, Ben Jensen of Iowa, Clifford Davis of Tennessee, and Kenneth Roberts of Alabama all eventually recovered from their gunshot wounds and returned to their seats in Congress. Three of the Puerto Rican terrorists were detained immediately after the shooting, and the fourth was captured later. The group was protesting the new constitution of Puerto Rico, which granted the U.S. Congress ultimate authority over the commonwealth's affairs.

Exactly 17 years later, on March 1, 1971, a bomb exploded in a restroom in the Senate wing of the Capitol, causing some $300,000 in damages but no injuries. The Weather Underground, a U.S. leftist radical group that opposed the war in Vietnam, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

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