JFK assassination 50 years on: 10 other shocking political killings


As we mark fifty years since the death of President John F Kennedy, we look back at 10 other political assassinations that shocked the world

Today marks fifty years since President John F Kennedy was assassinated. His death was one of the defining moments in history and sent shockwaves around the world. Here are 10 other political assassinations…

JFK assassination 50 years on 10 other shocking political killings

Spencer Perceval


Tory MP: Spencer Perceval
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Tory MP Perceval served as Chancellor and Leader of the House of Commons before becoming First Lord of the Treasury (the post now known as Prime Minister) in 1809.

He led the country at a difficult time, with the Industrial Revolution and Napoleonic Wars in full swing.

However, his administration, and his life, came to a dramatic end when he was shot dead in the lobby of the House of Commons on May 11, 1812.

Appropriately, his last words were: “Oh, I have been murdered.”

His killer was John Bellingham, a merchant who had incurred business debts in Russia.

Bellingham had sought compensation from the government for his losses, but was refused – and so set out to get his revenge.

He was later convicted and hung for Perceval’s murder.

To this day, Perceval remains the only British Prime Minister to have been assassinated.


Abraham Lincoln


FILE PHOTO: Movie Release: Lincoln
President: Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States, a man whose presidency was dominated by the American Civil War.

He ran for office on an anti-slavery ticket, a move which  prompted seven southern states to leave the Union and form the Confederate States of America, also known as the Confederacy.

War broke out in April 1861 and by the time the conflict finished more than four years later, 600,000 Americans had died.

Lincoln was gunned down on April 14, 1865, five days after the war ended.

He had been attending a performance at Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC.

Lincoln died in hospital a day after he was shot.

His assassin, John Wilkes Booth, was a strong supporter of the Confederacy


Archduke Franz Ferdinand


Archduke Of Austria
Archduke: Franz Ferdinand
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Franz Ferdinand was heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary.

On June 28, 1914, the Archduke visited Sarajevo in Bosnia, which, six years earlier, had been annexed from Serbia by Austria-Hungary.

The purpose of his trip, which he undertook with his wife Sophie, was to inspect the army.

After learning of his visit, a group of seven young Bosnian Serbs planned to assassinate Franz Ferdinand as he drove along the main road in Sarajevo, the Appel Quay.

One of them threw a bomb at the Archduke’s car but he missed and was arrested.

Franz Ferdinand escaped unhurt and decided to abandon the visit.

On the way home however, the driver took a wrong turn and stopped in front of Gavrilo Princip, one of the conspirators, who was also on his way home thinking he had failed.

Princip pulled out a gun and shot at Franz Ferdinand, hitting him in the jugular vein.

He also shot and killed Sophie.

The Archduke bled to death and his assassination set off the chain of events that led to the First World War.


Tsar Nicholas II


The Tsar Nicholas II of Russia 1868-1918
Tsar: Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov
getty images

 Nikolai Aleksandrovich Romanov, better known as Tsar Nicholas II, was the last tsar of Russia.

He came to the throne in 1894 but suffered a setback when his armed forces were defeated by the Japanese in Manchuria in 1904.

Strikes and riots followed and Nicholas was forced to establish a parliament and a formal Russian constitution after opposition to him grew.

When the First World War broke out in 1914, Russia allied to France and Britain.

However, in mid-1915 Nicholas took direct command of the Russian armies and so, from then on, every military failure was directly associated with him.

High inflation and food shortages led to popular demonstrations against the tsar and, after he lost the support of the army, he was forced to abdicate in February 1917.

A shaky provisional government was formed and Nicholas and his family were imprisoned.

Then in October 1917, the Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government and Russia descended into civil war.

On July 17,1918, Nicholas and his family were executed, almost certainly on the orders of the Bolshevik leader Vladimir Lenin.


Martin Luther King


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr
Dreamer: Martin Luther King
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 King was a civil rights leader who joined the campaign for equal rights for blacks in the United States in the mid 1950s.

He led a boycott of buses in Alabama in 1955 and eight years later headed up a massive rally in Washington DC where he delivered his now famous “I have a dream” speech.

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964 in recognition of his use of non-violent tactics such as sit-ins and protest marches.

But then on April 4, 1968, King was shot in the neck on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was preparing to lead a march of sanitation workers protesting against poor pay and working conditions.

He died later in hospital.

His assassination led to riots in more than 100 US cities.

James Earl Ray was convicted of his murder and sentenced to 99 years in prison.

He died behind bars in 1998.


Earl Mountbatten


Louis Mountbatten with Prince Charles
Killed: Lord Mountbatten pictured with a young Prince Charles

Lord (Louis) Mountbatten was a cousin of The Queen and a British naval officer who defeated the Japanese in South East Asia during the Second World War.

Each year, the peer and his family traditionally spent their summer holiday at their castle in County Sligo, in the north west of Ireland.

The year 1979 was no different.

On the morning of August 27, he was on board his boat Shadow V, which had just set off from the fishing village of Mullaghmore.

At 11.30am, a powerful bomb detonated on board, blowing the vessel “to smithereens,” according to one witness.

All seven people on board were thrown into the water and Mountbatten, 79, died shortly afterwards.

He was given a state funeral.

The IRA claimed responsibility for the attack and Thomas McMahon, 31, was later convicted of the murder.


Anwar Sadat


Egyptian President Anwar Sadat shown in a photo da
Soldier: Anwar Sadat
getty images

 Soldier Sadat became president of Egypt following the death of Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1970.

He became the first Arab leader to recognise the state of Israel after its creation in 1948.

However, this made him enemies in the Arab world.

Under Sadat, Egypt signed the Camp David agreement with Israel in 1978, which outlined “the framework for peace in the Middle East”.

Three years later, on October 6, 1981, he was shot by gunmen while he was watching an aerial display at a military parade.

He was taken to hospital but died around two hours after the attack.

Following his death, more than 700 people were rounded up and 25 were put on trial.

Five were executed and 17 others given prison sentences and hard labour.

Sadat was succeeded as president by Hosni Mubarak, who ruled Egypt for 30 years until he was deposed in the Arab Spring of 2011.


Indira Gandhi


Indira Gandhi
Prime Minister: Indira Gandhi
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 Gandhi was the only daughter of independent India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

She became prime minister herself in January 1966.

She won general elections in 1967 and 1971 but then in 1975 she was convicted of corruption and banned from holding office for six years.

However, she refused to resign and declared a controversial national state of emergency which lasted for nearly two years.

She lost the subsequent general election in 1977 but then returned to power in 1979 when rival Morarji Desai’s coalition broke down.

Five years later, she ordered troops to storm the Golden Temple in Amritsar to flush out Sikh militants pursuing self-rule for Punjab.

Two months later, she was assassinated by her own Sikh bodyguards in the garden of her home in New Delhi.

About 1000 people, mostly Sikhs, died in the four days of rioting which followed her murder.

On January 6, 1989, Satwant Singh and Kehar Singh were executed for the murder of Mrs Gandhi.


Yitzhak Rabin


Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin speaks before
Israeli Prime Minister: Yitzhak Rabin
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Rabin made his name as a soldier before moving into politics.

Born in Palestine in 1922 to a Russian mother and a Ukrainian-American father, he went on to join the Palmach, an elite Jewish commando force, fighting the British.

Then following the creation of Israel, he distinguished himself by leading a force that kept open the road between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem during the Arab-Israeli War in 1948.

He rose to chief of staff and later became Israel’s ambassador to Washington.

Rabin became prime minister in 1974, a post he held until 1977 when his coalition collapsed.

He served as defence minister before returning as PM in 1992, following which he attempted to negotiate peace with the Palestinians.

Three years later he was shot three times at close range in the stomach and chest as he left a peace rally in Tel Aviv.

He died later in hospital.

His killer Yigal Amir received a life prison sentence for the assassination.


Benazir Bhutto


Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto
Pioneering: Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto

Bhutto was born in Sindh, Pakistan in 1953 and followed her father into politics.

She was educated at Harvard and Oxford and her dad led Pakistan before being executed in 1979.

She was twice prime minister of Pakistan (from 1988 to 1990 and from 1993 to 1996).

Indeed, she became the first female ever to be prime minister in an Islamic state.

Bhutto went into self-imposed exile in Dubai but would ultimately return to Pakistan.

She was killed by a suicide bomber as she was leaving a rally of her Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) supporters in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007.

Source: mirror.co.uk

2 Responses

  1. Terry says:

    One common connection: THE ROTHSCHILD CESSPOOL KILLERS

  2. Archie1954 says:

    Isn’t it amazing that in the world, the US has by far the most assassinations of political leaders that succeed.

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