GIUSEPPE ZANGARA Biography - Crimes, Laws and people


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Giuseppe Zangara                                                                       
Born September 7, 1900                                                                 
Ferruzzano, Calabria, Italy                                                             
Died March 20, 1933 (aged 32)                                                           
Raiford, Florida, U.S.                                                                 
Giuseppe Zangara (September 7, 1900 - March 20, 1933) attempted to kill United         
States President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1933. Zangara successfully         
assassinated Chicago mayor Anton Cermak during the same incident.                       
Zangara was born in Ferruzzano, Calabria, Italy. After serving in the Tyrolian         
Alps in World War I, Zangara did a variety of menial jobs in his home village           
before emigrating with his uncle to the United States in 1923. He settled in           
Paterson, New Jersey and on September 11, 1929, he became a naturalized citizen         
of the United States.                                                                   
Zangara, a poorly educated bricklayer, suffered severe pain in his abdomen,             
later attributed to adhesions of the gall bladder. These were later cited as a         
cause for his increasing mental delusions. It became increasingly difficult for         
him to work due to both his physical and mental conditions, and in his fevered         
mind came to believe the President of the United States was supernaturally             
responsible for causing his pain. Shortly before becoming a legal citizen of the       
United States, Giuseppe was diagnosed with appendicitis. This lead to him in           
1926 to have an appendectomy, or removal of the appendix. Further, he was a very       
lonely man; he blamed authority figures for his pain, but the side effects of           
his condition included chronic flatulence, while his outspoken and impatient           
nature likely pushed other people away. Other sources report that Zangara envied       
those who had more than he did, and sought the assassination of "all capitalist         
presidents and kings." Zangara began plotting to assassinate the current               
president Herbert Hoover, but Franklin Delano Roosevelt (FDR) was elected to           
replace him before Zangara could act on his plan. Zangara would later say, "Hoover     
and Roosevelt everybody the same."                                                     
On February 15, 1933, FDR was giving a speech in Bayfront Park in the city of           
Miami, Florida where Zangara was living, working the occasional odd job, and           
living off his savings. Zangara took a .32 caliber pistol, purchased at a local         
pawn shop, and joined the crowd. However, being only five feet tall, he was             
unable to see over other people and had to stand on a wobbly, folding, metal           
chair, peering over the hat of Lilian Cross, a doctor's wife, to get a clear aim       
at his target. After the first shot, Mrs. Cross and others grabbed his arm and         
he fired five more shots wildly. He missed the President-Elect. Five other             
people were hit including Chicago mayor Anton Cermak, who was sitting next to           
FDR. En route to the hospital, Cermak had allegedly told FDR, "I'm glad it was         
me and not you, Mr. President" words that are currently inscribed on a plaque           
located in Bayfront Park.