List of assassinations and acts of terrorism against Americans

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This article is a list of assassinations and acts of terrorism against Americans.

19th century[edit]

  • 1844 - June 27 - Joseph Smith, the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and anti-slavery candidate for United States President, was killed by a masked mob at Carthage, Illinois while in jail there under state protection, awaiting trial for treason. See Death of Joseph Smith.
  • 1837 - November 7 - Elijah P. Lovejoy, editor of an abolitionist newspaper, the Alton Observer, was killed by a mob of pro-slavery advocates.[1]
  • 1865 - April 14 - Abraham Lincoln, 16th US President, was shot and killed in the Ford Theater by John Wilkes Booth.[2]
  • 1868 - October 16 - Benjamin F. Randolph, an African-American minister and South Carolina state senator, was assassinated in broad daylight as he departed a Republican electioneering convention.[3]
  • 1870 - February 26 - Wyatt Outlaw, an African American town commissioner and constable of Graham, North Carolina, is lynched by sixty Ku Klux Klan Democrats.[4]
  • 1874 - August 25 - The Coushatta Massacre results in the assassinations of six Republicans and twenty African-Americans, including state senator, Thomas Floyd.[5]
  • 1876 - September 19 - Simon Coker, an African-American state legislator, was assassinated by Col. A. P. Butler, the "Georgian tiger," in Ellenton, South Carolina. Coker was shot in the head, while he prayed for mercy. The incident was witnessed by Ben Tillman, whom would often recall the brutality of the Ellenton riots.[6]
  • 1881 - July 2 - James A. Garfield, 20th US President, was shot and killed in Washington by Charles J. Guiteau.[7]
  • 1886 - May 4 - Seven police officers and four civilians were killed by a bomb thrown in Chicago's Haymarket Square as the police attempted to break up a rally. An unknown number of others were killed as police and demonstrators exchanged gunfire following the bomb blast. This and subsequent events are known as the Haymarket affair.[8]
  • 1890 - October 16 - New Orleans Police Chief David Hennessy was shot, allegedly by the Mafia.[9]
  • 1897 - March 20 - J. Frank Baker, an African-American politician, was assassinated by two whites, W.B. Bowden and J. Will Grady. Bowden and Grady were implicated, but never officially charged nor convicted.[10]

20th century[edit]


  • 1901 - September 6 - William McKinley, 25th President of the United States, was assassinated in Buffalo, New York by Leon Czolgosz.
  • 1905 - December 30 - Former Idaho governor Frank Steunenberg was assassinated by a bomb outside his home in Caldwell, Idaho. The assassin, Harry Orchard, was quickly apprehended and claimed he had been hired by the Western Federation of Miners to assassinate Steunberg in revenge for his breaking up miners' strikes. The labor leaders charged in this conspiracy were acquitted, though.[11]


  • 1910 - October 1 - The Los Angeles Times bombing by union activists killed 21 and injured c.100.
  • 1912 - October 16 - Former US President Theodore Roosevelt, who was campaigning to return to office, was shot by John Flammang Schrank weeks before the 1912 presidential election. Roosevelt was seriously injured but survived.[12]
  • 1916 - July 22 - 10 died and 40 were injured in the Preparedness Day Bombing in San Francisco. Two labor leaders, Warren K. Billings and Thomas Mooney were convicted, but were later pardoned owing to lack of evidence. The identity of the bombers remains unknown.
  • 1917 - November 24 - A bomb exploded in a Milwaukee police station, killing nine officers and a civilian. Anarchists were suspected.[13]
  • 1919 - The 1919 United States anarchist bombings, carried out by anarchist followers of Luigi Galleani, failed to kill any of their intended targets.


  • 1920 - September 16 - The Wall Street bombing killed 28 and seriously injured 143. Galleanist anarchists were suspected, but no one was ever caught.[14]
  • 1921 - May 31—June 1 - In the Tulsa race riot, reports claimed that whites in airplanes dropped dynamite onto an area called the Black Wall Street. Perhaps as many as 300 people were believed killed, with more than 1,100 homes and businesses destroyed in the riot.[15]
  • 1927 - May 18 - The Bath School disaster in Bath Township, Michigan, killed 45 and wounded 58, mostly children. The perpetrator, Andrew Kehoe, blew himself up.


  • 1933 - March 6 - Giuseppe Zangara killed Chicago mayor Anton Cermak while attempting to assassinate President-elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt in Miami.
  • 1933 - October 10 - 1933 United Airlines Boeing 247 mid-air explosion A Boeing 247 was destroyed in mid-flight over Indiana by a nitroglycerin bomb. All seven people aboard were killed. This incident was the first proven case of air sabotage in the history of aviation. The identity of the perpetrator and the motive for the attack are unknown.
  • 1937 - October 13 - Theodore Marriner, Consul General to Syria, was assassinated in Beirut.[16]


  • 1950 - November 1 - Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo, members of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party, failed to assassinate President Harry S. Truman at Blair House in Washington, D.C., on November 1, 1950.
  • 1954 - March 1 - United States Capitol shooting incident. Four Puerto Rican nationalists, led by Lolita Lebrón, shot and injured five members of the United States House of Representatives during an immigration debate.
  • 1958 - October 12 - Bombing of the Hebrew Benevolent Congregation Temple of Atlanta, Georgia. The acts were carried out by white supremacists.


  • 1960 - "The Sunday Bomber" detonated a series of bombs in the New York City Subway[17][18][19] and ferries[20] on Sundays and Holidays, killing one woman and injuring 51 other commuters.
  • 1963 - June 12 - African-American civil rights activist Medgar Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens' Council.
  • 1963 - September 15 - 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, committed by the Ku Klux Klan. Four African-American girls were killed on Sunday morning.
  • 1963 - November 22 - President John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas.
  • 1963 - November 24 - Lee Harvey Oswald, assassin of President Kennedy, was himself assassinated by Jack Ruby.
  • 1965 - February 21 - African-American Muslim human rights activist Malcolm X was assassinated in New York City by members of the Nation of Islam, of which he had formerly been a member.
  • 1968 - April 4 - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., civil rights advocate, was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
  • 1968 - June 6 - Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in Los Angeles by Sirhan Sirhan.
  • 1969 - October 7 - The fifth floor of the Armed Forces Induction Center in New York City was devastated by explosion attributed to radical leftist Jane Alpert.[21]
  • 1969 - November 12 - A bomb was detonated in the Manhattan Criminal Court building in New York City. Jane Alpert, Sam Melville and three other militant radical leftists were arrested hours later.[22]


  • 1970 - September - The first mass aircraft hijackings, the so-called Dawson's Field hijackings; the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine seized control of two American planes and one Swiss airliner, all bound from Europe to the United States, to punish the United States for supporting Israel. The Pan Am, TWA and Swissair planes were blown up on the ground in Jordan and Egypt.
  • 1975 - January 24 - The Puerto Rican nationalist FALN bombs Fraunces Tavern in New York City on killing four and injuring more than 50.
  • 1975 - Richard Welch, Central Intelligence Agency's Athens station chief, was shot by Revolutionary Organization 17 November. The group has committed further assassinations, often using a .45 calibre handgun, and around fifty other attacks. Initial attacks were aimed at American and Greek officials but the range of operations was expanded in the 1980s and 1990s to include bombings and European Union targets.
  • 1975 – December 29 – A bomb goes off near a luggage carousel at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, killing 11. Croatian nationalists who had planted a bomb months earlier at Grand Central Terminal were suspected, but no groups claimed responsibility, and no suspects have ever been named. It has been theorized that the bomb was meant to go off in the morning, instead of the evening, which would likely have led to fewer, if any, deaths, and that might be why those who planted it declined to take credit.
  • 1979 - November 21 - The U.S. embassy Islamabad was attacked and burned by a mob after a radio report mistakenly blamed the US for the seizure of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. This seizure was actually carried out by a radical Islamic faction Grand Mosque Seizure. Two Americans and two Pakistani members of the embassy staff were killed.
  • 1979 - December 2 - U.S. embassy in Tripoli was also burned due to the mistaken report about the Grand Mosque Seizure.
  • 1979 - December 3 - A terrorist group attack on a bus of unarmed navy sailors in Sabana Seca, Puerto Rico, killed two and wounded another 17.[23]


  • 1981 - December 17 - Retired General James Dozier was kidnapped by the Italian Red Brigades Marxist terrorist group.
  • 1983 - April 18 - The bombing of United States Embassy in Beirut. 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed.
  • 1983 - October 23 - The Beirut barracks bombing. 305 people, including 241 US servicemen, were killed by 2 suicide bombers.
  • 1983 - November 7 - The Armed Resistance Unit, a militant leftist group, bombed the U.S. Capitol in response to the U.S. invasion of Grenada.
  • 1984 - September 20 - Twenty-two people were killed (two of them American) and seventy wounded when a van loaded with four hundred pounds of explosives was detonated in front of the U.S. Embassy annex in Awkar, Lebanon. Islamic Jihad (a code name of Hezbollah) claimed responsibility for the bombing in a call to the media.
  • 1985 - June 14 - TWA Flight 847 was hijacked and a U.S. Navy diver was killed by Hezbollah.
  • 1984 -June 18 - Alan Berg, a Jewish talk radio host, was fatally shot by members of The Order, a white supremacist terrorist group.
  • 1985 - August 8 - US Army Specialist Edward Pimental was murdered by members of the Red Army Faction. His military identification card was later used to gain access to Rhein-Main Air Base to plant a car bomb.
  • 1985 - August 9 - A car bomb planted at Rhein-Main Air Base exploded, killing two and wounding eleven.[24]
  • 1985 - October 7 - The Achille Lauro hijacking; Leon Klinghoffer, a wheel-chair bound American, was killed by Palestinian militants.
  • 1985 - October 11 - Alex Odeh was assassinated in a bombing as he opened the door of his office at 1905 East 17th Street, Santa Ana, California. Odeh was west-coast regional director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC). The FBI charged Robert Manning, a member of the JDL, with the murder. Manning fled to Israel, but was later extradited for a different murder, tried and sentenced to 30 years. Odeh's murder remains technically unsolved.
  • 1985 - November 25 - A car bomb exploded outside the Post Exchange complex in Frankfurt, Germany, wounding 34.[25]
  • 1986 - April 2 - Four Americans were killed and five injured when a bomb exploded aboard TWA Flight 840 as it traveled from Rome to Athens. The aircraft was able to land safely at Athens International Airport.
  • 1986 - April 6 - A Berlin discotheque bombing killed a Turkish woman and 2 US servicemen, and injured 230 people including more than 50 American servicemen.
  • 1987 - June 9 - A car bomb exploded outside the back gate of the U.S. Embassy in Rome and mortars were fired at the compound from across the street. One passerby was injured in the attacks.[26]
  • 1988 - April 14 - At 8 p.m., a car bomb exploded in front of the USO Club in Naples, Italy. Five people died and fifteen were injured, including four U.S. servicemen. US Navy Petty Officer Angela Santos, 21, was killed. Junzo Okudaira, a Japanese Red Army (JRA) member, was indicted in the United States on April 9, 1993 for the Naples bombing. Okudaira was also a suspect in the June 1987 car bombing and mortar attack against the U.S. Embassy in Rome.[27]
  • 1988 - December 21 - Pan Am Flight 103, outbound from London for New York with 259 people aboard, was destroyed by a bomb on December 21, 1988 while over Lockerbie, Scotland. All aboard the aircraft were killed, as were eleven persons on the ground.
  • 1988 - 1990 - Marine Col. "Rich" Higgins was kidnapped, tortured and murdered by Hezbollah terrorists.


  • 1990 - November 5 - Meir Kahane, Brooklyn-born Jewish Defense League founder and later an Israeli politician, was killed in New York by a gunman, El Sayyid Nosair, who was later convicted of the assassination following a federal anti-terrorism conspiracy investigation.
  • 1993 - January 25 - The attack on CIA Headquarters in McLean, Virginia killed two and injured three.
  • 1993 - February 26 - The World Trade Center bombing killed 6 and injured 1,042.
  • 1995 - March 8 - The killing of two US Diplomats in Pakistan.[28]
  • 1995 - April 19 - The Oklahoma City bombing, perpetrated by anti-government extremist Timothy McVeigh, killed 168; more than 800 were injured.
  • 1996 - June 25 - The Khobar Towers bombing killed 19 American servicemen.
  • 1996 - July 27 - The Centennial Olympic Park bombing during the Atlanta Olympics killed 1 and injured 111.
  • 1998 - August 7 - The US embassy in Kenya was blown up, killing 214 (including 12 Americans); the embassy in Tanzania was blown up, killing 11.
  • 1999 - April 20 - In the Columbine High School massacre in Colorado, two students fatally shot 13 others and injured 24 before committing suicide. They also planted bombs that failed to explode.

21st century[edit]


  • 2000 - October 12 - The USS Cole was attacked; 17 U.S. Navy sailors were killed and 39 injured.
  • 2001 - September 11 - In the 9/11 attacks, 2,997 were killed by Al Qaeda in New York and northern Virginia, and aboard Flight 93, a hijacked airliner which crashed in western Pennsylvania.
  • 2002 - February 1 - Jewish journalist Daniel Pearl was kidnapped and beheaded by Al Qaeda.
  • 2002 - October 12 - The Bali bombings in which 202 people were killed, including 7 Americans.
  • 2002 - March 21 - Nine people were killed by a bomb blast near the US embassy in Lima. It was seen as an attempt to disrupt a forthcoming visit by President George W. Bush.[29]
  • 2002-2006 - Three separate attacks on the US consulate in Karache killed 18 people (including an American diplomat) and 87 were injured.
  • 2002 - October 8 - Two Marines were shot and one killed in the Faylaka Island attack in Kuwait.
  • 2003 - May 12 - The Riyadh Compound Bombings killed 35, including 9 Americans.
  • 2003 - October 15 - Three American diplomats were killed by a roadside bomb targeting their convoy in Gaza. Palestine Resistance Committees have taken responsibility for the attack."[30]
  • 2004 - 2010 22 US civilians were kidnapped in Iraq. 11 were later executed and 6 were either released or escaped. The fate of the remaining 5 is unknown.
  • 2004 - c. June 18 - Paul Marshall Johnson, Jr, a civilian working in Saudi Arabia, was kidnapped and beheaded.
  • 2004 - May 1 - Two Americans were among seven dead in an attack in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia.
  • 2004 - May 29 - One American was killed in the Khobar massacre.
  • 2004 - 8 June - Robert Jacobs, a US citizen working for Vinnel Corporation, was killed at his villa in Riyadh.[31]
  • 2004 - June 13 - A US expatriate, Kenneth Scroggs, was killed[32] and another, Paul Marshall Johnson Jr., was kidnapped at a fake police checkpoint in Riyadh.
  • 2007 - January 12 - The Embassy of the United States in Athens, Greece, was attacked.[33]
  • 2008 - January 1 - John Granville, US diplomat, was assassinated in Khartoum, Sudan.
  • 2009 - November 5 - Thirteen people, mostly U.S. military personnel, were killed and more than 30 others wounded at Fort Hood, Texas, in a shooting rampage by disgruntled Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan. During his trial, Hasan claimed to be waging an Islamic jihad against the United States.


  • 2011 – January 8 - the 2011 Tucson shooting in which U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was injured and 6 others were killed.
  • 2012 – September 11—12 - The US Embassy in Libya was attacked; the ambassador and three other Americans were killed.
  • 2012 – August 5 - A Sikh temple in Wisconsin was attacked by a white supremacist. Six Americans were killed, not including the perpetrator who committed suicide.
  • 2013 – April 15 - The 2013 Boston Marathon bombing saw 3 people were killed and 183 injured.
  • 2014 – June 12 - Three Israeli teenagers, one of whom was a US citizen, were kidnapped and murdered. Hamas is suspected of involvement.
  • 2015 – June 17 - A service at Charleston church attended by state senator Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney was attacked by a gunman. 9 people were killed, including the senator.
  • 2015 - July 16 - In the 2015 Chattanooga shootings, a gunman shot up a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, wounding a U.S. Marine, then attacked a Naval Reserve Center, killing four Marines and wounding a U.S. Navy sailor who later died of his injuries. The attacker was finally killed by police.
  • 2015 - December 2 - In an attack in San Bernardino, California, married couple Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik entered the Inland Regional Center, a government-funded not-for-profit public benefit corporation that provides services and programs to people with developmental disabilities and their families in California's San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. They shot and killed 14 people and injured 24 others, including 2 officers.
  • 2016 - June 12 - In the Orlando nightclub shooting a lone gunman entered Pulse Nightclub (an LGBT club) on Latin Night. He killed 49 patrons, injured at least 53 others, and took hostages during a three—four hour massacre during the early hours The gunman was shot and killed at c.5:15am, during a shoot out with police officers.[34]
  • 2017 - January 7 - a US consulate officer name Christopher Ashcraft is shot in the chest at a mall in Guadalajara, Mexico but he survives, the shooter was an Indian man with U.S citizenship name Zafar Zia. The motives remain unknown.
  • 2017 - September 24 - In Antioch, TN a Sudanese immigrant, Emanuel k. Samson entered the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, and opened fire. He shot and killed Melanie Crow in the parking lot as he entered, and wounded 7 in the sanctuary.
  • 2017 - October 1 - Stephen Paddock opened fire on the Route 91 Harvest music festival from the 32 floor of the Mandala Bay hotel. 58 people, excluding the gunman, died in the incident.

See also[edit]

  • List of assassinated US presidents
  • List of United States presidential assassination attempts and plots
  • List of terrorist incidents in the United States
  • List of terrorist incidents
  • Terrorist attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities
  • Aircraft hijacking
  • Suicide bombing
  • List of massacres
  • Anti-American sentiment
  • List of assassinated American politicians

External links[edit]


  1. "Elijah Parish Lovejoy Was Killed By a Pro-slavery Mob".
  2. Alger, Horatio (1883). Abraham Lincoln, The Backwoods Boy. New York: American Publishers Corporation. Search this book on Logo.png
  3. Lamson, Peggy (1973). The Glorious Failure. New York: The Norton Library, W. W. Norton and Company. Search this book on Logo.png
  4. The Congressional Globe Containing the Debates and Proceedings of the First Session, Forty-Second Congress with an Appendix Embracing the Laws Passed at that Session; Also, Special Session of the Senate. Volume 44. Part II. Washington, D.C.: F. & J. Rives & George A. Bailey. 1871. Search this book on Logo.png
  5. "WHITE REPUBLICANS AND NEGROES ALONE SUFFER." The New York Times. 16 Sept. 1874. Retrieved 10 Nov. 2017.
  6. Select Joint Committee (1882). Congressional Record--House Containing the Proceedings and Debates of the Forty-Seventh Congress, First Session. Volume XIII. Washington, D. C.: Government Printing Office. Search this book on Logo.png
  7. Alger, Horatio (1881). From Canal Boy to President. New York: John R. Anderson and Company. Search this book on Logo.png
  8. Nelson, Bruce C (1988). Beyond the Martyrs: A Social History of Chicago's Anarchists, 1870–1900. New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press. p. 189. ISBN 0-8135-1345-6. Search this book on Logo.png
  9. Botein, Barbara. "The Hennessy Case: An Episode in Anti-Italian Nativism". Louisiana History. 20 (3): 261–279.
  10. "Remembering J. Frank Baker." Scuffalong. May. 2014. Accessed 22 September 2017.
  11. Carlson, Peter (1983). Roughneck, The Life and Times of Big Bill Haywood (1st ed.). New York N.Y.: W.W. Norton. p. 135. ISBN 0393016218. Search this book on Logo.png
  12. "Died". Time. September 27, 1943. Retrieved January 19, 2009. John Flammang Schrank, 67, Bavarian-born ex-barkeep who shot and wounded Theodore" Roosevelt in Milwaukee in 1912
  13. Balousek and Kirsch, Marv and J. Allen (1997). 50 Wisconsin Crimes of the Century. Wisconsin: Badger Books Inc. p. 113. ISBN 1-878569-47-3. Search this book on Logo.png
  14. Gage, Beverly (2009). The Day Wall Street Exploded: A Story of America in its First Age of Terror. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0195148244. Search this book on Logo.png
  15. Madigan, Tim (2001). The Burning: Massacre, Destruction, and the Tulsa Race Riot of 1921. New York N.Y.: St Martin's Press. pp. 4, 131–132, 144, 159, 164, 249. ISBN 0-312-27283-9. Search this book on Logo.png
  16. "FOREIGN SERVICE: Impersonal Assassination". 25 October 1937 – via
  17. Buckley, Thomas (November 7, 1960). "Bomb in IND Car Kills Woman and Hurts 18 at 125th St. Stop". The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
  18. Hailey, Foster (October 13, 1960). "Bomb Injures 33 at Times Sq. Shuttle". The New York Times. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
  19. "'Sunday Bomber' Hunted by 600 New York Cops". Jet. November 24, 1960. Retrieved October 19, 2009.
  20. "Third Sunday Bomb Rips Staten Island Ferry Deck". The New York Times. October 24, 1960. Retrieved December 2, 2008.
  21. Heller, Susan; erson; Dunlap, David W. (31 March 1986). "NEW YORK DAY BY DAY; Old Induction Center Getting a New Skin" – via
  22. "Political Events: The People's Chronology (1969)". Retrieved December 2, 2008.
  23. Hadi, Hamid (2016). Afghanistan's Experiences Vol. II. Bloomington IN: Authorhouse. ISBN 978-1-5246-0007-5. Search this book on Logo.png
  24. Tagliabue, John; Times, Special to the New York (9 August 1985). "CAR BOMB KILLS 2 ON A U.S. AIR BASE IN WEST GERMANY" – via
  25. James M. Markham (1985-11-25). "Bombing at PX in Frankfurt wounds 34". West Germany; Frankfurt (West Germany): Retrieved 2016-02-03.
  26. Tagliabue, John; Times, Special to the New York (10 June 1987). "Rome Explosions Shake U.S. and British Embassies and Wreck Car" – via
  27. "Survivors, family recall bombing of USO in Naples 25 years later".
  29. "Car Bomb Kills 9 Near U.S. Embassy in Lima". New York Times. Reuters. March 21, 2002.
  30. Agencies (15 October 2003). "Three killed in Gaza convoy blast" – via
  31. BBC Retrieved 4 October 2015. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. Meyer, Josh. "U.S. Worker Is Killed in Saudi Arabia". LA Times. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  33. "Rocket hits US embassy in Athens". 30 October 2017 – via
  34. 3 Hours In Orlando: Piecing Together An Attack And Its Aftermath, June 26, 20165:09 PM ET, Ariel Zambelich and Alyson Hurt,

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