November 1, 1950
TRUMAN ESCAPES ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT AT BLAIR HOUSE
Photo by John White (2003)
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) President Harry S Truman escaped an assassination attempt this afternoon at 2 o’clock when he was napping on the 2nd floor of his temporary residence at the Blair House on Pennsylvania Avenue.
Two Puerto Rican nationalists, or “independistas”, walked down the sidewalk toward Blair House from opposite directions.
The nationalists want full independence from the United States.
Photo by John White (2003)
The would-be assassins became involved in a desperate gun battle with White House police officers & secret service agents.
At one point, President Truman, awakened from his nap, came to the window to see what was going on outside. He was quickly ordered to take cover by agents.
One of the Puerto Ricans, identified as Griselio Torresola, was killed by Officer Leslie Coffelt, who himself had been gravely wounded.
White House Police Officer Leslie Coffelt
The other man, identified as Oscar Collazo, managed to reach the steps of Blair House before he collapsed from a bullet in the chest.
Two other police officers, Donald Birdzell & Joseph Downs, were wounded but are expected to survive.*
*Leslie Coffelt died that afternoon from multiple gunshot wounds. The Truman family had a single fresh red rose placed on his grave at Arlington every day.
Grave of Officer Leslie Coffelt
Arlington National Cemetery
Photo by dbking (2005)
Harry S. Truman
Presidential Library & Museum
November 1, 1952
UNITED STATES TESTS 1ST HYDROGEN BOMB
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The White House announced today that the United States has detonated the world’s 1st hydrogen, or thermonuclear, bomb.
The test took place on the Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific.
This atomic device is said to be a thousand times more powerful than previous atomic bombs that have been tested.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the creators of the atomic bomb, has expressed opposition to the development of this more powerful hydrogen bomb.*
*The Soviet Union exploded its 1st hydrogen bomb the following year & by the late 1970s, 7 nations had built hydrogen bombs.
November 1, 1961
WOMEN MARCH AGAINST NUCLEAR WEAPONS
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Here in the Nation’s Capital today, as well as in other cities & towns across the United States, 50,000 women took to the streets in protest against nuclear weapons.
The protests were planned by a group called “Women Strike For Peace” or WSP.
WSP calls for all governments to “end the arms race, not the human race.”
Women marched outside the White House & sent letters stating their views to both Mrs. Kennedy & Mrs. Khrushchev.
Women Strike For Peace
Photo by Phil Stanziola
New York World Telegram
Library of Congress Photo (1962)
November 1, 1961
TRUMANS ARE GUESTS AT THE WHITE HOUSE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Former President Harry S Truman & former 1st Lady Bess Truman were welcomed today by President & Mrs. John F. Kennedy as guests to the Executive Mansion.
Elizabeth “Bess” Truman
Official White House Portrait
A dinner was held this evening in honor of the Trumans & they will be spending the night.*
*According to the newly released Jacqueline Kennedy tapes, Mrs. Kennedy said that JFK brought Mr. Truman into her bedroom the next morning without warning, & when they saw she was still in her sleeping attire, quickly backed out.
Jacqueline commented that she didn’t think Mr. Truman had ever seen a woman, other than his wife, in a nightgown.
Mrs. Kennedy’s Bedroom
The White House
JFK Library Photo (1962)
November 1, 1962
POSTAL SERVICE INTRODUCES “ZIP” CODE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The United States Postal Service announced today that it has plans to streamline mail delivery by adding a 5-digit Zip Code to all addresses in the nation.*
*Before the new Zip Code was put in place, our address was Knoxville 20, TN. Afterwards, it became Knoxville, TN 37920.
November 1, 1800
ADAMS MOVES INTO THE PRESIDENT’S HOUSE
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The 2nd President of the United States, John Adams of Massachusetts, moved into the President’s House here in the new Federal capital city today.
Mr. Adams has been living at Tunnicliffe’s City Hotel while the mansion has been under construction.
President Adams, in his last year in office, will soon be joined by his wife, Abigail.*
*The Adams lived in the unfinished mansion 5 months. They found it to be cold & damp. Mrs. Adams called it “the great castle.”
The President’s House
White House Museum
November 1, 1765
STAMP ACT GOES INTO EFFECT
Boston, Massachusetts (JFK+50) American colonists, particularly here in Boston, are “up in arms” with the British Parliament’s Stamp Act going into effect today.
The act, introduced by Prime Minister George Grenville & passed by Parliament on March 22, requires printed materials sold in the colonies to bear a British revenue stamp which will represent a direct tax on the items.
The purpose of the tax, according to Grenville, is to raise money to pay for the defense of the colonies.*
*The Stamp Act arouses great protest in America resulting in the formation of the Sons of Liberty to oppose it as well as a Stamp Act Congress along with a colonial boycott of British goods.
Stamp Act Protest Emblem