First Assassination Attempt
January 30, 1835 - This was the day a deranged painter named Richard Lawrence tried to kill President Andrew Jackson. He didn't succeed, and he wound up being pummeled near death by his intended victim.
Historians agree that Lawrence was a lunatic. For some reason he believed President Jackson had killed his father, even though his father had never been to the United States. He also believed he was King Richard III of England.
At some point he decided he wanted to kill President Jackson, so he bought some pistols and found an opportune moment as the president emerged from a funeral. As the president walked past him Lawrence lunged forward and squeezed the trigger. Nothing happened. He pulled out his other pistol and again the weapon failed to fire.
People in the crowd immediately set upon the would be assassin. One of the people who got there first was Davy Crockett (then a Congressman). Soon Old Hickory himself jumped into the fray. He whipped out his famous cane and began to beat his assassin to a pulp.
Lawrence went on trial and the prosecuting attorney was none other than Francis Scott Key ("Oh say can you see..."). After only 5 minutes of deliberations the jury found Lawrence not guilty by reason of insanity. He spent the rest of his life in a series of institutions.