September 22, 1975 - This was the day that a Vietnam veteran named Oliver Sipple foiled an assassination attempt on President Gerald Ford.
The heroic act came as the president emerged from the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Sipple was in the crowd and saw a woman (Sara Jane Moore) raise and aim a handgun at the president. Instinctively he lunged at the assailant and hit her hand as she fired off a shot. The bullet missed the president but hit a taxi driver who would survive.
Sipple was an instant hero and celebrity, but it came with a cost. He was a gay man who had kept his sexuality a secret from his family, but in the course of reporting the story, The San Francisco Chronicle outed him.
In the aftermath, Sipple became estranged from his family. He filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit against the papers and publishers that had revealed his secret, but the case was dismissed.
Sipple would struggle with alcoholism and obesity and he died an early death in 1989 at age 47. His prized possession was a framed letter of thanks from President Ford.