Terrorist attacks and related incidents targeting the United States President, Congress, or Supreme Court

complied by Wm. Robert Johnston
last updated 22 August 2021

This list includes historical attacks on the highest institutions of the U.S. federal government: attacks on the President (or White House), Congress members (or the Capitol), and the Supreme Court. It includes attacks/incidents causing fatalities or injuries and significant thwarted attacks. Incidents meeting a working definition of terrorism as well as criminal acts and acts of warfare are included.

Type codes indicate category of attacks/incidents and (if clear) political nature of organization/individual behind the attack:

Target codes indicate which branch of government was attacked: P = presidency, C = Congress, S = Supreme Court; C* = attacks by one member of Congress against another.

For related listings, see these pages:

datelocationtotal casualtiescasualties apart
from attackers
typedescription
killedinjuredkilledinjuredtypetarget
24 Aug 1814Washington, DC 26WARP CBritish forces invade Washington City, burning the White House and Capitol building
29 Oct 1827Desha County, Arkansas1000CRI-duelCRepresentative Henry Conway shot by Robert Crittenden during duel and died 9 Nov
28 Aug 1831Bloody Island, Illinois2000CRI-duelCRepresentative Spencer Pettis and Thomas Biddle engaged in duel, both were killed
13 Apr 1832Washington, DC0101CRI-polC*Representative Sam Houston beat Representative William Stanbery during encounter on Pennsylvania Avenue
30 Jan 1835Washington, DC0000THWPattempted assassination of President Andrew Jackson at Capitol failed when guns misfired
24 Feb 1838Marlboro Pike, Maryland1000CRI-duelCRepresentative Jonathan Cilley shot and killed during duel with William Graves
04 Sep 1848Atlanta, Georgia0101CRI-polCGeorgia Supreme Court Justice Francis Cone stabbed Representative Alexander Stephens outside Atlanta hotel
20 Jun 1854Washington, DC0000THWCfight between Representatives William Churchwell and William Cullom on House floor; Churchwell was restrained while drawing a gun
22 May 1856Washington, DC0101CRI-polC*Representative Preston Brooks severely injured Senator Charles Sumner in beating attack on Senate floor
13 Sep 1859San Francisco, California1000CRI-duelCSenator David Broderick shot during duel with California Supreme Court Chief Justice David Terry; Broderick died 16 Sep
21 Oct 1861Loudoun County, Virginia361,038WARCSenator Edward Baker killed while commanding troops in Battle of Ball’s Bluff on Potomac River, Virginia
11 Jul 1864Washington, DC800WARP C SBattle of Fort Stevens occurred just north of Washington DC
14 Apr 1865Washington, DC1313TERPPresident Abraham Lincoln shot by John Wilkes Booth in Washington DC; Secretary of State William H. Seward injured separately by accomplice Lewis Powell; Lincoln died 15 April
14 Jun 1866Washington, DC0101CRI-polC*Representative Josiah Grinnell attacked and beaten by Representative Rousseau at Capitol building
22 Oct 1868Indian Bays, Arkansas1010TERCRepresentative James Hinds fatally shot by Ku Klux Klan member George Clark
31 Jul 1869Courtland, Alabama1010CRICRepresentative Thomas Haughey shot by Collins during argument while giving a campaign speech; Haughey died 5 Aug
02 Jul 1881Washington, DC1010TERPPresident James Garfield shot by Charles J. Guiteau in Washington, DC, died 19 Sep
28 Feb 1890Washington, DC1010TERCRepresentative William Taulbee shot outside U.S. Capitol by Charles Kincaid; Taulbee died 11 March
06 Sep 1901Buffalo, New York1111TER-leftPPresident William McKinley shot by Leon Czolgosz in Buffalo, NY, died 14 Sep
07 Apr 1905Kentucky0101CRI-polCRepresentative Robert Thomas assaulted by political opponent
24 Apr 1905Hempstead, Texas4242TERCRepresentative John Pinckney among four killed at a Prohibition rally during exchange of gunfire initiated by an anti-Prohibition attorney
14 Oct 1912Milwaukee, Wisconsin0101TER-leftPformer President Theodore Roosevelt shot and injured in attempted assassination outside hotel en route to speech
02 Jul 1915Washington, DC0000TER-leftCbombing of Senate reception room by anti-war protestor caused no injuries, perpetrator attempted to kill J. P. Morgan Jr. the following day
02 Apr 1919Washington, DC0000THWCSenator Henry Cabot Lodge punched a pacifist protestor
29 Apr 1919Atlanta, Georgia0202TER-leftC S36 mail bombs sent to prominent individuals by anarchist terrorists; one exploded at the home of former Senator Thomas Hardwick, severely injuring his housekeeper and injuring his wife; another failed to explode, 16 were intercepted by the Postal Service with insufficient postage and 12 were otherwise intercepted; other targets included Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., Senators William King, Lee Overman, and Reed Smoot, and Representatives John Burnett and Albert Johnson
26 Mar 1928Chicago, Illinois0000TERCSenator Samuel Deneen uninjured when his house was bombed
15 Feb 1933Miami, Florida1414TER-leftPattempted assassination of President-elect Franklin Roosevelt by anarchist Joseph Zangara; Chicago mayor Anton Cermak shot instead, dying 6 Mar
22 Jun 1933Watchung, New Jersey0000CRI-polCbomb placed in vehicle of Representative Charles Eaton at his home but was found and disarmed
19 Feb 1935Washington, DC0000THWCbomb mailed to Senator Huey Long’s office but failed to explode
08 Sep 1935Baton Rouge, Lousiana2010CRI-polCSenator Huey Long fatally shot by Carl Weiss at Louisiana State Capitol; Weiss was shot and killed by Long’s bodyguards
12 Jul 1947Washington, DC0000CRICshooting attack on Senator John Bricker by former Capitol police officer, shots missed Bricker
01 Nov 1950Washington, DC2111TER-natlPin assassination attempt on President Harry Truman, two Puerto Rican nationalists try to shoot their way into Blair House; 2 killed, including 1 terrorist
01 Mar 1954Washington, DC0808TER-natlCfour Puerto Rican nationalists fire from gallery of U.S. House of Representatives; five Representatives shot and injured: Alvin Bentley, Clifford Davis, George Fallon, Ben Jensen, and Kenneth Roberts; Representative Leslie Arends injured by shrapnel; two congressional staffers also injured
22 Nov 1963Dallas, Texas1212TER-leftPPresident John Kennedy shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, himself later fatally shot by Jack Rudy before trial
05 Jun 1968Los Angeles, California1010TERCSenator Robert Kennedy shot by Jordanian Sinhan Bishara Sirhan, died 6 Jun
01 Mar 1971Washington, DC0000TER-leftCWeather Underground bombing of Senate wing of U.S. Capitol
22 Feb 1974Baltimore, Maryland3121TERPgunman attempts to hijack plane in Baltimore and fly it into White House to kill President Richard Nixon; kills 2 at airport and himself, injures one
05 Sep 1975Sacramento, California0000THWPSecret Service agent prevents Lynette Fromme, a Charles Manson follower, from shooting President Gerald Ford
22 Sep 1975San Francisco, California0000THWPPresident Gerald Ford unharmed in assassination attempt by Sara Jane Moore, a political activist
27 Jul 1976Washington, DC1000THWPgunman scales White House fence, is shot and killed by guards
18 Nov 1978Port Kaituma, Guyana511511CRICshooting attack on US Representative Leo Ryan and others at Port Kaituma, killing 5 and injuring 11, followed by mass suicide of 913 members of People's Temple cult in Jonestown and Georgetown, latter including 276 children killed
28 Nov 1979Washington, DC0101THWCattempted knife attack in Senator Edward Kennedy’s office at the Capitol; one arresting agent slightly injured
30 Mar 1981Washington, DC0404TERPPresident Ronald Reagan and 3 others injured in attempted assassination by John Hinkley
07 Nov 1983Washington, DC0000TER-leftCbombing at U.S. Capitol building; later linked to Revolutionary Armed Task Force in protest of U.S. invasion of Grenada
25 Oct 1989Washington, DC0101CRICSenator John Glenn slightly injured in assault during interview
13 Apr 1993Kuwait City, Kuwait0000THWPKuwaiti authorities thwart planned Iraqi bomb attack intended to assassinate former president George Herbert Bush during visit to Kuwait University
12 Sep 1994Washington, DC1000TERPFrank Corder flew Cessna from MD into White House, striking tree near President's bedroom, killing himself and causing damage to White House
29 Oct 1994Washington, DC0000THWPlone gunman with semi-automatic weapon fires shots at White House from sidewalk in front on Pennsylvania Avenue
01 May 1995Washington, DC0201THWPman with unloaded gun scales White House fence; jumper and Secret Service agent shot and injured by another guard
24 Jul 1998Washington, DC2221TERCgunman enters U.S. Capitol building and kills two guards; one tourist and gunman are injured
07 Feb 2001Washington, DC0100THWPgunman fires on the White House from outside the perimeter fence; gunman is shot and injured by a guard
11 Sep 2001Somerset County, Pennsylvania450410TER-islmP CFollowing 9/11 strikes on the World Trade Center towers and Pentagon using three hijacked airliners, passengers on the fourth jetliner, United Flight 93, learned of events via cellular phones and attacked their hijackers. This aircraft crashed into a field in Somerset county, south central Pennsylvania, killing all 45 aboard (including 4 terrorists), at 10:10 AM. The hijackers of this plane are believed to have intended to strike a site in Washington, DC, most likely the Capitol Building (or possibly the White House).
09 Oct 2001Washington, DC4747TERCanthrax-laced letters mailed to multiple prominent individuals in Washington, DC, causing four deaths and seven injuries; letters were sent to offices of Senators Patrick Leahy and Tom Daschle but caused no injuries there
10 May 2005Tbilisi, Georgia (Republic)0000THWPgrenade thrown at podium during speech by President George Bush with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili nearby; grenade failed to explode; the attacker, Vladimir Arutyunian, was arrested 20 July after a gunfight in which he killed one Georgian official
17 Sep 2010Washington, DC0100THWCattempted shooting at Capitol Hill; gunman shot and injured by guards
08 Jan 2011Tucson, Arizona613613TERCshooting attack at political event at a supermarket; U.S. District Judge John Roll among 6 killed, Representative Gabrielle Giffords among 13 injured
11 Nov 2011Washington, DC0000THWPshots fired at White House by individual protesting government control, no injuries
17 Apr 2013Washington, DC0000THWP Ctwo letters testing positive for ricin mailed to Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker and President Barack Obama are found at mail screening facilities; a third letter to an official in Mississippi was awaiting testing; an individual in Mississippi is arrested and charged in the case
03 Oct 2013Washington, DC1000THWCMiriam Carey shot and killed near Capitol after ramming White House security barrier
14 Jun 2017Alexandria, Virginia1404TER-leftCshooting attack by James Hodgkinson on annual Congressional baseball game in attempted assassination of Republican congressmen; Rep Steve Scalise among 4 shot and injured, attacker was shot and killed
06 Sep 2017Mandan, North Dakota0000THWPindividual arrested after attempting to attack President Donald Trump’s motorcade with a forklift
06 Jan 2021Washington, DC51430138TER?CJanuary 6, 2021, Capitol riot
02 Apr 2021Washington, DC2111TER-islmCNoah Green drove car into capitol police officers at barricade, killing one and injuring another; attacker was shot and killed
datelocationtotal casualtiescasualties apart
from attackers
typedescription
killedinjuredkilledinjuredtypetarget


Sources: (incomplete--list under construction)

© 2021 by Wm. Robert Johnston.
Last modified 22 August 2021.
Return to Home. Return to Terrorism, Counterterrorism, and Unconventional Warfare.