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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

Hunting the President: Threats, Plots and Assassination Attempts, Part 1: FDR

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In American history, four U.S. Presidents have been murdered at the hands of an assassin. In each case the assassinations changed the course of American history.

But most historians have overlooked or downplayed the many threats modern presidents have faced, and survived. In this podcast series we will be looking at the largely forgotten—or never-before revealed attempts to slay America’s leaders.

Such incidents include:

How an armed, would-be assassin stalked President Roosevelt and spent ten days waiting across the street from the White House for his chance to shoot him
How the Secret Service foiled a plot by a Cuban immigrant who told coworkers he was going to shoot LBJ from a window overlooking the president’s motorcade route
How a deranged man broke into Reagan’s California home and attempted to strangle the former president before he was subdued by Secret Service agents.
In early 1992 a mentally deranged man stalking Bush turned up at the wrong presidential venue for his planned assassination attempt
The relationships presidents held with their protectors and the effect it had on the Secret Service’s mission

In the first episode of this series, we will look at assassination attempts against Franklin Roosevelt. He received thousands of threats on his life during his four presidential terms. The danger only increased in the World War 2 years, with his protection detail fearing an Axis assassin would take him out. There were several near-misses, with a would-be killer's bullet coming with in two feet of his head, or a torpedo nearly sinking his ship while going to the Yalta Conference to meet Churchill and Stalin.
January 22, 2019
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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