In additional than 220 years, the U.S. Capitol had seen nothing prefer it: a roiling mob, forcing its well beyond its majestic marble columns, disrupting the passage of energy, desecrating the seat of the world’s biggest democracy.
However this was removed from the primary time the Capitol has been scarred by violence.
In 1814, simply 14 years after the constructing opened, British forces within the Battle of 1812 tried to burn it down. The invaders looted the constructing first, after which set the southern and northern wings ablaze — incinerating the Library of Congress. A sudden rainstorm prevented its complete destruction, however the constructing was left “a most luxurious damage,” in response to architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe.
Over the centuries since, occasions have made a mockery of the inscription on the podium of the Home chamber — “Union, Justice, Tolerance, Liberty, Peace.” The constructing has been bombed a number of occasions. There have been shootings. One legislator virtually killed one other.
Essentially the most well-known episode occurred in 1954, when 4 Puerto Rican nationalists unfurled the island’s flag and, shouting “Freedom for Puerto Rico,” unleashed a barrage of about 30 photographs from the customer’s gallery of the Home. 5 congressmen had been injured, one in all them critically.
“I didn’t come to kill anybody, I got here to die for Puerto Rico!” cried the chief, Lolita Lebron, when she and the others had been arrested.
Earlier than and since, the constructing has been a goal. In 1915, a German man planted three sticks of dynamite within the Senate reception room; it went off shortly earlier than midnight, when nobody was round.
The bomber — who had beforehand murdered his pregnant spouse by poisoning, and would go on to shoot financier J.P. Morgan Jr,. and bomb a steamship loaded with munitions certain for Britain — killed himself earlier than he may very well be arrested.
Extra not too long ago, the Climate Underground set off an explosive in 1971 to protest the U.S. bombing of Laos, and the Might 19th Communist Motion bombed the Senate in 1983 in response to the invasion of Grenada. Neither prompted any deaths or accidents, however each resulted in tons of of 1000’s of in harm and led to more durable safety measures.
Essentially the most lethal assault on the Capitol occurred in 1998, when a mentally ailing man fired at a checkpoint and killed two Capitol Cops. One of many dying officers managed to wound the gunman, who was arrested and later institutionalized. A close-by statue of Vice President John C. Calhoun nonetheless bears a bullet mark from the incident.
In 2013, a dental hygienist together with her 18-month-old daughter in tow tried to drive onto the White Home grounds, and was chased to the Capitol, the place she was shot to demise by police.
There have been different, storied assaults. In 1835, a deranged home painter tried to shoot two pistols at President Andrew Jackson outdoors the constructing; the weapons misfired, and Jackson caned his assailant into submission.
And famously, in 1856, Rep. Preston Brooks attacked abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner along with his cane on the ground of the Senate after the senator gave a speech criticizing slavery.
Sumner was crushed so badly that three years handed earlier than he had sufficiently recovered to return to Congress. The Home did not expel Brooks, however he resigned — and was instantly reelected.