Six Other Times People Broke into the Capitol
Pro-Trump protesters on Wednesday broke through Capitol Police and entered the U.S. Capitol Building. Some even made it as far as the Capitol Rotunda and the Senate Floor. Believe it or not, this is not the first time the Capitol Building has been breached. Or the second. Or the third… Here are 6 other times the United States Capitol Building was broken into.
1. The War of 1812
Shortly after construction on the U.S. Capitol’s two wings ended in 1811, the British Army invaded Washington, D.C. during the War of 1812. British troops burned part of the Capitol on August 24, 1814. It took about 4 years to reconstruct it.
2. A bomb in the Senate
On July 2, 1915, before the U.S. entered World War I, German professor Eric Muenter set off a bomb in the reception room of the U.S. Senate in an attempt to stop American support of the Allies.
3. Puerto Rican nationalists
On March 1, 1954, four Puerto Rican nationalists shot 30 rounds from semi-automatic pistols from the Ladies’ Gallery, a balcony for visitors, into the House of Representatives chamber in the Capitol. The shooters were trying to advocate for Puerto Rican independence from the United States.
Fortunately, no one was killed, but 5 representatives were wounded. The shooters were convicted in federal court and received very long sentences. In 1978 and 1979, President Jimmy Carter pardoned them, and they returned to Puerto Rico. Some claimed that he pardoned them in exchange for Fidel Castro’s release of several American CIA agents that were being held in Cuba, but the federal government has denied this.
4. A leftist bombing
On March 1, 1971, the radical left domestic terror group, The Weather Underground, bombed the ground floor of the U.S. Capitol. They set off the bomb as a protest against U.S. involvement in Laos. President Richard Nixon said the bombing was a “shocking act of violence that will outrage all Americans.”
5. Another leftist bombing
On November 7, 1983, the leftist terrorist group Armed Resistance Unit set off a bomb outside the office of Senate Minority Leader Robert Byrd. The terrorists claimed they were protesting the invasion of Grenada.
6. The murder of two police officers
On July 24, 1998, Russell Eugene Weston, Jr. broke into the Capitol and opened fire. He killed two Capitol Police officers, Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson. Weston’s motives remain unknown, but he was admitted into a mental institution for paranoid schizophrenia.