Top 10 World Changing Assassinations & Influential Deaths
An Assassination is defined as the targeted killing of a public figure. In the
past, numerous political murders have had direct influences on the world. Assassinations can lead to government revolutions and coups. I have composed a list of ten of the most influential and world
changing assassinations in modern history.I have steered away from including infamous cases such
as JFK, Abraham Lincoln, John Lennon, and Martin Luther King Jr.I figured that everyone has heard
these stories and many other important political deaths have occurred in the 19th and 20th centuries.
10. George Tiller (1941-2009)
was an American physician from Wichita, Kansas.He was the medical director for Women’s Health
Care Services, which was one of three American hospitals self-identified as providing late-term abortions, which
is after the 21st week of pregnancy. In 1993, Tiller was shot in both arms by Shelley Shannon outside of his office.He suffered serious injuries, but survived the attack.However, on May 31, 2009, George Tiller was shot and killed by anti-abortion activist Scott Roeder, as he served as an usher during Sunday
morning service.Tiller was shot once in the head at point blank range.Roeder
was arrested 170 miles away from the murder in suburban Kansas City and was charged with first degree murder. A
few weeks following Tiller’s death, his family announced that the clinic he operated would be closed down permanently.
9. Olof Palme (1927-1986)
Olof Palme was
a Swedish politician and leader of the Swedish Social Democratic Party from 1969 until his death in 1986.Palme was the Prime Minister of Sweden on two separate occasions, heading a Privy Council Government from 1969
to 1976 and a cabinet government from 1982 until his death.Olof Palme is one of the most famous Swedes of the 20th century, on account of his 125-month tenure as Prime Minister and fierce opposition to American
foreign policy.Olof Palme was often described as a "revolutionary reformist.”His socialist views, especially the drive to expand Labour Union influence over business engendered a great deal
of hostility among many conservative Swedes.
Palme was known for his harsh and emotional criticism of the United States over the Vietnam War. His opposition
to the crushing of the Prague Spring by the Soviet Union. Palme criticized the Franco Regime in Spain and
was campaigning against nuclear weapons proliferation.On February 28, 1986, Olof Palme was walking
home from the cinema with his wife when he was attacked and shot in the back at close range. He was declared dead
on the central Stockholm street of Sveavägen.The crime remains unsolved to this day.Palme's murder was the first of its kind in modern Swedish history and had a great impact across Scandinavia.
8. Anton Cermak (1873-1933)
was born in Kladno, Austria-Hungary.He immigrated with his parents to the United States in 1874.Cermak was elected to the Illinois state legislature in 1902 and voted chairman of the Cook County Democratic
Party in 1928.As an immigrant, Cermak took advantage of the growing population of Poles, Czechs,
Ukrainians, Jews, Italians, and African Americans in the Chicago area. He ran for mayor in 1931.He
also took advantage of the publics growing frustration with mayor “Big Bill” Thompson and his reputation
of corruption and inability or unwillingness to clean up organized crime in Chicago.Cermak gained
a 58% majority victory over Thompson in the election.
this time in history Cermak’s political and organizational skills helped create one of the most powerful political
organizations in America.He is considered the father of Chicago's Democratic machine.No Republican has held the office of mayor in Chicago since Thompson's exit in 1931.On
February 15, 1933 President-elect Franklin Roosevelt was shaking hands with Cermak at Bayfront Park in Miami, Florida,
when Giuseppe Zangara fired shots at the pair.In what appeared to be a presidential assassination
attempt, Cermak was hit in the lung and would later die from his injuries. FDR would go on to become a central figure
in the 20th century, serving as United States president from 1933-1945.
7. Franz Ferdinand (1863-1914)
Franz Ferdinand was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Austro Hungarian, and Royal Prince of Hungary
and of Bohemia from 1889 until his death.He was the heir to the Austro Hungarian throne.When he was only twelve years old, his cousin Duke Francis V of Modena died, naming Franz Ferdinand his heir on
condition that he add the name Este to his own.Franz Ferdinand thus became one of the wealthiest
men in Austria.On June 28, 1914, Ferdinand and his wife were shot to death in Sarajevo, the capital
of the Austro-Hungarian province of Bosnia and Herzegovina.Ferdinand was hit in the jugular
and eventually bled to death. The assassination was carried out by Gavrilo Princip, a 19-year-old
boy who was a member of Young Bosnia.Ferdinand’s death was one of a group of assassinations organized by the Black Hand, a secret society founded in Serbia.Franz Ferdinand’s death precipitated
Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia.This caused the creation of the Triple Alliance
and the Triple Entente Powers. The groups would ultimatley declare war on each other, starting World War I.
6. Ngo Dinh Diem (1901-1963)
Ngo Dinh Diem
was the first president of South Vietnam. He was in power from 1955-1963.During the middle
of the 1950’s the CIA and America were attempting to help Diem strengthen his rule on Vietnam.The
US Navy program Operation Passage to Freedom saw over one million North Vietnamese move south.The
majority of these people were Catholics, as Diem was a strong catholic supporter and promoter. In 1955, elections
were held and campaigning for Diem’s opponent Bảo Đại was prohibited. Diem won the election with
98.5% majority vote, although many claim the vote was fixed.Diem's rule is categorized
as authoritarian and nepotistic.He modeled the Can Lao secret police's marching style and torture
styles on Nazi designs.The regime relations with the United States gradually worsened.
Ngo Dinh Diem was also becoming greatly hated by the majority Buddhist
population, which felt they were being forced into beliefs of Christianity and away from their spiritual roots.On November 1, 1963, General Dương Văn Minh and his co-conspirators overthrew the South Vietnamese
government.The United States gave secret assurances to the generals that the U.S. would not interfere
with the coup.Ngo Dinh Diem was captured and executed in the back of an armored personnel carrier
by Captain Nguyen Van Nhung.After Diem's assassination, South Vietnam was unable to establish
a stable government and numerous coups took place during the first several years after his death.While
the U.S. continued to influence South Vietnam's government, the assassination bolstered North Vietnamese attempts
to characterize the South Vietnamese as supporters of colonialism.Ultimately, it helped create more content as the North felt that America was now controlling the South.
5. Laurent-Désiré Kabila (1939-2001)
Republic of the Congo is a country located in Central Africa.It is the third
largest country by area in Africa and the 19th most populous nation in the world. In 1965, Mobutu Sese Seko
became the President of Zaire.While in office, he formed a totalitarian regime, which attempted to
purge the country of all colonial cultural influence. Mobutu Sese Seko was in power for almost 32 years.
In May of 1997 Laurent-Désiré Kabila overthrew the dictator and became President of Zaire and changed
the countries name to the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Kabila took control of the capital city,
denounced the constitution, and liberated the country.Kabila had been a committed Marxist, but his
policies at this point were a mix of capitalism and collectivism.Some hailed Kabila as representing
a "new breed" of African leadership, but others characterized his government as authoritarian, corrupted, and accused him of human rights abuses.
However, by 1998, Kabila's former allies in Uganda and Rwanda had turned against
him and backed a new rebellion of the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD).Kabila was shot to
death during the afternoon of January 16, 2001 by one of his own staff, Rashidi Kasereka, who was then killed.The killing was part of a failed coup attempt.A major investigation ensued and when all was said and done 25 people were sentenced to death for being involved with the conspiracy
to kill Laurent-Désiré Kabila.After the assassination Kabila’s son Joseph became
President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where he remains today.
4. Rajiv Gandhi (1944-1991)
In 1947, India gained its
independence. Three years later the Constitution of India was created. The preamble of this constitution
defines India as a sovereign, socialist, and secular republic.During this time the Nehru-Gandhi family
took control of the Indian National Congress. Indira Gandhi soon became the first female Prime Minister of India.
She had two sons Rajiv and Sanjay Gandhi. While adhering to its strong socialist policies India was not growing
with the rest of the world. The country was being economically isolated.
Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her body guards. Upon her death, Rajiv Gandhi became the 9th and youngest Prime
Minister of India. He began leading in a direction significantly different from his mother’s socialism; he
promoted economic liberalization. He improved bilateral relations with the United States, expanded economic
and scientific cooperation, and reduced import quotas, taxes, and tariffs on technology-based industries. On May
21, 1991 Thenmuli Rajaratnam, a member of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, strapped a bomb to herself and while
she bent down to touch Rajiv’s feet she detonated a bomb killing him instantly. Since Rajiv’s death India’s economy has become the second fastest growing major economy in the world, creating thousands of jobs
and opportunity for the citizens.
3. William McKinley (1843-1901)
was the 25th President of the United States and last veteran of the American Civil War to be elected.McKinley
was a national Republican leader and used high tariffs on imports as a formula for prosperity.His
presidency is known for upholding the gold standard and promoting cultural pluralism among ethnic groups. McKinley
introduced many new advertising style campaign techniques and handily defeated William Jennings Bryan in the 1896 presidential
election.After much hesitation, the Spanish-American War was fought during McKinley’s presidency; ultimately he was reelected in 1900.He also presided over the annexation of Hawaii in 1898.
On September 6, 1901, the president and Mrs. McKinley attended the Pan-American Exposition
in Buffalo, New York.McKinley was in the Temple of Music greeting the public when Leon Frank Czolgosz
fired two shots at him.The first shot grazed his shoulder, but the second went through his stomach,
pancreas, and kidney.On September 14, eight days after being shot, William McKinley died from gangrene
surrounding his wounds. William McKinley was the third U.S. president to be assassinated in office. The others
being Abraham Lincoln and James A. Garfield. John F. Kennedy was also assassinated in 1963.
Leon Frank Czolgosz
2. Anwar El Sadat (1918-1981)
Al Sadat was a senior member of the Free Officers group that overthrew the Muhammad Ali Dynasty in the Egyptian
Revolution of 1952.The revolution was initially aimed at overthrowing King Farouk I.The movement soon moved to abolish the constitutional monarchy and establish a republic. In 1970, Anwar El
Sadat became the third President of Egypt. During Sadat’s presidency he changed Egypt’s political direction.He departed from some of the economic and political principles of Nasserism, reinstituting the multi-party system,
and launched the Infitah. Infitah is a word meaning “open door” and refers to Anwar El Sadat’s policy
to open up private and foreign investment in Egypt.Anwar El Sadat became an Egyptian hero for his bravery and leadership during the October War of 1973, where he regained the triangular peninsula of Sinai.
In 1979, Sadat visited Israel and helped create the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty, which basically
abolished the state of war that had existed since the 1948 Arab-Israeli War. The peace treaty was not popular with the
Arab world and Islamists.It resulted in Egypt being expelled from the Arab League, a ban that was
not lifted until 1989.Anwar El Sadat was in constant fear from various Islamic groups and the Egyptian
Islamic Jihad.Despite the protection of four layers of security, on October 6, 1981, Anwar El Sadat was assassinated by a group of radicals lead by Khalid Islambouli.He was attending the annual
victory parade in Cairo when a truck approached the front of the presidential reviewing stand. Suddenly, a group a men
began throwing grenades and firing assault rifles at the president.Islambouli ran towards Sadat and
shot him point blank, while various members of the crowd surrounded his body with chairs hoping to protect him from
the barrage of bullets.It was the first time in Egyptian history that the head of state had been
assassinated by an Egyptian citizen.
Anwar El Sadat's Assassin
1. Nicholas II and Family
Nicholas II was the last Emperor
of Russia, Grand Duke of Finland, and claimed the title of King of Poland.He ruled from 1894 until
his abdication on March 15, 1917.His reign saw Imperial Russia go from being one of the foremost
great powers of the world to an economic and military disaster.As leader he approved the Russian
mobilization of August 1914, which marked the first fatal step into WWI.Nicholas II was abdicated after the February Revolution of 1917.He and his family were imprisoned and guarded day and night. On July 17, 1918, Nicholas II, his wife, his son, and his four daughters were taken into a room and killed by firing squad.The squad was composed of seven Communist soldiers from Central
Europe, and three local Bolsheviks, all under the command of Bolshevik officer Yakov Yurovsky.The
assassins made sure to assemble a quick demise of the Russian Romanov dynasty.In 1981, Nicholas and
his immediate family were recognized as martyred saints by the Russian Orthodox Church outside Russia.On August 14, 2000, they were canonized by the synod of the Russian Orthodox Church
as passion bearers.
- February 3, 2011
Well organized... Well done.
Copyright The List Blog - Top 10, All Rights Reserved, Posted August 9, 2009