Giuseppe Zangara
Overview
Giuseppe Zangara was the assassin of Chicago mayor
Mayor of Chicago
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third largest city in the United States. He or she is charged with directing city departments and agencies, and with the advice and consent of the Chicago City Council, appoints department and agency leaders.-Appointment...

 Anton Cermak
Anton Cermak
Anton Joseph Cermak was the mayor of Chicago, Illinois, from 1931 until his assassination by Giuseppe Zangara in 1933.-Early life and career:...

, though United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

–elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have been his intended target. Roosevelt escaped injury, but five people were shot including Cermak.
Zangara was born in Ferruzzano
Ferruzzano
Ferruzzano is a comune in the Province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region of Calabria, located about 110 km southwest of Catanzaro and about 40 km east of Reggio Calabria...

, Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. After serving in the Tyrol
County of Tyrol
The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

ian Alps in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Zangara did a variety of menial jobs in his home village before emigrating with his uncle to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1923. He settled in Paterson, New Jersey
Paterson, New Jersey
Paterson is a city serving as the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 146,199, rendering it New Jersey's third largest city and one of the largest cities in the New York City Metropolitan Area, despite a decrease of 3,023...

 and on September 11, 1929, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.
Zangara, a poorly educated bricklayer
Bricklayer
A bricklayer or mason is a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork. The term also refers to personnel who use blocks to construct blockwork walls and other forms of masonry. In British and Australian English, a bricklayer is colloquially known as a "brickie".The training of a trade in...

, suffered severe pain in his abdomen
Abdomen
In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity...

, later attributed to adhesions of the gall bladder, possibly originating from an appendectomy performed in 1926.
Encyclopedia
Giuseppe Zangara was the assassin of Chicago mayor
Mayor of Chicago
The Mayor of Chicago is the chief executive of Chicago, Illinois, the third largest city in the United States. He or she is charged with directing city departments and agencies, and with the advice and consent of the Chicago City Council, appoints department and agency leaders.-Appointment...

 Anton Cermak
Anton Cermak
Anton Joseph Cermak was the mayor of Chicago, Illinois, from 1931 until his assassination by Giuseppe Zangara in 1933.-Early life and career:...

, though United States President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

–elect Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have been his intended target. Roosevelt escaped injury, but five people were shot including Cermak.

Early life

Zangara was born in Ferruzzano
Ferruzzano
Ferruzzano is a comune in the Province of Reggio Calabria in the Italian region of Calabria, located about 110 km southwest of Catanzaro and about 40 km east of Reggio Calabria...

, Calabria
Calabria
Calabria , in antiquity known as Bruttium, is a region in southern Italy, south of Naples, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. The capital city of Calabria is Catanzaro....

, Italy
Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...

. After serving in the Tyrol
County of Tyrol
The County of Tyrol, Princely County from 1504, was a State of the Holy Roman Empire, from 1814 a province of the Austrian Empire and from 1867 a Cisleithanian crown land of Austria-Hungary...

ian Alps in World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

, Zangara did a variety of menial jobs in his home village before emigrating with his uncle to the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 in 1923. He settled in Paterson, New Jersey
Paterson, New Jersey
Paterson is a city serving as the county seat of Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, its population was 146,199, rendering it New Jersey's third largest city and one of the largest cities in the New York City Metropolitan Area, despite a decrease of 3,023...

 and on September 11, 1929, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Physical health problems

Zangara, a poorly educated bricklayer
Bricklayer
A bricklayer or mason is a craftsman who lays bricks to construct brickwork. The term also refers to personnel who use blocks to construct blockwork walls and other forms of masonry. In British and Australian English, a bricklayer is colloquially known as a "brickie".The training of a trade in...

, suffered severe pain in his abdomen
Abdomen
In vertebrates such as mammals the abdomen constitutes the part of the body between the thorax and pelvis. The region enclosed by the abdomen is termed the abdominal cavity...

, later attributed to adhesions of the gall bladder, possibly originating from an appendectomy performed in 1926. These adhesions were later cited as a cause for his increasing mental delusions. It became increasingly difficult for him to work due to both his physical and mental conditions.

Assassination attempt

On February 15, 1933, Roosevelt was giving an impromptu speech from the back of an open car in the Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park
Bayfront Park is a public, urban park in Downtown Miami, Florida on Biscayne Bay.-History:The park began construction in 1924 under the design plans of Warren Henry Manning and officially opened in March 1925. Beginning in 1980, it underwent a major redesign by Japanese-American modernist artist...

 area of Miami, Florida
Miami, Florida
Miami is a city located on the Atlantic coast in southeastern Florida and the county seat of Miami-Dade County, the most populous county in Florida and the eighth-most populous county in the United States with a population of 2,500,625...

, where Zangara was living, working the occasional odd job, and living off his savings. Zangara joined the crowd, armed with a .32-caliber pistol
Pistol
When distinguished as a subset of handguns, a pistol is a handgun with a chamber that is integral with the barrel, as opposed to a revolver, wherein the chamber is separate from the barrel as a revolving cylinder. Typically, pistols have an effective range of about 100 feet.-History:The pistol...

 he had bought at a local pawn shop. However, being only five feet tall, he was unable to see over other people, and had to stand on a wobbly folding metal chair, peering over the hat of Lillian Cross to get a clear aim at his target. After the first shot, Cross and others grabbed his arm, and he fired four more shots wildly. Five people were hit, including Chicago mayor Anton Cermak
Anton Cermak
Anton Joseph Cermak was the mayor of Chicago, Illinois, from 1931 until his assassination by Giuseppe Zangara in 1933.-Early life and career:...

, who was standing on the running board of the car next to Roosevelt. En route to the hospital, Cermak had allegedly told FDR, "I'm glad it was me and not you, Mr. President", words now inscribed on a plaque in Bayfront Park.

Aftermath

In the Dade County Courthouse jail, Zangara confessed and stated: "I have the gun in my hand. I kill kings and presidents first and next all capitalists." He pleaded guilty to four counts of attempted murder and was sentenced to 80 years in prison. As he was led out of the courtroom, Zangara told the judge: "Four times 20 is 80. Oh, judge, don't be stingy. Give me a hundred years." The judge, aware that Cermak might not survive his wounds, replied: "Maybe there will be more later."

Cermak died of peritonitis
Peritonitis
Peritonitis is an inflammation of the peritoneum, the serous membrane that lines part of the abdominal cavity and viscera. Peritonitis may be localised or generalised, and may result from infection or from a non-infectious process.-Abdominal pain and tenderness:The main manifestations of...

 19 days later, on March 6, 1933, two days after Roosevelt's inauguration
Inauguration
An inauguration is a formal ceremony to mark the beginning of a leader's term of office. An example is the ceremony in which the President of the United States officially takes the oath of office....

. Zangara was promptly indicted for first-degree murder in Cermak's death. Because Zangara had intended
Transferred intent
Transferred intent describes the fact that intent can be transferred between victims, between torts, or both. In tort law, there are generally five areas in which transferred intent is applicable: battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, and trespass to chattels...

 to commit murder, it was irrelevant that his intended target may not have been the man he ultimately killed. In that case, he would still be guilty of murder under the doctrine of transferred intent
Transferred intent
Transferred intent describes the fact that intent can be transferred between victims, between torts, or both. In tort law, there are generally five areas in which transferred intent is applicable: battery, assault, false imprisonment, trespass to land, and trespass to chattels...

.

Zangara pleaded guilty to the additional murder charge, and was sentenced to die. Zangara said after hearing his sentence: "You give me electric chair
Electric chair
Execution by electrocution, usually performed using an electric chair, is an execution method originating in the United States in which the condemned person is strapped to a specially built wooden chair and electrocuted through electrodes placed on the body...

. I no afraid of that chair! You one of capitalists. You is crook man too. Put me in electric chair. I no care!" Under Florida law, a convicted murderer could not share cell space with another prisoner before his execution, but another convicted murderer was already awaiting execution at Raiford. Zangara's sentence required prison officials to expand their waiting area, and the "death cell" became "Death Row
Death row
Death row signifies the place, often a section of a prison, that houses individuals awaiting execution. The term is also used figuratively to describe the state of awaiting execution , even in places where no special facility or separate unit for condemned inmates exists.After individuals are found...

".

Execution

On March 20, 1933, after spending only 10 days on Death Row, Zangara was executed in Old Sparky
Old Sparky
Old Sparky is the nickname of the electric chairs in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, New York, Texas, and Virginia. It was the nickname of the long-retired electric chair at the now-closed West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville, West...

, the electric chair
Electric chair
Execution by electrocution, usually performed using an electric chair, is an execution method originating in the United States in which the condemned person is strapped to a specially built wooden chair and electrocuted through electrodes placed on the body...

 at Florida State Prison
Union Correctional Institution
Union Correctional Institution, formerly referred to as “Florida State Prison”, “Raiford Prison” and “State Prison Farm” is located in unincorporated Union County, Florida, near Raiford. Opened in 1913, the prison underwent large scale renovation and restructure in 1961 splitting into the present...

 in Raiford, Florida
Raiford, Florida
Raiford is a town in Union County, Florida, United States. The population was 187 at the 2000 census. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S...

. Zangara became enraged when he learned no newsreel
Newsreel
A newsreel was a form of short documentary film prevalent in the first half of the 20th century, regularly released in a public presentation place and containing filmed news stories and items of topical interest. It was a source of news, current affairs and entertainment for millions of moviegoers...

 cameras would be filming his final moments. Zangara's final statement was "Viva Italia! Goodbye to all poor peoples everywhere! [...] Push the button!"

Motivations

Raymond Moley
Raymond Moley
Raymond Charles Moley was a leading New Dealer who became its bitter opponent before the end of the Great Depression....

 interviewed Zangara and believed he was not part of any larger plot, and that he had intended to kill Roosevelt.

Alternative theories have circulated, especially in Chicago, where there were rumors that Zangara was a hired killer, working for Frank Nitti
Frank Nitti
Francesco Raffaele Nitto , also known as Frank "The Enforcer" Nitti, was an Italian American gangster. One of Al Capone's top henchmen, Nitti was in charge of all strong-arm and 'muscle' operations...

, who was the head of the Chicago Outfit
Chicago Outfit
The Chicago Outfit, also known as the Chicago Syndicate or Chicago Mob and sometimes shortened to simply the Outfit, is a crime syndicate based in Chicago, Illinois, USA...

 (Chicago's largest organized-crime syndicate). Allegedly, Mayor Cermak was the real target, because of his pledge to clean up the rampant gang violence in Chicago. Another speculation is that Cermak was connected to the Outfit's underworld rivals.

Some versions of this story assert that Zangara was a diversion for a second gunman who was to shoot Cermak; but this alleged second gunman was never seen.

Another point is that Zangara had been an expert marksman in the Italian Army
Royal Italian Army
The Regio Esercito was the army of the Kingdom of Italy from the unification of Italy in 1861 to the birth of the Italian Republic in 1946...

 (though not with a pistol from a great distance), and would presumably hit his target, so perhaps Cermak was the intended victim.

In popular culture

Zangara was played by Eddie Korbich
Eddie Korbich
Eddie Korbich is an actor, singer, dancer. He was born in Washington, D.C. but grew up in Shamokin, Pennsylvania.-1980s:He graduated from the Boston Conservatory with a B.F.A...

 in the original Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway
Off-Broadway theater is a term for a professional venue in New York City with a seating capacity between 100 and 499, and for a specific production of a play, musical or revue that appears in such a venue, and which adheres to related trade union and other contracts...

 production of Assassins
Assassins (musical)
Assassins is a musical with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and book by John Weidman, based on an idea by Charles Gilbert, Jr. It uses the premise of a murderous carnival game to produce a revue-style portrayal of men and women who attempted to assassinate Presidents of the United States...

by Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Sondheim
Stephen Joshua Sondheim is an American composer and lyricist for stage and film. He is the winner of an Academy Award, multiple Tony Awards including the Special Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre, multiple Grammy Awards, a Pulitzer Prize and the Laurence Olivier Award...

. In later productions he was played by Paul Harrhy in London and by Jeffrey Kuhn in the show's original Broadway
Broadway theatre
Broadway theatre, commonly called simply Broadway, refers to theatrical performances presented in one of the 40 professional theatres with 500 or more seats located in the Theatre District centered along Broadway, and in Lincoln Center, in Manhattan in New York City...

 production. Appearing in several songs from the play, he has a major solo in the number, "How I Saved Roosevelt".

Zangara plays a significant role in the background provided for Philip K. Dick
Philip K. Dick
Philip Kindred Dick was an American novelist, short story writer and essayist whose published work is almost entirely in the science fiction genre. Dick explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments and altered...

's The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle
The Man in the High Castle is a science fiction alternate history novel by American writer Philip K. Dick. It won a Hugo Award in 1963 and has since been translated into many languages....

. The alternate history novel begins with the premise that Zangara succeeded in assassinating Franklin D. Roosevelt, utilizing this historical event as its point of divergence
Point of divergence
In discussion of counterfactual history, a divergence point , also referred to as a departure point or point of divergence , is a historical event with two possible postulated outcomes...

.

In 1960, in a two-part story line on the TV show The Untouchables
The Untouchables (1959 TV series)
The Untouchables is an American crime drama that ran from 1959 to 1963 on ABC. Based on the memoir of the same name by Eliot Ness and Oscar Fraley, it fictionalized the experiences of Eliot Ness, a real-life Prohibition agent, as he fought crime in Chicago during the 1930s with the help of a...

, actor Joe Mantell
Joe Mantell
Joe Mantell was an American actor. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as "Angie" in the 1955 film Marty, which earned the Best Picture Award....

 played the part of Giuseppe "Joe" Zangara. This episode focuses on Nitti's plan to kill Mayor Cermak, which fails, thanks to Eliot Ness
Eliot Ness
Eliot Ness was an American Prohibition agent, famous for his efforts to enforce Prohibition in Chicago, Illinois, and the leader of a legendary team of law enforcement agents nicknamed The Untouchables.- Early life :...

. But Ness's successful prevention of Nitti's assassination plot is quickly undercut when Zangara does the deed. The shows were originally aired February 25 and March 3, 1960.

External links

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