What were the world’s most impactful assassinations?
Great people in the time create enemies, there are people who won’t agree with their ideologies or methods and in order to stop them find no other way then to terminate them. Here is a list of the world’s most impactful assassinations that had a great impact on the world.
Martin Luther King jr.
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American clergyman, activist, and prominent leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for being an iconic figure in the advancement of civil rights in the United States and around the world, using nonviolent methods following the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi. King is often presented as a heroic leader in the history of modern American liberalism.
A Baptist minister, King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. King’s efforts led to the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he expanded American values to include the vision of a color-blind society and established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history.
In 1964, King became the youngest person to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for his work to end racial segregation and racial discrimination through civil disobedience and other nonviolent means. By the time of his death in 1968, he had refocused his efforts on ending poverty and stopping the Vietnam War.
On March 29, 1968, King went to Memphis, Tennessee, in support of the black sanitary public works employees, represented by AFSCME Local 1733, who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages and better treatment. In one incident, black street repairmen received pay for two hours when they were sent home because of bad weather, but white employees were paid for the full day.
King was booked in room 306 at the Lorraine Motel, owned by Walter Bailey, in Memphis. The Reverend Ralph Abernathy, King’s close friend and colleague who was present at the assassination, testified under oath to the United States House Select Committee on Assassinations that King and his entourage stayed at room 306 at the Lorraine Motel so often it was known as the “King-Abernathy suite.”
Then, at 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, a shot rang out as King stood on the motel’s second-floor balcony. The bullet entered through his right cheek, smashing his jaw, then traveled down his spinal cord before lodging in his shoulder. Abernathy heard the shot from inside the motel room and ran to the balcony to find King on the floor. The events following the shooting have been disputed, as some people have accused Jackson of exaggerating his response.
After emergency chest surgery, King was pronounced dead at St. Joseph’s Hospital at 7:05 p.m. The assassination led to a nationwide wave of riots in Washington DC, Chicago, Baltimore, Louisville, Kentucky, Kansas City, and dozens of other cities. Presidential candidate Robert Kennedywas on his way to Indianapolis for a campaign rally when he was informed of King’s death. He gave a short speech to the gathering of supporters informing them of the tragedy and urging them to continue King’s ideal of non-violence. James Farmer, Jr. and other civil rights leaders also called for non-violent action, while the more militant Stokely Carmichael called for a more forceful response.
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ( 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was a pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India during the Indian independence movement. He pioneered satyagraha, resistance to tyranny through mass civil resistance. His philosophy was firmly founded upon ahimsa (nonviolence). His philosophy and leadership helped India gain independence and inspired movements for civil rights and freedom across the world. His birthday, 2 October, is commemorated as Gandhi Jayanti, a national holiday, and worldwide as the International Day of Non-Violence. Gandhi was assassinated on 30 January 1948 by Nathuram Godse.
On 30 January 1948, Gandhi was shot while he was walking to a platform from which he was to address a prayer meeting. The assassin, Nathuram Godse, was a Hindu nationalist with links to the extremist Hindu Mahasabha, who held Gandhi responsible for weakening India by insisting upon a payment to Pakistan. Godse and his co-conspirator Narayan Apte were later tried and convicted; they were executed on 15 November 1949. Gandhi’s memorial (orSamādhi) at Rāj Ghāt, New Delhi, bears the epigraph “Hē Ram”, (Devanagari: हे ! राम or, He Rām), which may be translated as “Oh God”. These are widely believed to be Gandhi’s last words after he was shot, though the veracity of this statement has been disputed.
Benazir Bhutto 21 June 1953 – 27 December 2007) was a Pakistan-born politician, withPakistani and Kurdish-Iranian origin, who chaired the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), a centre-left and the largest political party in Pakistan. Bhutto was the first woman elected to lead a Muslim state, having twice been Prime Minister of Pakistan (1988–1990; 1993–1996). She was Pakistan’s first and to date only female prime minister and was the eldest child of former Prime minister of Pakistan Mr. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and former First Lady of Pakistan Mrs.Nusrat Bhutto, and was the wife of current President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari.
Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister for the first time in 1988 at the age of 35, but was removed from office 20 months later under the order of then-President Ghulam Ishaq Khan on grounds of alleged corruption. In 1993 she was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 on similar charges, this time by her party’s elected President Farooq Leghari. She went into self-imposed exile in Dubai in 1998.
Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after having reached an understanding with President Pervez Musharraf by which she was granted amnesty and all corruption charges were withdrawn. She was assassinated on 27 December 2007, after departing a PPP rally in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi, two weeks before the scheduled Pakistani general election of 2008 in which she was a leading opposition candidate. The following year, she was named one of seven winners of the United Nations Prize in the Field of Human Rights.
Nehru-Gandhi family (congress)
In 1947, India became independent and Jawaharlal Nehru became Prime Minister, holding this post until his death in 1964. Nehru’s sister,Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit (1900–1990), was also prominent in Congress politics. She became a diplomat, serving as ambassador to the USSR, High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, and later as President of the United Nations General Assembly in 1953.
Nehru encouraged his only child, Indira Gandhi (1917–84) to be active in Congress politics. She entered the Cabinet in 1964 when Lal Bahadur Shastri became Prime Minister upon Nehru’s death. Then in 1966, following the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri, she became Prime Minister, holding the position until her defeat in the 1977 elections. During her Prime Ministership her younger son, Sanjay Gandhi (1946–80), wielded enormous political influence without holding any accountable government office. His alleged abuse of power is cited as one of the reasons for the government’s 1977 defeat. Sanjay died in a plane crash in 1980.
Indira Gandhi returned to power in 1980 and remained in office until her assassination in 1984. The Indian state of Punjab had been in turmoil, with a section of the predominantly Sikh population demanding independence. Many
youths had radicalized and adopted militant means to attain their demand for an independent state (which they called Khalistan). Gandhi ordered the army to storm theSikh religion’s holiest shrine, the Golden Temple, on 6 June 1984, to flush out radical leader Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and his supporters. The army operation, titled Operation Blue Star, resulted in heavy exchange of fire and extensive damage to the temple, including the sanctum sanctorum (Akal Takht. This caused widespread anger among the Sikh community. Gandhi was killed by two of her Sikh bodyguards on 31 October 1984; the remaining bodyguards killed one of the assassins and captured the other. Her sudden death triggered anti-Sikh riots in many parts of India.
She was succeeded by her elder son, Rajiv Gandhi (1944–91), an airline pilot, who was initially reluctant to enter politics, but was persuaded by the Congress that no-one else could lead it. He was defeated at elections in 1989, but was about to return to office when he was assassinated in 1991 by a suicide bomber, suspected to be linked to the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). In 1987, he had authorized an Indian Peace Keeping Force to be sent to Sri Lanka to fight the LTTE. He was survived by his widow Sonia, and two children, Rahul and Priyanka.
Sonia Gandhi is the current political head of the ruling party, and she left the post of Prime Minister to Mr. Manmohan Singh following threats to her life and pressure from her children.
Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809 – April 15, 1865) was the 16th President of the United States, serving from March 1861 until his assassination. As president, he led the country through a great constitutional, military and moral crisis—the American Civil War—preserving the Union while ending slavery and promoting economic and financial modernization.
John Wilkes Booth was a well-known actor and a Confederate spy from Maryland; though he never joined the Confederate army, he is said to have clearly had contacts with the Confederate secret service. In 1864, Booth formulated a plan to kidnap Lincoln in exchange for the release of Confederate prisoners. After attending an April 11 speech in which Lincoln promoted voting rights for blacks, an incensed Booth changed his plans and became determined to assassinate the president.Learning that the President, First Lady, and head Union general Ulysses S. Grant would be attending Ford’s Theatre, Booth formulated a plan with co-conspirators to assassinate Vice President Andrew Johnson, Secretary of State William H. Seward and General Grant. Without his main bodyguard, Ward Hill Lamon, Lincoln left to attend the play Our American Cousin on April 14, 1865. Grant along with his wife chose at the last minute to travel to Philadelphia instead of attending the play.
Lincoln’s bodyguard, John Parker, left Ford’s Theater during intermission to join Lincoln’s coachman for drinks in the Star Saloon next door. The now unguarded President sat in his state box in the balcony. Seizing the opportunity, Booth crept up from behind and at about 10:13 pm, aimed at the back of Lincoln’s head and fired at point-blank range, mortally wounding the President. Major Henry Rathbone momentarily grappled with Booth but Booth stabbed him and escaped.
After being on the run for ten days, Booth was tracked down and found on a farm in Virginia, some 30 miles (48 km) south of Washington D.C. After a brief fight, Booth was killed by Union soldiers on April 26.
John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy
John Fitzgerald “Jack” Kennedy (May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963), often referred to by his initials JFK, was the 35th President of the United States, serving from 1961 until his assassination in 1963.
After military service as commander of the Motor Torpedo Boat PT-109 and Motor Torpedo Boat PT-59 during World War II in the South Pacific, Kennedy represented Massachusetts’s 11th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1947 to 1953 as a Democrat. Thereafter, he served in the U.S. Senate from 1953 until 1960. Kennedy defeated then Vice President and Republican candidate Richard Nixon in the 1960 U.S. presidential election. He was the youngest elected to the office, at the age of 43, the second-youngest President (after Theodore Roosevelt), and the first president to have been born in the 20th century. Kennedy is the only Catholic president, and is the only president to have won a Pulitzer Prize. Events during his presidency included the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Space Race, the African American Civil Rights Movement and early stages of the Vietnam War.
President Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, at 12:30 pm Central Standard Time on November 22, 1963, while on a political trip to Texas to smooth over frictions in the Democratic Party between liberals Ralph Yarborough and Don Yarborough (no relation) and conservative John Connally. He was shot once in the upper back and was killed with a final shot to the head. He was pronounced dead at 1:00 pm. Only 46, President Kennedy died younger than any U.S. president to date. Lee Harvey Oswald, an employee of the Texas School Book Depository from which the shots were suspected to have been fired, was arrested on charges for the murder of a local police officer and was subsequently charged with the assassination of Kennedy. He denied shooting anyone, claiming he was a patsy, but was killed by Jack Ruby on November 24, before he could be indicted or tried. Ruby was then arrested and convicted for the murder of Oswald. Ruby successfully appealed his conviction and death sentence but became ill and died of cancer on January 3, 1967, while the date for his new trial was being set.
President Johnson created the Warren Commission—chaired by Chief Justice Earl Warren—to investigate the assassination, which concluded that Oswald was the lone assassin. The results of this investigation are disputed by many. The assassination proved to be an important moment in U.S. history because of its impact on the nation and the ensuing political repercussions.
John Winston Ono Lennon, (9 October 1940 – 8 December 1980) was an English musician and singer-songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as one of the founding members of The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Along with fellow Beatle Paul McCartney, he formed one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of the 20th century.
Born and raised in Liverpool, Lennon became involved as a teenager in the skiffle craze; his first band, The Quarrymen, evolved into The Beatles in 1960. As the group disintegrated towards the end of the decade, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and “Imagine”, and iconic songs such as “Give Peace a Chance” and “Imagine”. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to devote time to his family but re-emerged in 1980 with a new album, Double Fantasy. He was murdered three weeks after its release.
At around 10:50 pm on 8 December 1980, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in The Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building. Lennon was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 pm. Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman.
Ono issued a statement the next day, saying “There is no funeral for John,” ending it with the words, “John loved and prayed for the human race. Please pray the same for him.” His body was cremated at Ferncliff Cemetery in Hartsdale, New York. Ono scattered his ashes in New York’s Central Park, where the Strawberry Fields memorial was later created. Chapman pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years to life; as of 2011, he remains in prison, having been denied parole six times.
Gaius Julius Caesar(13 July 100 BC – 15 March 44 BC) was a Roman general and statesman. He played a critical role in the gradual transformation of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire.
In 60 BC, Caesar entered into a political alliance with Crassus and Pompey that was to dominate Roman politics for several years. Their attempts to amass power through populist tactics were opposed within the Roman Senate by the conservative elite, among them Cato the Younger with the frequent support of Cicero. Caesar’s conquest of Gaul extended Rome’s territory to the North Sea, and in 55 BC he conducted the first Roman invasion of Britain. These achievements granted him unmatched military power and threatened to eclipse Pompey’s standing. The balance of power was further upset by the death of Crassus in 53 BC. Political realignments in Rome finally led to a standoff between Caesar and Pompey, the latter having taken up the cause of the Senate. Ordered by the senate to stand trial in Rome for various charges, Caesar marched from Gaul to Italy with his legions, crossing the Rubicon in 49 BC. This sparked a civil war from which he emerged as the unrivaled leader of the Roman world.
According to Plutarch, as Caesar arrived at the Senate, Tillius Cimber presented him with a petition to recall his exiled brother. The other conspirators crowded round to offer support. Both Plutarch and Suetonius say that Caesar waved him away, but Cimber grabbed his shoulders and pulled down Caesar’s tunic. Caesar then cried to Cimber, “Why, this is violence!” (“Ista quidem vis est!”). At the same time, Casca produced his dagger and made a glancing thrust at the dictator’s neck. Caesar turned around quickly and caught Casca by the arm. According to Plutarch, he said in Latin, “Casca, you villain, what are you doing?” Casca, frightened, shouted, “Help, brother!” in Greek (“ἀδελφέ, βοήθει!”, “adelphe, boethei!”). Within moments, the entire group, including Brutus, was striking out at the dictator. Caesar attempted to get away, but, blinded by blood, he tripped and fell; the men continued stabbing him as he lay defenseless on the lower steps of the portico. According to Eutropius, around 60 or more men participated in the assassination. He was stabbed 23 times. According to Suetonius, a physician later established that only one wound, the second one to his chest, had been lethal.
The dictator’s last words are not known with certainty and are a contested subject among scholars and historians alike. The version best known in the English-speaking world is the Latin phrase “Et tu, Brute?” (“And you, Brutus?”, commonly rendered as “You too, Brutus?”); this derives from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, where it actually forms the first half of a macaronic line: “Et tu, Brute? Then fall, Caesar.”
According to Plutarch, after the assassination, Brutus stepped forward as if to say something to his fellow senators; they, however, fled the building. Brutus and his companions then marched to the Capitol while crying out to their beloved city: “People of Rome, we are once again free!” They were met with silence, as the citizens of Rome had locked themselves inside their houses as soon as the rumor of what had taken place had begun to spread. Caesar’s dead body lay where it fell on the Senate floor for nearly three hours before other officials arrived to remove it.
A lifesize wax statue of Caesar was later erected in the forum displaying the 23 stab wounds. A crowd who had gathered there started a fire, which badly damaged the forum and neighboring buildings. In the ensuing chaos Mark Antony, Octavian (later Augustus Caesar), and others fought a series of five civil wars, which would end in the formation of the Roman Empire.
This was a list of the great leaders who were killed (assassinated). The assassinations have a great impact on the world, but we observed that all of these had a totally different consequence. And nowhere the motives of the killings were the same and similarly, the consequences were unique to each assassination.