Ford escorted out of the park by the Secret Service after the assassination
On September 5th, 1975, a woman in a red nun-like robe tried to assassinate President Gerald R. Ford inside Sacramento’s Capitol Park. The woman, a follower of Charles Manson, named Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme, pointed a Colt 45-caliber handgun at Ford. As Fromme pulled the trigger, Larry Buendorf, a Secret Service agent, grabbed the gun and managed to insert the webbing of his thumb under the hammer, preventing the gun from firing.while she was being further restrained and handcuffed, managed to say a few sentences to the on-scene cameras, emphasizing that the gun did not “go off”.
It was later found that, although the gun was loaded with four bullets, it was a semi-automatic pistol and the slide had not been pulled to place a bullet in the firing chamber, making it impossible for the gun to fire. Fromme subsequently told The Sacramento Bee that she had deliberately ejected the cartridge in her weapon’s chamber before leaving home that morning, and investigators later found a .45 ACP cartridge in her bathroom. She also claimed that her motive was to plead with the president about the plight of the California redwoods.
After a lengthy trial in which she refused to cooperate with her own defense–she threw an apple at the persecution–she was convicted of the attempted assassination of the president and received a life sentence. (She is set to be released from prison in mid August 2009). Ford went on to face one more assassination attempt–this one occurred in San Francisco seventeen days later, and the assassin was once again a woman.