1. The First Assassination Attempt
The first assassination attempt on a US President was by Richard Lawrence who tried to assassinate President Andrew Jackson. Richard Lawrence, who believed himself to be King Richard III, suffered from a mental illness. As President Jackson was leaving the funeral of Warren R. Davis, Mr. Lawrence stepped out from behind a pillar and pulled the trigger of his Derringer gun which was aimed toward President Jackson who stood approximately 13 feet away. The bullet did not leave the gun so Mr. Lawrence pulled out a second gun, aimed and pulled the trigger at the President who was even closer by this time. The second gun back fired as well and President Jackson, irritated by the assassination attempt, began to beat Mr. Lawrence with his cane. Richard Lawrence was arrested and tried, though not convicted due to his insanity.
2. The Secret Service
The Secret Service, which is the main force protecting the President of the United States today, did not always have a part in protecting the President. The Secret Service was established the day that Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth to help cut down on the amount of counterfeit money being circulated in the United States, about 1/3 of the US currency at the time. Though they took on the duty of protecting the President long ago, the Secret Service remained part of the U.S. Department of Treasury until 2003.
3. The President’s Car
The President’s fleet of cars are some of the safest armored vehicles in the world. The first President to use an armored car was Franklin Roosevelt in 1941. After the attack on Pearl Harbor President Roosevelt needed to be driven to the capital to address Congress. The Secret Service, who would have normally just driven him in his 1939, V12 Convertible, were nervous that there would be more attacks aimed at the President. With only 24 hours and $750 (equivalent to $10,500 today) the Secret Service needed to find an armored vehicle to transport the President. Secret Service agent Mike Reilly found an armored 1928, 341A Cadillac Town Sedan at the Treasury Department’s impound lot which was obtained and used to transport the President. The car had been seized from Mafia boss Al Capone after his arrest for tax evasion.
4. Air Force One
Air Force One is one of the most recognized planes in the world, however, the plane itself actually doesn’t hold the name. “Air Force One” is the name used for ANY plane carrying the President of the United States. The President normally flies on one of two identical customized Boeing 747-200B jets. These planes are identical and were designed to be intimidating and be a recognized presence wherever they go. There is no limit to how much time they spend in the air since they are refueled mid-flight and are equipped that everything needed to run the nation in a time of crisis which is why they have also been called “The flying White House”.
5. Living in the White House
The White House is another very recognizable symbol of the President of the United States of America but what many people don’t know is that the President and their family does not stay at the White House for free. At the end of each month, the President receives a bill for any food and expenses accrued through the month. This includes toiletries, dry cleaning, food, etc. All expenses are deducted from the President’s $400,000 annual salary.