The Senate met on Wednesday to officially vote on the Electoral College votes from the 2020 presidential election. Before their vote could become final, a group of protestors, some of whom were carrying pro-Trump signs, stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to protest a stolen election. While the scenes that came out of Washington on Wednesday were tragic, it was not the first time that the Capitol had been breached.
The War of 1812
Soon after construction finished on the two wings of the Capitol in 1811, British forces attacked it in the War of 1812. British troops set fire to the building on August 24, 1814, and reconstruction took approximately four years.
Senate Bombing of 1915
Just before the U.S. entered World War I, German professor Eric Muenter detonated a bomb in the reception room of the Senate on July 2, 1915, to stop America’s support of the Allied Forces. Muenter’s terrorist attack only served to increase the fervor that America had against the Germans.
Nationalists From Puerto Rico
Four Puerto Rican nationalists ambushed the Capitol on March 1, 1954, and fired 30 rounds from semiautomatic pistols in the House chamber. Five representatives were wounded, though all recovered. President Jimmy Carter eventually pardoned all four shooters who were serving life sentences.
Weather Underground Bombing
In 1971, a left-wing domestic terror group known as the Weather Underground detonated a bomb on the floor of the Capitol to protest America’s involvement in Laos. President Nixon denounced the attack as an act of terrorism.
Armed Resistance Unit Bombing
Another left-wing group detonated another bomb outside the office of Senate Minority Leader Robert Byrd on November 7, 1983. The terrorists were found guilty of that bombing in addition to two others. On the day he left office, Bill Clinton commuted the sentence of Linda Evans, a female who was one of the bombers.
Two Police Officers Murdered
In July of 1998, Russell Eugene Weston Jr. shot and killed two police officers at the Capitol. We still don’t know why Weston did what he did, but he was committed to a psych ward with paranoid schizophrenia.
Wednesday’s news was tragic, but it was not the first example of a Capitol breach. Our nation got past the previous attacks, and we will survive this one as well.