In 1976, on this day Sara Jane Moore was sentenced to life in prison for the assassination of the 38th President of the United States, Gerald R. Ford (pictured).
Sentencing of Sara Jane MooreThe security forces had proven powerless to protect Ford whose luck had finally run out on September 22, 1975 outside the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco.
Just seventeen days earlier Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme had pointed a gun at the President, and just the day before the assassination Moore had actually been picked up by police on an illegal handgun charge but was released from arrest. The police confiscated her .44 caliber pistol and 113 rounds of ammunition. And in a separate incident earlier in the year, she had been evaluated by the Secret Service who had mistakenly decided that she presented no danger to the President.
Ten months later, the new President, Nelson Rockefeller, and his Vice President George H.W. Bush narrowly won the General Election. This Republican victory was made possible by the candidate's distance from the controversial decision to pardon Richard Nixon. But soon enough Rockefeller and Bush took some deeply controversial decisions of their own, choosing to back the Shah of Iran, deciding against a full reconciliation with Saudi Arabia and also approving the introduction of National Health Insurance.