This Day in History
November 1: Second assassination attempt on Harry S. Truman, Operation Buster-Jangle, and other events of the date
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November 1: Second assassination attempt on Harry S. Truman, Operation Buster-Jangle, and other events of the date


A number of important events have taken place on November 1in U.S. history. Here is our take on the most interesting and valuable of them.

1918 - Malbone Street Wreck

Exactly 100 years ago today, the deadliest rapid transit railroad accident in U.S. history occurred on the Brighton Beach Line of the New York City Subway. 

The crash happened in the evening, around 7 PM (during the last days of the First World War, by coincidence). A train with wooden cars exceeded the permitted speed of just 6.2 m/h while entering the tunnel beneath Malbone Street at a speed of around 37 m/h, and the trailing truck of the first car derailed, tearing off the roofs of other cars in the fatal collision. 

The wreck was actually a result of a number of fatal coincidences and causes: the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers strike that caused a shortage of professional engineers, the engineers who were on duty that day who were sorely lacking in experience, the tunnel layout itself, unsuccessful train coupling and, again, the train’s speed entering the tunnel. 

102 passengers were killed and more than 50 were seriously wounded in the tragedy. 

1950 - Second assassination attempt on Harry S. Truman

Three years after the first attempt by a member of the radical Israeli Lehi organization, Stern Gang, President Harry S. Truman came under attack again. This time the conspirators were Puerto Rican Independence activists Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola, who tried to assassinate the President while he was staying at Blair House due to the renovation works being done in the White House. 

Luckily for Mr. President, both criminals were stopped before gaining entry to the house. Unfortunately for security forces, Torresola mortally wounded White House police officer Leslie Coffelt, who killed him in return fire. Secret Service agents wounded the other “assassin,” Collazo. The attempt failed as President Harry S. Truman was upstairs in the house at the time and wasn’t harmed at all.

The surviving criminal, Oscar Collazo, was later convicted in federal court and sentenced to death, but President Truman “forgave” him and commuted his sentence to life in prison. While in prison, Collazo gave an interview and told the correspondents about his long devotion to the Nationalist Party and the causes of Puerto Rican independence as he saw them.

1951 – Operation Buster-Jangle

You might have heard the idea that Americans always care for their soldiers, not allowing them to die in vain, unlike, supposedly, many other countries in the world. Yet, what happened back in 1951 on this day crushes this notion at the foundational level. 

Operation Buster-Jangle concerned the maneuvers of four U.S. Army units (1st Battalion 188th Airborne Infantry Regiment 11th Airborne Division, 3rd Medical Platoon 188th Airborne Medical Company, Platoon Company A 127th Engineer Battalion, and a Battery C 546th Field Artillery Battalion) at the Nevada Test Site just after the nuclear explosion there.

Despite the fact that military personnel were instructed to create foxholes, and construct gun emplacements and bunkers in a defensive position 7 miles south of the detonation area, after the nuclear bomb was detonated, the soldiers were ordered to move right towards the affected area. The total number of soldiers who suffered from radiation and died suffering is still held secret by the government. 

These are the most notable events in U.S. history that occurred on November 1, at least in our view.

Author: USA Really