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Blair House Aftermath

Joe Holley

The death last Friday of retired Secret Service agent Floyd "Toad" Boring momentarily shined a light on a little-remembered episode of relatively recent American history -- the attempted assassination of President Harry S. Truman by two Puerto Rican nationalists.

Boring, 92 at the time of his death, was one of the officers who thwarted the attempt outside Blair House, where the president and his family were staying temporarily while the White House was being renovated. One of the would-be assassins, an unemployed salesman named Griselio Torresola, was shot dead at the scene. The other, a young metal polisher named Oscar Collazo, was wounded but lived. He was sentenced to death, but the sentence was commuted shortly before it was to be carried out in 1952 -- commuted by none other than Collazo's intended target, Harry Truman. Collazo served 29 years in prison, mostly at Leavenworth, Kan., where he was a model prisoner. In 1979, he was pardoned by President Jimmy Carter. He died in bed in 1994.

By Joe Holley  |  February 5, 2008; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  Joe Holley  
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