Manson acolyte Lynne "Squeaky" Fromme
pulled a gun on President Gerald Ford on Sept. 5, 1975, but Ford was undeterred as he headed into an election year. He had been elected neither president nor vice president, ascending to both offices through Watergate. The 1976 presidential campaign held his one chance for electoral legitimacy, so he went on with his schedule of "contacting the American people as I travel from one state to another" as if nothing had happened.
Ford was back in California days later on Sept. 22, 1975 for a meeting with a labor organization at the St. Francis Hotel at Union Square. After the meeting, Ford emerged from the hotel's Post Street entrance, and paused to wave at the crowd of potential voters.
Oliver "Billy" Sipple had been waiting for three hours that day in the hopes of seeing the president. When Ford waved at the crowd, Sipple, an ex-Marine and Vietnam vet, saw a woman pointing a chrome-plated .38 right at the president.
"I screamed 'gun' as loud as I could, and grabbed her arm," Sipple told the Associated Press
. "I seen a gun and dived for it. I don't even know what I felt."