John Heaton (jheaton) wrote,
John Heaton

History meme: Assassinations

Well, I suppose it depends on what you mean by assassination.

If you think of assassination as being something that only happens to political figures or for political reasons, I suppose the assassination I have the clearest memory of, or more precisely the one I have the clearest memory of hearing about, was that of Anwar Sadat, who was murdered by Islamic fundamentalist army officers on October 6, 1981.

I was getting ready for school, and as usual I had the TV in my room tuned to channel 32 and their weekday morning package of Tom & Jerry cartoons. It's how I started every morning. That particular morning, my mom came in to tell me that Sadat had just been killed. Why? I don't really know, but maybe she remembered how angry I'd been that she hadn't woken me up to tell me that John Lennon had been killed and thought I wanted to know about all high-profile murders as soon as possible.

I do know she didn't really approve of what I was watching. I guess she thought I was too old to be watching Tom & Jerry cartoons. Or maybe she thought it was too early to have the TV on at all, unless I was watching the news.

If you take the view that assassination is any murder by surprise attack of a prominent person, whether that person is a political figure or if the assassin had political motives, then my most memorabole assassination is the aforementioned killing of John Lennon. But for my nickel, that was just a plain ol' murder. It goes to motive, I think; if there was a political motive underpinning the killing, then it's an assassination, but otherwise it's not.

Tags: history

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