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Mark Gray (attempted assassin)

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Mark Gray (attempted assassin) was a traveling salesman from Keokuk, Iowa who fired two shots from a pistol at actor Edwin Booth on April 23, 1879. Booth was playing the title role in Richard II (play) at McVickers Theatre in Chicago, Illinois, during the final act of the William Shakespeare tragedy. Gray gave as his motive a wrong done to a friend by Booth.

Gray's shots, which were fired from a distance of thirty-four feet, missed Booth, burying themselves in the stage floor. The would-be assassin was jailed at Central Station in Chicago. Booth was not acquainted with Gray, who worked for a St. Louis, Missouri dry goods firm. A letter to a woman in Ohio was found on Gray's person. The correspondence affirmed Gray's intent to murder Booth. The attempted assassination occurred on Shakespeare's supposed birthday and came at a time when Booth was receiving numerous death threats by mail.

References

Mark Gray (attempted assassin) Wikipedia


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