On March 1, 1954, a group of armed Puerto Rican nationalists fired onto the House Floor from the public galleries wounding five U.S. Representatives. Within a matter of moments, normal House proceedings were thrown into chaos creating a scene etched into the memories of Members, staff, and Pages. Remember this event by exploring oral histories, objects from the House Collection, and historical video footage.
When the House convened on March 1, 1954, no one would have imagined the danger awaiting Members and staff. Years later, we can glean what happened through the eyes of four of these interviewees.
Four Puerto Rican nationalists, armed with handguns, opened fire onto the House Floor from the back row of the south gallery. At the time, the House was voting on a measure to re-authorize a program allowing migrant Mexican farm workers to work in the country.
This activity is designed to accompany the Office of the House Historian’s online exhibition about the shooting in the House Chamber on March 1, 1954. Students will have the opportunity to learn about this historic event at the Capitol through the eyes of witnesses to the attack.