14. The American President Who Foiled an Assassination Attempt by Beating Up His Would-Be Assassin
Long before he was elected president, Andrew Jackson, also known as Old Hickory, had been a prickly cuss. He was a cranky man who readily took offense, and would just as soon kill you as look at you. When not leading men into combat, slaughtering Redcoats by the hundreds, or hanging his own men for giving offense, Andrew Jackson could often be found out back dueling with somebody who had said the wrong thing in his presence.
Dueling, as in ritually facing off against somebody with loaded pistols, taking aim, and opening fire at a given signal. And not once, or twice, but many, many times. The total number of Jackson’s duels is unknown, but estimates range from a low of 13, to over 100. It is perhaps unsurprising that Jackson not only became the first American president to face and survive an assassination attempt, but that he survived it by pummeling his would-be assassin to a pulp.