2. Alexander II of Russia
Alexander II of Russia was the Emperor of Russia, the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Finland from March 1855 to March 1881. He put forth a number of significant reforms such as freeing the serfs, promoting university education, abolishing corporal punishment and ending some of the privileges of the nobility.
On April 4th, 1866, Dimitry Karakozov, a member of the nobility, attempted to kill Alexander II and fired a gun at him as he left his summer garden. The shot missed. The Tsar was saved because a peasant Ossip Komissarov rushed at Dimitry and jolted his arm which threw off his aim. Dimitry was hanged for his crime on September 3rd
On June 6th, 1867, Alexander II was enjoying the World’s Fair in Paris. A Polish man, Antoni Berezowski, who had participated in the Polish Uprising, fired a gun at the Tsar. The gun malfunctioned as it fired causing the shot to go wide and Antoni’s hand to be badly injured. Antoni was sentenced to a lifetime of hard labor.
On April 20th 1879, a student Alexander Soloviev fired several shots at the Tsar, all of which the Tsar avoided by running in a zig-zag pattern. Alexander was hanged for his crime. In December of 1879, the People’s Will group attempted to blow up the Tsar’s train by placing explosives on tracks at Odessa, Alexandrovsk and Moscow. The Tsar changed his route, missing the Odessa bomb, the Alexandrovsk bomb failed to detonate and the Moscow bomb detonated under the wrong train.
In February of 1880, a member of People’s Will attempted to kill the Tsar by setting off explosives when he entered the dining room of the Winter Palace. However, the Tsar was delayed for dinner and missed the explosion. A bomb assassination did finally kill the Tsar on March 13th, 1881.