Back in the Saddle

Posted September 28, 2004 at 4:04pm

On March 1, 1954, four Puerto Rican nationalists fired on Members of the House from their positions in the ladies’ gallery. Five lawmakers were wounded in the attack, Rep. Alvin Bentley (R-Mich.) the most seriously.

After being shot in the lung, liver and intestines, Bentley was carried out of the Capitol on a stretcher. Among those moving the injured lawmaker was then-page Paul Kanjorksi, now a Democratic House Member from Pennsylvania.

Despite severe damage to his liver, Bentley survived the attack and eventually returned to his Capitol Hill office.

The above photo was taken in 1958, nearly four years after the shooting. Bentley is surrounded by a group of high school students from Owosso, Mich., including John Meier (second from left). Meier’s daughter, Kaye Meier, is counsel to Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.).