On September 5, 1975, President Gerald Ford took a stroll through a sunlit Sacramento park, shaking hands with supporters who had come out to greet him. But when he approached Lynette "Squeaky" Fromme, he found himself staring down the barrel of a .45 Colt automatic pistol. With that, Fromme became the first woman to ever attempt an assassination on a U.S. President. Fromme, a radical follower of Charles Manson, was immediately restrained by Secret Service agents. Though her lawyers argued she simply wanted to call attention to environmental issues and Manson's case, and never meant to kill Ford, she was sentenced to life in prison. Her lawyer, John Virga later said, "If she wanted to kill him, she would have shot him." Despite making repeated threats against Ford from behind bars (and a short-lived 1987 prison escape), she was released on parole August 14, 2009 after having served 34 years in prison.
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