A brief history of conspiracy theories - The Week Magazine | real utopias | Scoop.it

N JAN. 30, 1835, as Andrew Jackson exited a congressman's funeral, an assassin drew a weapon and pointed it at the president. The pistol misfired. The gunman pulled a second weapon. Though loaded, it too failed to fire. The cane-wielding Jackson and several bystanders subdued the would-be killer, an unemployed housepainter named Richard Lawrence. Lawrence later informed interrogators that he was King Richard III and that Jackson had killed his father. He was judged insane and committed to an asylum. Lawrence was a lone nut.