Sad: Whitmer Not The First Michigan Governor To Face Death Threat
The news of the FBI thwarting a plotted attempt on Governor Gretchen Whitmer's life is shocking, but sadly it's not the first time a Michigan governor's life was in danger.
Longtime Detroit journalist Ken Coleman tweeted out this, now, historical footnote:
Attempt against #Whitmer is not w/o precedent. While visiting Marquette Prison in July 1950, Gov. G. Mennen Williams was attacked and briefly held hostage by a group of inmates in an escape attempt. Williams had a six-inch knife held to his throat. His attackers overpowered. - Ken Coleman via Twitter
"Soapy" Williams was born in Detroit, heir to the Mennen fortune, the company that makes personal care products, like Speed Stick. It's how Williams got his nickname. Williams was elected to two terms as Michigan governor, serving from January 1949 to January 1961. It was during his administration that the Mackinac Bridge was completed, and he began the tradition of the Mackinac Bridge Walk.
But early in his first term, on July 8th, 1950, Williams was touring the Marquette Branch Prison, when three inmates hoping to escape, managed to attack the Governor, and held him hostage until they were finally overpowered. One of the inmates was shot dead. Williams was "mostly" unharmed and ended up finishing his inspection.
Just another sad reminder that violent behavior is not anything new.
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