KANSAS CITY MASSACRE

Today in History, June 17, 1933:

The Kansas City Massacre.

This story is important to FBI history and to Oklahoma history. As a young man, Frank Nash began his criminal career by robbing a Sapulpa, Oklahoma business of $1,000. He then shot his accomplice in the back of the head so he could have the loot all to himself.

Years, several crimes, and two prison sentences later, he had escaped federal custody. Apprehended in Arkansas by an FBI agent and by MacAlester Chief Otto Reed, he was being transported back to Leavenworth when four gunmen attacked the officers at the Kansas City Railroad Station, in an attempt to rescue Nash (maybe…some versions have it as a hit, to keep Nash from talking). Two Kansas City police officers, an FBI agent, and Chief Reed were all killed in the attack…along with Nash. The importance in history for the FBI? Agents went from being unarmed without arrest powers to being armed with pistols, Winchesters and Tommy guns and having arrest powers within the year. And for Oklahoma? Well…an Oklahoma lawman had tracked the bad guy down and his actions resulted in historic changes…not the first time and certainly not the last time.

Proving Their Mettle…Farmers and Shopkeepers at Bunker Hill

Today in History, June 17, 1775:

“Don’t one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes!”

The Battle of Bunker Hill.

British Gen. William Howe landed his army on the Charlestown Peninsula and attacks colonist (Patriot) positions on Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill.

Believing they were fighting farmers with pitchforks (the Patriots WERE as yet untrained and unorganized) Howe had his well trained, experienced troops charge the American positions head on, and was repelled by not so inexperienced fire (a poor farmer hunting game can’t afford to waste ammo, and becomes a very good marksman).

The Brits mounted a second attack, and were again sent running back down the hill. A third wave succeeded, however, as the militia was running out of ammunition.

Howe eventually won the battle, but he did so at great expense…nearly half his army lie dead on the field. The British had learned a dear lesson…they were fighting an untrained and poorly disciplined group of citizen soldiers…that were highly motivated and devoted to their cause.

Kansas City Officers, FBI Agent, and an Oklahoma Chief of Police Lose Their Lives in the Kansas City Massacre

I’ve posted this story before. After losing two Officers in Kansas City this week, and the FBI taking it on the chin lately, I thought it worth repeating.

Today in History, June 17, 1933:

The Kansas City Massacre. This story is important to FBI history and to Oklahoma history.

As a young man, Frank Nash began his criminal career by robbing a Sapulpa, Oklahoma business of $1,000. He then shot his accomplice in the back of the head so he could have the loot all to himself. He managed to talk his way out of prison by convincing the warden he wanted to fight for his country in WWI.

Years, several crimes, and two prison sentences later, he had escaped federal custody.

Apprehended in Arkansas by an FBI agent and by MacAlester Chief Otto Reed, he was being transported back to Leavenworth when four gunmen attacked the officers at the Kansas City Railroad Station, in an attempt to rescue Nash (maybe…some versions have it as a hit, to keep Nash from talking).

Two Kansas City police officers, an FBI agent, and Chief Reed were all killed in the attack…along with Nash.

The importance in history for the FBI? Agents went from being unarmed without arrest powers to being armed with pistols, Winchesters and Tommy guns and having arrest powers within the year.

And for Oklahoma? Well…an Oklahoma lawman had tracked the bad guy down and his actions resulted in historic changes…not the first time and certainly not the last time.

A Costly Lesson Learned


Today in History, June 17: 1775 – “Don’t one of you fire until you see the whites of their eyes!” The Battle of Bunker Hill. British Gen. William Howe landed his army on the Charlestown Peninsula and attacks colonist (Patriot) positions on Breed’s Hill and Bunker Hill. Believing they were fighting farmers with pitchforks (the Patriots WERE as yet untrained and unorganized) Howe had his well trained, experienced troops charge the American positions head on, and was repelled by not so inexperienced fire (a poor farmer hunting game can’t afford to waste ammo, and becomes a very good marksman). The Brits mounted a second attack, and were again sent running back down the hill. A third wave succeeded, however, as the militia was running out of ammunition. Howe eventually won the battle, but he did so at great expense…nearly half his army lie dead on the field. The British had learned a dear lesson…they were fighting an untrained and poorly disciplined group of citizen soldiers…that were highly motivated and devoted to their cause.