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Lolita Lebron
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    (November 19, 1919-August 1, 2010)
    Born in Lares, Puerto Rico
    Birth name was Dolores Lebron
    Puerto Rican nationalist
    Led a group of three men in an attack on the US House of Representatives (March 1, 1954)
    Convicted of assault with a dangerous weapon and seditious conspiracy
    Pardoned by Jimmy Carter (1979)
    She got lost on the way to the Capitol and had to ask a pedestrian for directions.
    She and her accomplices fired thirty rounds of automatic pistol fire from the visitors' gallery, injuring five Congressmen.
    She refused to apply for a pardon because it would require apologizing for her actions.
    Puerto Rican Governor Carlos Romero Barcelo publicly opposed her pardon, saying it would encourage terrorism.
    After her release, she traveled to Cuba as a guest of Fidel Castro.
    Near half a century after the attack, she said, 'I feel very proud of having performed that day, of having answered the call of the motherland.' (2000)
    As a teen, she won first place in a 'Queen of the Flowers of May' beauty contest.
    While working in New York City, she was frequently fired from jobs for protesting discrimination against fellow Puerto Ricans.
    She was acquitted of assault with intent to kill because she had fired her own gun at the ceiling.
    She renounced using violence to promote Puerto Rican independence after her release.
    After Puerto Rican paramilitary leader Filberto Ojeda Rios was shot and killed by the FBI, she appeared before an angry crowd and successfully appealed for a non-violent response (2005).

Credit: C. Fishel

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