Crime History: Congressman on House floor talks gunman into dropping pistol

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Local,Crime,Scott McCabe

On this day, Dec. 13, in 1932, a Pennsylvania department store clerk brandished a gun in the visitors' gallery of the floor of the House of Representatives, demanding 20 minutes to speak on the nation's economic depression.

Marlin Kemmerer, 25, aimed his .38-caliber pistol at the chamber below, sending visitors and congressmen running for cover in the U.S. Capitol.

Minnesota Rep. Melvin Maas, a World War I veteran who continued to serve in the Marine Corps Reserves, remained on the House floor and calmly pleaded with Kemmerer to relinquish his weapon.

Kemmerer finally dropped the loaded and cocked gun into Maas's outstretched hands.

Rep. Fiorello La Guardia, of New York and an off-duty D.C. police officer seized Kemmerer.

-- Scott McCabe

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