A little-remembered shootout near Lafayette Square left President Harry Truman's life hanging in the balance

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They were Puerto Rican nationalists, animated by the dream of a free and independent island nation. They were also radical operatives, assassins on the hunt, and, in their own view, sacred warriors facing sure death. After an hour examining and interpreting the centerpiece of the American legislative system, they hailed a taxi and headed to the White House, where the president lived. It was the cabdriver who said to them, No, no, he don't live there. See, they're rebuilding the White House.

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