On September 22, 1975, President Gerald Ford attended the World Affairs Council at San Francisco’s St. Francis Hotel. As he exited, Sara Jane Moore pulled a .38 revolver and shot at Ford.She missed, thanks to the swift actions of former Marine Corps veteran Oliver “Billy” Sipple, a San Francisco native who happened to be in the crowd and thwarted the assassination attempt.

An often-overlooked slice of history, it was a gay patriot who saved the president’s life. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with the latest LGBTQ newsPresident Richard Nixon was sometimes perceived as gay because of “that funny, uncoordinated way he moves,” according to staffers close to him.Ronald Reagan and his advisors were concerned that the public might regard him as gay due to his career as a Hollywood actor.

He was also embroiled in scandal on the eve of the 1980 Republican National Convention, which inferred that Reagan was being controlled by a right-wing gay network, manipulating him as a Manchurian-like candidate.