“Go ahead. Pusha da button!”

March 20 is the day in 1933 when Giuseppe Zangara met his death in Florida’s “Old Sparky,” the electric chair. Zangara was an convicted of trying to assassinate then-president-elect Franklin D. Roosevelt, firing five shots with a .32-caliber pistol and instead killing Chicago mayor Anton Czernak (who had lingered for almost three weeks after the shooting before perishing of peritonitis).

Zangara’s last words are a matter of some fascination, because he was so thoroughly defiant to the end, as a devoted anarchist and anti-capitalist, and also just in a “Fuck the man” sort of way. Here’s what Executed Today claims were his last words:


“You give me electric chair. I no afraid of that chair! You one of capitalists. You is crook man too. Put me in electric chair. I no care! Get to hell out of here, you son of a bitch [said to the chaplain] … I go sit down all by myself… Viva Italia! Goodbye to all poor peoples everywhere!… Lousy capitalists! No picture! Capitalists! No one here to take my picture. All capitalists lousy bunch of crooks. Go ahead. Pusha da button!”


He was reportedly pissed that there were no newsreel cameras filming his execution. But Last Words of the Executed, a site that promotes a book of the same name, claims these were Zangara’s last words:


“I no want minister. There no God. It’s all below. I’ll go myself, I no scared of lectric chair . . . See, I no fraid of lectric chair. No cameraman? No movie to take a picture of Zangara? Lousy capitalists—no picture—capitalists, no onehere take my picture, all capitalists lousy bunch of crooks. Good-bye, adios to all the world. Push the button!”


Then again, Info Please has the following to say:

His last words before his execution were reportedly “Adios to the world!”

Incidentally, he also reportedly said in his confession:

“I want to kill the president because I no like the capitalists. I have the gun in my hand, I kill kings and presidents first and next all capitalists.”



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