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Why did President Roosevelt use Al Capone’s car?


On December 8th, 1941, a day after the notorious attack on pearl harbor, the secret service had been tasked to secure President Roosevelt (FDR) on his historical drive to Capitol Hill to declare war on Japan. 

At that time the director of the US secret service was one Frank J. Wilson, a former agent of the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Internal Revenue, most notably known for his part in the prosecution of Chicago mobster Al Capone in 1931.

Wilson was very concerned. Will the Japanese make an attempt at the president’s life? He couldn’t take any chance and determined that the president must be driven in a secure armored car.  But, upon entering WW2, under USA federal law a presidential car could not be purchased for more than $750. Needless to say that even back then no armored car could have been bought for such an amount.

So Wilson decided to use the infamous gangster׳s armored Cadillac to drive Roosevelt on that historic day.

President Roosevelt asks Congress to declare war on Japan

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