History Mystery Boo week of 1/27/12: The President postdates the Consitution


What CONVICT designed a revolutionary new weapon for the United States military?

"Carbine" Williams exhibit in the No...

Image via Wikipedia

Play the Boo here:

In July 1921, A sherriff’s posse raided a still in North Carolina. In the ensuing gunfight, A deputy was killed. Although he swore he was innocent of firing the shot, the police captured and tried David Marshall Williams for murder. Rather than getting the death penalty, he received a sentence of 30 years hard labor.

Williams was bored in prison, so he secretly designed a rifle. Rather than discourage what doesn’t seem to be an ideal pastime for a prisoner, the warden, H.T. Peoples allowd him to build the weapon. Peoples recognized that Williams was a nascent mechanical genius, and he began to encourage him to design more weapons. During his years in prison, Williams built six rifles and invented the short-stroke piston, a device that captures the explosive force from the firing bullet and uses it to load the next one.

After 8 years in prison Williams received a pardon from the Governor of North Carolina. he started to build weapons for the Government and patented his ideas. In 1941, Williams was working for the Winchester repeating arms company when the US Army announced a competition for a new lightweight semiautomatic rifle. The winner was a model designed by Williams that featured his short-stroke piston design. That rifle design became the M1 carbine. Over 6 million were manufactured between 1940 and 1945, which made it the most produced service rifle of World War II.

David Marshall Williams has gone down in history as “Carbine” Williams, the jailbird gunsmith.

Now for next week’s question. And it’s a simple one, just requiring a little research. So warm up google. WHO WAS THE FIRST PRESIDENT BORN AFTER THE CONSTITUTION?

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