February 28 In Swedish History
1986: After having seen the movie “Bröderna Mozart” at the movie theater Grand, Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme and his wife Lisbet walk home without security. Olof Palme is then shot on Sveavägen in central Stockholm around 11:20 pm. Police said that a taxi driver used his mobile radio to raise the alarm. Two young girls sitting in a car close to the scene of the shooting also tried to help him. Palme was rushed to Sabbatsberg hospital where he was pronounced dead at 00:06 the next day. Lisbet Palme, who was grazed by a second bullet, was treated and recovered. Deputy Prime Minister Ingvar Carlsson immediately assumed the duties of Prime Minister, a post he would retain until 1991 (and then again in 1994-1996). He also took over the leadership of the Social Democratic Party, which he would hold until 1996.

The murder remains unsolved. A number of theories as to who carried out the murder have been proposed along with a variety of conspiracy theories. The police investigation remains active.


Three years ago, on the 25th anniversary, we wrote It’s been said Sweden lost its innocence...

Olof Palme: Always a controversial politician and Swede. Then Minister of Education Olof Palme and Ambassador of North Vietnam to the Soviet Union, Nguyen Tho Chyan, in a torchlight procession against the Vietnam War in Stockholm, February 1968. The U.S. recalled its Ambassador from Sweden after the incident and the post remained vacant for two years. The U.S. Ambassador was recalled one more time after a speech by then Prime Minister Palme in 1972.