Forty Years Ago Today: The Shooting of the President

On March 30, 1981, Ronald Reagan, 69 days into his presidency, was leaving the Washington Hilton Hotel after speaking to the Building and Construction Workers Union of the AFL-CIO when John Hinckley Jr., standing 10 feet from the President and armed with a .22 revolver, began shooting. Hinckley’s first shot hit press secretary James Brady and other shots wounded a DC police officer, Thomas Delahanty, and a Secret Service agent, Timothy McCarthy. The final shot hit Reagan’s car and ricocheted into the President’s chest.

Here are pictures of the shooting taken by AP photographer Ron Edmonds. His pictures won the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography.

And here is John Pekkanen’s story “The Saving of the President” in the August 1981 Washingtonian: “A minute-by-minute, inside-the-hospital account of what happened to President Reagan after he was shot: the critical decisions that saved his life, the human drama, the heroes, the entire untold story.” It won the 1982 National Magazine Award for Reporting.

John Hinckley today: Here’s a New York Times story from last October 29 headlined “John Hinckley Can Publicly Display His Artwork, Judge Rules.”

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