Reagan Assassination Attempt Was 30 Years Ago Today - KTUL.com - Tulsa, Oklahoma - News, Weather & Sports

Reagan Assassination Attempt Was 30 Years Ago Today

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Washington, DC -

It was 30 years ago today that President Ronald Reagan became the target of an assassin outside a hotel in Washington, DC.

It was March 30, 1981. President Reagan had just addressed a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was being escorted to his limousine when John Hinckley, Jr. opened fire with a .22-caliber handgun.

Six shots in all were fired. The president and three others were hit, including Press Secretary James Brady, who was shot in the head.

President Reagan was hit in the left lung, narrowly missing his heart. Amazingly, the president -- 70 years old at the time -- walked into the hospital under his own power and even joked to wife Nancy that he had "forgotten to duck".

His sense of humor also came out when he told his surgeons quote "Please tell me you're Republicans."

He later underwent a two-hour surgery and would be hospitalized for 13 days before returning to the White House on April 11th.

The assassination attempt brought to mind the "Curse of Tippecanoe", a pattern from 1840 to 1960 in which each president who won an election in a year ending in zero died in office -- four by assassination.

Reagan ended the "curse" by surviving and not only serving his term, but winning re-election in 1984 and completing a second term. He would later die in 2004 at the age of 93.

Where were you in 1981 when this happened? Leave your comments below.

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