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30 March

Reagan Assassination Attempt


Assassination Attempt on President Reagan

29 years ago today, John Hinckley, Jr. fired six shots at Reagan. Fortunately for Regan he was a terrible shot. I had known about an assassination attempt on Reagan before, but since it happened when I was 2 years old, I never really learned the details about it. So I was shocked when I learned the Hinckley was infatuated with Jodi Foster. Apparently, he was obsessed and had followed (stalked) her for a long time. He watched Taxi Driver 15 times in a row. Foster played a child prostitute in the movie. Robert De Niro’s character in the movie plots to assassinate the president. So, Hinckley thought that would be a good way to get Foster’s attention and affections.

Three people were wounded when Hinckley fired his shots, but no one died. An insanity defense kept him out of the electric chair. He is currently 55 years old and still locked up in a psychiatric ward. He is expected back in court in the Spring of 2011, to see if he will be released on his own at that time. In 1985 Hinckley’s parents wrote a book about their son’s mental condition called, Breaking Points.

Further Learning:
Rawhide Down: The Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan
In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect
The Reagan Diaries
The Day Reagan Was Shot