On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley Jr. shot President Ronald Reagan, seriously wounding him and several others.


History.com. Ronald Reagan is Shot by John Hinckley Jr. 

Wikipedia. Attempted Assassination of Ronald Reagan

In 1981 I was in fourth grade at Hygiene Elementary School, which covered kindergarten through sixth grade. The principal’s voice came over the intercom, interrupting us at an odd time. He announced that the president had been shot and was in the hospital. We didn’t know if he would live.

This is the first news event I remember from my childhood, but my actual recollection is fuzzy. Strangely, this memory melds with the launch of the first space shuttle. I looked it up… the two events are only about a month apart.

When we heard the news, we were solemn and concerned, but we went on with the day. I must have heard Hinckley’s name at some point, but I know that I didn’t understand the idea of him being mentally ill and trying to impress an actress until I was much older.


What memories do you have of this event? How did you and the people in your life react to the news? 


2 thoughts on “Ronald Reagan is Shot

  1. I remember very little. They told us it happened in school. I’m guessing a lot of people assured me everything would be fine, because it remember zero worry or uncertainty. At that point the president was pretty much just the guy some British bands and Bloom Country dislike.


  2. (Correction: ‘Reagan’)

    I have a really interesting memory for this one. Another thing that happened around this time was the whole ‘Who Shot J.R.?’ kerfluffle from the TV show ‘Dallas’. (Episode where he was shot was in March, 1980 and the big reveal was in November 1980 – Thanks, Wikipedia!) So, my sister (Bad Sister) was in a couple of theatrical groups, and they wrote a little one-act comedy skit after President Reagan’s first inauguration (Jan. 1981) called ‘Who Shot R.R?’ – Just a farce that made fun of all the tidbits of Ronald Reagan’s life and recent campaign. If I recall correctly, it was Bonzo who shot him. 🙂

    I think it was performed 3-4 times before April. And was never performed again. 🙂


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