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