EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY: Veteran Reporter Judy Woodruff Remembers the Day President Reagan was Shot

Thirty-four years ago today, President Ronald Reagan was shot and several other were wounded in an assassination attempt. Today on her Twitter account, veteran reporter, Judy Woodruff, used new media to relay her first-person narrative of that chaotic and fateful day in her life and American history:

Six .22 caliber bullets were fired at President Reagan and three others in his entourage. “White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck.”

“[T]he case of Jim Brady, shot in the head and the most grievously wounded that day,… began in confusion almost immediately with the erroneous report of his death, and has continued through subsequent months to be misunderstood by a public for whom the mysteries of the brain and its functions defy easy explanations.”

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Remember pay phones?

“The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.”

It was later learned the emotionally disturbed Hinckley shot President Reagan in a deranged attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster.

The next day, the president resumed some of his executive duties and signed a piece of legislation from his hospital bed. On April 11, he returned to the White House. Reagan’s popularity soared after the assassination attempt, and at the end of April he was given a hero’s welcome by Congress.”

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What an amazing perspective Judy Woodruff had on that horrible day!

Where were you when it happened?

 

Photo credits:  Ronald Reagan, Reagan WavesJohn Hinckley