1981 was the year that MTV was launched, “Jessie’s Girl” was one of the top hits and President Ronald Reagan was shot.

On March 30, 1981, President Reagan was shot in the chest outside of a hotel in Washington D.C. by John Hinckley Jr. after he had just finished addressing a labor meeting in the Washington Hotel.

While standing among a group of reporters, Hinckley fired six shots at the president and hit Reagan and three of his attendants.

At first, Reagan seemed to have been unaware that he was shot and he was pushed into the limousine and rushed to the hospital.

When he arrived, he was able to walk into the hospital under his own power, despite his collapsed lung.

Reagan was 70 years old at the time of the assassination attempt.

He was shot in the left lung by a .22 caliber bullet that just missed his heart.

It was reported that he was in good spirits when he arrived at the hospital and was making jokes to his wife Nancy and the surgeons operating on him.

The next day, the president was able to return to his presidential responsibilities, but he and his attendants would feel the after effects of the attempt.

Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity and his attorney argued that he was mentally ill with a narcissistic personality disorder and had a pathological obsession with the film, “Taxi Driver,” where the main character attempts to assassinate a senator, according to history.com.

There have been four total presidential assassinations: Abraham Lincoln in April of 1865, James Garfield in July 1881, William McKinley in Sept. 1901 and John F. Kennedy in Nov. 1963, according to presidentsusa.net.

There have been seven assassination attempts, including the one on Reagan: Andrew Jackson in Jan. 1835, Theodore Roosevelt in Oct. 1912, although he was no longer president at that time, Franklin Roosevelt, while he was the president-elect in Feb. 1933, Harry Truman in Nov. 1950 and Gerald Ford had two attempts in Sept. of 1975.

Since these attempts, security has become higher during presidencies, and with new technology, it is less likely of the capability to do so.

Mary Curtin can be contacted at mcurtin@kscequinox.com

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