Ronald Reagan is Shot

The scene moments after John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan on March 30, 1981
The scene moments after John Hinckley, Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan on March 30, 1981

Historical Context

On March 30, 1981, US President Ronald Reagan, who was then only two months into his term, was shot in the lung by John Hinckley, Jr. as he left a speaking engagement in Washington D.C. Several people were injured, most gravely press secretary Jim Brady, who was wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life.

The attack represents the last assassination attempt in which a US President was injured. Reagan was rushed to hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery, joking to the doctors that he hoped they were all Republicans.

Hinckley tried to kill Reagan to impress actress Jodie Foster, who he had an obsession with after seeing her in Taxi Driver. Hinckley was found not guilty by reason of insanity but was committed to psychiatric care until his release in September 2016.

Photo Info


Photographer: Unknown
Date taken: March 30, 1981
Location taken: Washington D.C., USA

Source: Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library (via Old News Co)

Related Events

  • 1981-03-30 US President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, three others are also wounded
  • 1981-05-27 John Hinckley attempts suicide by overdosing on Tylenol
  • 1981-08-28 John Hinckley pleads innocent to attempt to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan
  • 1982-04-27 Trial of John Hinckley begins for the attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan
  • 1982-06-21 John Hinckley found not guilty of 1981 attempted assassination of President Reagan by reason of insanity

Historical Photos