...President Ronald Reagan was shot by John Hinkley. I was a sixth grader at the time. For some reason, I was in the library and they had the TV on, listening to the reports. I went back to my classroom and told everyone. I can't remember if an announcement was made over the intercom. I can remember really wanting the NBC Nightly News to come on at 5:30pm CST so I could learn the details. Two things struck me at the time. One, when viewing the video, everything happened so fast. The second thing was the sight of the Secret Service with small machine guns brandished.
Another that reverberated in my young mind was the stories of Reagan joking in the hospital. It was reported that he told Nancy that he forgot to duck. He also is said to have asked the doctors if they were all Republicans. To a young boy steeped in comic books and SF films and TV shows, Reagan had bravado to spare. Only later, as I studied history, did I learn how close Reagan came to death.
This was my first tragic event that I can still remember.
I can't believe it's been thirty years.