Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thirty year ago today...

...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.

7 comments:

David Cranmer said...

I was in 4th grade at the time. Unforgettable and you're right that thirty years just flew by.

Leah J. Utas said...

I was just finishing journalism school. Those three decades went by too fast.

pattinase (abbott) said...

And I can't believe we still allow people to carry guns--more easily than then in some states. Poor James Brady.

dojo said...

I was also in 4th grade, in boarding school, when Reagan was shot. As a huge history and political buff even then, mandatory in our family, it reminded me of all the coverage I'd seen from when JFK was shot. I couldn't rest until I knew Reagan would live. The heroics of the SS was impressive and I so appreciated RR's humor at just the perfect time.

LoganBruin said...

The story I remember from school is the Challenger explosion. They didn't have to make an announcement, everyone knew about it by the end of first period, probably because there was a teacher on board.

Perplexio said...

I only vaguely remember this as I wasn't even in school yet when it happened (I was about 4 years old). I do remember discussing this in high school several years later. My high school history teacher (one of the best teachers I've ever had, incidentally) mentioned how then Sec. of State Alexander Haig ended his political career by over-stepping his authority and claiming he was in control/in charge (Bush was unavailable at the time). Based on the line of succession, Tip O'Neill was technically "in charge" at the time.

Anonymous said...

Hi , how could he have forgotten to duck unless he knew he had to? Weird ain't it…