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How The Media Covered Ronald Reagan's Attempted Assassination 35 Years Ago

The Huffington Post logo The Huffington Post 30/03/2016 Sara Bondioli

President Ronald Reagan was shot during an attempted assassination 35 years ago, on March 30, 1981. News outlets immediately jumped into action, relying on reporters at the scene and elsewhere to gather details on the president's condition.

The gunman, John Hinckley Jr., fired from amid a crowd of reporters and TV camera crews as Reagan was leaving the Washington Hilton hotel in D.C.

The president was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery to remove a bullet that had pierced his lung. By that night, doctors said he was in "good" condition. 

However, press secretary James Brady suffered life-altering brain damage. His 2014 death was ruled a homicide related to the injuries he suffered that day. A Secret Service agent and District of Columbia police officer were also hit by bullets.

This was the first time a president was hit by gunfire since John F. Kennedy's assassination in 1963.

The seriousness with which Americans reacted to the event can be seen in the special reports TV stations broadcast on March 30, as journalists pieced together the specifics of what happened. (See the video above.) The next morning, print outlets devoted their front pages to the attempted assassination and the president's condition.

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