On 30 March 1981, just 69 days into his presidency, Ronald Reagan was shot and wounded outside the Washington Hilton by John Hinckley Jr in an assassination attempt. President Reagan suffered a punctured lung in the shooting, but survived. Three others were also wounded.
That day, 30 years ago, two actions saved Reagan’s life. The president’s reaction to the attack which almost killed him may have made his presidency.
For Secret Service agent Jerry Parr, it started as a pretty regular day.
“Rawhide” – the codename the Service gave this 40th president of the United States – was giving a speech at the Washington Hilton, a venue that was just a few minutes’ drive from the White House, and had been used dozens of times by presidents past.