UPDATED 9:42 AM PT – Tuesday, March 30, 2021
At 2:27 p.m. on March 30, 1981, six shots rang out in front of the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. One shot ricocheted off of the presidential limousine and hit then-President Ronald Reagan in the chest.
Then-White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the eye. Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy and police officer Thomas Delahunty were also critically wounded by shots to the abdomen.
The would-be assassin, 25-year-old John Hinckley Jr., was taken into custody and the Secret Service rushed Reagan to the hospital. Even after losing two and a half liters of blood, the president managed to keep his spirits up as he’s prepped for surgery.
Reagan took a moment to apologize to his wife Nancy while saying, “honey I forgot to duck.” He then turned to the surgical staff who were waiting to asses the damage done by the .22 caliber bullet still in his chest and said “please tell me you’re Republicans.” The surgeon responded saying, “we’re all Republicans today.”
— The Reagan Foundation and Institute (@RonaldReagan) March 29, 2021
Reagan remains the only U.S. president to have survived a shooting assassination attempt, which is a fact he was proud to tout to audiences around the world.