Sunday 10 Oct 2021 | 16:55 | SYDNEY
Sunday 10 Oct 2021 | 16:55 | SYDNEY

The Reagan shooting, 30 years ago


Sam Roggeveen


31 March 2011 23:05

It was 30 years ago yesterday that John Hinkley attempted to assassinate President Reagan outside the Washington Hilton.

In the clip below, you see a shot of a hotel at 0.25, and when I watched it, I recognised it as the hotel I am staying in, which is not a Hilton. 'But maybe it was a Hilton in an earlier life', I thought, so I phoned the front desk to check. They told me 'we get that question all the time', but no, Reagan was not shot here.

Apart from inserting the wrong footage, the clip also features this unintentionally hilarious line about Hinkley at 2:52: 'At one point he joined the American Nazi Party, only to be rejected later because of a violent temper'.


Some of the details of the Reagan assassination attempt were later appropriated by the producers of The West Wing. President Bartlet cracks jokes to the medical staff as he goes into surgery, just as Reagan did ('Please tell me you're all Republicans'). And Reagan's gunshot wound was not discovered until a Secret Service agent noticed blood on the President's lip: