Gotta Watch: Behind the scenes of the Reagan shooting
Ronald Reagan exits the Washington Hilton hotel moments before a gunman opens fire in 1981.
March 18th, 2011
10:34 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Behind the scenes of the Reagan shooting

Breaking news, 1981-style – It's hard to believe it's been 30 years this month since the failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan. CNN - less than a year on the air as the world's first 24-hour news network - sprang into breaking news mode to report initial details of the attack.

CNN investigation – This Sunday at 8 p.m. ET/PT, CNN presents an investigation into what really happened behind the scenes on that tense day in 1981. In this excerpt, doctors describe how they worked to save Reagan's life in the ER.

Post by:
Filed under: Gotta Watch • Politics
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. rosiepetunia

    Quote: long before Reagan,

    I'm most unhappy man. I have unwittingly ruined my country a great industrial nation is now controlled by its system of credit. We are no longer a government of free opinion, no longer a government of conviction, and the vote of majority but a government ruled by the opinion and duress of a small group of dominant wealthy men.

    Woodrow Wilson 1919 referring to the privatization of the federal reserve

    March 18, 2011 at 9:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Buba G

    I personally thought for the longest time that Ronnie would go down in history as the tool that destroyed the middle class in this country; then Dubya came to his rescue took the wheel and gunned the bus over the cliff.

    March 18, 2011 at 10:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Arvid K

    As a Canuck observer.
    I agree the off the cliff remarks.
    Good luck to you all.
    Especially those with out.
    You will need it.

    March 19, 2011 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. VJ

    Reagan did absolutely nothing when the AIDS epidemic began. Nothing. To have any respect for this man is well.. republican.

    March 19, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. Sebastian Kent

    Politically, getting shot [hit by] this de-energized, riccocheted bullet was the BEST THING that could have happened to Reagan. It brought him sympathy and some opponents cut him a break which added to his lore as a "Teflon" president.

    Reagan was more sizzle than substance. Although lauded as some sort of financially astute leader, ther`s no disputing that he tripled the NATIONAL DEBT while in office setting a tradition that evry GOP President has followed since then.

    March 19, 2011 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
  6. Sebastian Kent


    If the hostages were release by Iran "HOURS" after Reagan was sworn in, while at the same time, frozen Iranian assets were "un-frozen", doesn`t that suggest that the outgoing DEMOCRATIC administration was negotiating these terms for a while and that the Iranians picked the "timing" of the release to embarass America?

    March 19, 2011 at 11:04 am | Report abuse |
  7. agent155

    Reagan was awesome!

    "As governor of California and president of the United States, he enacted policies that, in the main, greatly expanded the role and size of government.

    As governor, he oversaw the largest tax increase in Californian history. In which Governor Jerry Brown cut back the tax rate when he came to office.

    As president, Reagan expanded the federal government by over 75% in size.

    Reagan allowed the welfare state to enlarge and the military budget to explode, causing monstrous budget deficits and government growth that dwarfs government growth under Clinton, yes even when Clinton had a Democratic Congress.

    Reagan’s tax cuts notwithstanding (some of which he reversed), the state grew fat and its growth will inevitably be financed through inflation or tax increases (unless the state defaults).

    Reagan bombed Libya

    Reagan created a "war" on drugs. Resulting in many deaths and many more until prohibition is lifted.

    Reagan allowed the continuation of Selective Service registration (despite his campaign promise to end it)

    Reagan's regime helped the Khmer Rouge terrorize Thailand

    Reagan imposed brutal trade sanctions on Nicaragua

    Reagan funded the murderous brutal Contras

    Reagan sold missiles to Iran

    Reagan gave assistance to Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and lied to the American people just like every other C&C

    That he did all these things in the name of "freedom," "capitalism," "small government," and "liberty" renders his legacy, in my opinion, all the more insidious.

    If bad Reaganesque policies continue to have a pass because of their superficial rhetorical selling points, American liberty will have suffered, not strengthened, because of him."

    Let's not forget for all those people that hit pay dirt through Reagonomics in the 80's. I'm happy for you, but the ripple caused many to lose their shirts 89 – 91.

    March 19, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  8. stryker

    Gore for the poor!!

    March 19, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Pam

    Everybody keeps saying there are more important things to worry about than history and Ronald what Obama and his basketball brackets...yeah guess your right!

    March 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. john hinkley

    F.uck regean

    March 21, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4