40th Anniversary of President Reagan's Shooting

President Ronald Reagan was shot in the chest outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John Hinckley Jr. on March 30, 1981. On the 40th anniversary, see photos from the Getty archives.

40th Anniversary of President Reagan's Shooting

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    A new president

    A new president

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    President Ronald Reagan waves as he leaves the Washington Hilton seconds before he was shot in an assassination attempt. He had only been in office for a few months.

    Moments before

    Moments before

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    President Ronald Reagan had just addressed a labor meeting at the Washington Hilton Hotel and was walking with his entourage to his limousine.

    Chaos

    Chaos

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    Police officers and Secret Service agents dove to protect President Ronald Reagan amid a panicked crowd as the shots were fired.

    6 shots

    6 shots

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    Secret Service agents surround policeman Thomas K. Delahanty (foreground) and White House Press Secretary James Brady after the shooting. Hinckley fired six shots and struck four victims.

    The victims

    The victims

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    Besides the president, Hinckley shot policeman Thomas K. Delahanty, White House Press Secretary James Brady and Secret Service agent Tim McCarthy.

    Recovery

    Recovery

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    President Ronald Reagan views a giant get-well card while recuperating at George Washington Hospital.

    Would-be assassin

    Would-be assassin

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    John Hinckley in an undated photograph at the White House some time before the shooting. He was found not guilty by reason of insanity and committed to an institution. He was released in 2016.

    Two terms

    Two terms

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    President Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office at the White House on Dec. 14, 1981. Reagan was re-elected to a second term in a landslide election.