28 Years Ago Today

Third Wave Dave reminds us that 28 years ago Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt.

Twenty-eight years ago, the history of the world was nearly diverted to parts unknown. I remember the day well. At the time, we were just recovering from our four-year hangover brought on by a near-fatal dose of “malaise,” but with Ronald Reagan in the White House, we were on the road to a speedy recovery and couldn’t be happier.

John Hinckley hit Reagan with a bullet as he approached his limousine. But Reagan, 70 at the time and only in office for 69 days, was tough as nails. The president recovered, and went on to change the lives of not only all Americans but the lives of millions upon millions worldwide.Dave has a great post full of remembrances, photos and rare footage. I find it hard to believe it was 28 years ago. I was in high school and remember the school secretary coming over the loud speaker telling us the President had been shot and asking everyone to pray for him. (I went to a Christian school.) I remember going home after school and watching the footage replayed over and over and over again. That was unusual at the time because it was before the age of umpteen cable channels full of 24/7 news. Later one of the most famous Saturday NIght Live sketches was born with Eddie Murphy playing Buckwheat and Joe Piscopo playing Ted Koppel in the “Buckwheat is assassinated” episode. The Buckwheat shooting episode was modeled after the Reagan footage and coverage. Thinking back on it after reading Dave’s post I found this interesting tidbit about the two-part SNL episode. It is hard for me to imagine how the world might have been different had Reagan not survived that shooting. It is easier to just think back on Reagan’s jokes on that day and one of the funniest SNL sketches ever.

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