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Ronald Reagan Case

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Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico in Whiteside County, Illinois. Reagan had been involved in the Arts his whole life, it was not until later that his interest in politics arose. Reagan was originally a Democrat, but began to support the Republican candidates in the 1950s. He himself finally switched over to the Republican Party in 1962. Reagan was eventually encouraged to run for governor of California, which he then won the position of two years later. At first defeated, Regan finally won both the presidential nomination, and election in 1980 becoming our 40th president.

Just a short 69 days into Ronald Reagan's first term John Hinckley made an assassination attempt on him. Hinckley's motivation for the attack was not from disliking Reagan, but actually stemmed from his infatuation with actress Jodie Foster. Hinckley's obsession was caused by the mental illness known as erotomania. After seeing the film Taxi Driver multiple times, Hinckley's obsession flourished, and he apparently identified with the lead character, Travis Bickle. Hinckley stalked Jodie Foster all across the country, and even enrolled at Yale University when he read that she was a student there. Hinckley's obsession continued to blossom, and he tried contacting Foster on numerous occasions. John Hinckley believed that if he became a national figure he would catch Jodie's eye. Taking on the qualities of the character Bickle, he began to stalk President Jimmy Carter. However, his plan was put on hold when he was arrested in 1980. After temporarily meeting with a psychiatrist, Hinckley's attention was turned to Ronald Reagan. Hinckley continued to write to Foster, who then gave the letters to the Yale police department. The Yale police department sought to track Hinckley down but it was a futile attempt.

On March 30th, 1981 the day of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, Hinckley had read Reagan's schedule and decided it was time to act. Knowing he might not survive shooting the President, he wrote a final letter to Foster. The letter stated that he hoped to impress her with his "act of magnitude" and that he would abandon the idea of getting Reagan so long as he had Jodie's love. Hinckley never sent the letter, and went on to unfold his plan. Ronald Reagan was leaving a speaking engagement at the Washington Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C., at 2:27 p.m. Eastern Time. Hinckley was waiting in the crowd just 15 feet away. Approaching his limousine, Reagan crossed paths with Hinckley. Without hesitation, Hinckley fired six shots in 1.7 seconds. Three of the six bullets injured three men as they protected Reagan, two hit windows, and the sixth bullet ricocheted off the limo and hit President Reagan under his arm. The bullet grazed his rib, and lodged in his lung stopping nearly an inch away from his heart. There were no deaths, but had there been any hesitation in pushing the President into his limo he would have died. The perpetrator, John Hinckley, was not found guilty due to his mental health. Instead, Hinckley was confined to a psychiatric facility.

Ronald Reagan



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