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The attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan - 30 years later

March 30, 2011

Thirty years ago today, Ronald Reagan - 40th president of the United States - survived an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, Jr.

One of his Secret Service agents, Jerry Parr, recently filmed a segment with CNN inside Henry Ford Museum, recounting the terrifying events of that day while exploring the presidential limousine that carried them both to the hospital immediately after the shots were fired.

Today, you can see this vehicle on display inside Henry Ford Museum; due to security restrictions, it is the last of the presidential limousines that will ever be preserved (all others are now destroyed).

A few interesting facts about the vehicle itself include:

  • The tires feature a "run flat" design - an inner rim allows the car to continue moving if any or all of the tires are flat.
  • The limousine was used by five presidents in all: Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
  • This was a fairly unlucky vehicle - it is also the car in which President Ford was riding when an attempt was made on his life.
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    For more background on this historic event, USA Today published an article by Mr. Parr describing what happened after the shots were fired (including their ride to the hospital in the limousine), and CNN.com also has a gallery of rarely-seen photographs from the attack.

    Where were you when you heard that President Reagan had been shot? What do you remember most from that day?

    limousines, presidential limousines

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