7 Failed Presidential Assassination Attempts Of The '60s, '70s & '80s

By | June 23, 2019

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Left: Chaotic scene of the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr. Press Secretary James Brady (in blue suit with two men over him) was critically injured. Right: Lynette 'Squeaky' Fromme. Sources: CORBIS/Corbis via Getty; IMDB

The killing of John F. Kennedy by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963 left a generation of Americans heartbroken -- but it's not the only time a president's life was in the crosshairs. In addition to the unfortunately successful attempt on Kennedy's life, there were many more attempted presidential assassinations -- on Nixon, Ford, Carter, and Reagan -- in the latter half of the 20th century.

Some attempts are so benign that you’ve likely forgotten they happened. For instance, on October 29, 1994, a man named Francisco Duran opened fire on a group of men traversing the White House lawn, hoping to hit President Clinton. Fortunately, President Clinton was inside watching a football game at the time and no one was injured. 

The '60s, '70s, and '80s saw an astounding seven unsuccessful assassination attempts.

Reagan: Close But Cheery

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Secret Service agents and bystanders attend to those injured in the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan. Press Secretary James Brady was critically injured. March 30, 1981. (Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

President Reagan and his attendants took fire from John Hickley Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. The President sustained grievous wounds including a collapsed lung. Despite the seriousness of his injuries, he maintained a sense of humor. He told his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck.” He also inquired after the political party of his surgeons saying, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Hickley was judged insane and unfit to stand trial. His motivation reportedly came from his desire to impress Jodie Foster after seeing her in Taxi Driver