Killing the President: Assassinations, Attempts, and Rumored Attempts on U.S. Commanders-in-Chief

By Willard M. Oliver; Nancy E. Marion | Go to book overview

10
Ronald Reagan

INTRODUCTION

On March 30, 1981, sixty-nine days into his presidency, Ronald Reagan spoke at a meeting of AFL-CIO representatives at the Hilton Hotel in Washington, D.C.1 Though Reagan and organized labor were not on the best of terms, the president could not have known that addressing labor leaders would be the least of his challenges on that blustery March afternoon.

The speech completed, Reagan exited the hotel. A crowd waited, hoping to get a glimpse of the president as he made his way from the hotel to the presidential limousine. Among them was a disturbed young man yearning to profess his love for an inaccessible woman in a dramatic fashion. This intersection of personalities would put to the test the agents who protect the president, the doctors who care for him, the leaders and appointees who support him, and the will of the president himself to survive.


RONALD REAGAN

Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois, to his parents John Edward “Jack” Reagan and Nelle Wilson Reagan.2 Jack Reagan was a shoe salesman, plying his trade in Tampico at the time of Ronald Reagan’s birth, then in Monmouth, Galesburg, and Chicago, before finally returning to Tampico in 1919, where they lived above the H.C. Pitney Variety Store. Very early on, Ronald Reagan was given the nickname “Dutch” by his father because of the combination of his chubby features, Dutch-boy haircut, and clothes, making him altogether look like the “Fat little Dutch boy” seen in the advertisements of the day (Dutch Boy Paints). That nickname remained with him through his childhood and into his adult life among his close friends.

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Killing the President: Assassinations, Attempts, and Rumored Attempts on U.S. Commanders-in-Chief
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Preface xi
  • 1 - Andrew Jackson 1
  • 2 - Abraham Lincoln 15
  • 3 - James a. Garfield 35
  • 4 - William McKinley 53
  • 5 - Theodore Roosevelt 69
  • 6 - Franklin D. Roosevelt 87
  • 7 - Harry S. Truman 99
  • 8 - John F. Kennedy 113
  • 9 - Gerald R. Ford 131
  • 10 - Ronald Reagan 147
  • 11 - Other Assassination Attempts 161
  • 12 - Rumored Assassinations 181
  • Notes 197
  • Bibliography 219
  • Index 227
  • About the Author 237
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