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When Reagan was shot
smithsk.blogspot.com ^ | March 25, 2012 | smithsk

Posted on 03/26/2012 9:36:40 AM PDT by NEWwoman

Rawhide!

It was the name of a great TV Western of the 1960s, starring Clint Eastwood. But it was also the secret service code-name for President Ronald Reagan.

As an actor who had once starred in Westerns (host of and guest appearances in Death Valley Days, guest appearances in Wagon Train and Zane Grey Theater, Cattle Queen of Montana, The Last Outpost, Santa Fe Trail - where he played George Custer, ...), President Reagan quite liked that code-name, Rawhide.

But not long after being sworn in as the 40th President of the United States, Rawhide was in for a rough ride ...

Seventy days into his presidency, the Reagan administration had not gotten off to a good start. The resounding victory in November, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter was forgotten. What should have been the honeymoon period for a new president was over in mid-March.

With proposed cuts in federal spending, the opposition party, the Democrats, had criticized the President for not caring about the poor. His decision to send military advisers to El Salvador echoed fears of another Vietnam. President Reagan's approval rating had dropped to 59 percent. This had been the lowest approval rating in modern times at this point in office.

Difficult days were ahead ...

Then came

* March 30, 1981 *

This day could have been the day the President of the United States was assassinated - and nearly was. And the clip below shows some of the chaos of that day:

Del Quentin Wilber chronicled that day in his book, aptly titled -

Rawhide Down - the Near Assassination of Ronald Reagan.

And the book has the flavor of an episode of the TV series, 24. The author gives a timeline of what happened that day from his site- RawhideDown.com. The link below is a great resource to piece together the chaos.

(click on the link below for the interactive site)

* Timeline of March 30, 1981

Leaving the Hilton after giving a speech to the AFL-CIO, the President did not know he had been shot by would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. ... neither did the secret service. But after walking into George Washington University Hospital, the President collapsed and almost died.

Meanwhile, the Vice President, George H. W. Bush, was on Air Force Two over Texas and out of the loop of constant contact of real-time events. The confusion of what had just happened and who was in charge played out badly in the media as if the Keystone Cops were running the country.

Fortunately at this time, the confluence of trained secret service agents and advancement in trauma medicine saved the life of the 40th President of the United States. However, presidents who had been shot before had not come to a such good end.

Previous Assassinations of Presidents

(It was not just the assassins' bullets that killed them.)

Death by "bad" or "inadequate" medicine ...

James Garfield was in office for four months when an assassin shot him twice in 1881. The wounds were not mortal, but the bad doctoring - compounded by a medicine in those days that had not fully grasped the idea of germs - were fatal.

President Garfield suffered for 80 days, wasting away from 210 pounds to 130, in the sweltering summer in Washington DC before air conditioning. He suffered greatly by the infection induced by the surgeons, who so ineptly tried to remove the bullet - and never did. President Garfield finally passed away from a heart attack, not from the original three inch wound, which the doctors turned 20 inch contaminated gash.

William McKinley was reelected in 1900 along with his running mate, Theodore Roosevelt. September 1901, a self-proclaimed anarchist shot the President in the stomach. He lingered for eight days before succumbing to gangrene and infection. Again, good medicine could have saved him. In all fairness, antibiotics were unknown at that time.

Death by incompetence ...

Let's look at the most famous assassinations in American history. What is tragic is that the assassination may have been prevented if those protecting their presidents cared about their job or had been adequately trained.

Abraham Lincoln:

I garnered much information about the assassination of the 16th President of the United States from Bill O'Reilly's Book - Killing Lincoln. (It's an excellent read.) Two weeks before his assassination, the President had a premonition of his death and continued to act fatalistic concerning the many threats on his life.

The man assigned to protect Mr. Lincoln and his entourage at the Ford Theater was Washington D.C. policeman John Frederick Parker. Parker was a slacker and the people around him all knew it. Even Lincoln. Clearly, security standards were abysmal.

That fateful Good Friday, April 14, 1865, Parker left his post guarding the President's box. He went next door to get a drink and never came back. The book, Killing Lincoln, gives the account that at about ten o'clock John Wilkes Booth stopped by for a shot whiskey, sitting only a few feet away from Parker.

Left unguarded, Booth had easy access and shot the President - and the rest is history. Amazingly, Parker was acquitted and unpunished for dereliction of duty. Lesson painfully learned was to vet the presidents' guards more seriously.

John F. Kennedy:

November 22, 1963 in Dallas, three shots were fired at President Kennedy, who was riding in an open limousine with the first lady, the Governor of Texas and his wife.

Yet, the driver did not recognize the sound of gunfire when the first shot whizzed by the limousine. When the second shot hit the President and the Governor, the driver slowed down to glance behind him to see what was happening. At this point, neither the secret service agents nor the driver took any evasive actions.

Then came the third shot. That one was fatal. It killed the President ... and again, the rest is history.

Who knows? With proper training of the driver and the agents, they may have recognized trouble from the get-go and taken evasive action to save the President's life. But since then, more hard lessons were learned. The agents now are more thoroughly trained.

The Marvels of Modern Medicine ...

As in the cases of Presidents Garfield and McKinley, it was the infections, not the initial wounds, that killed them. Since then, we know about germs and have drugs that effectively fight infections.

Trauma centers in hospitals were unknown in the 1960s and early 1970s. Before then, soldiers wounded in combat had a greater chance of survival than someone getting shot in the inner cities. But with advances in trauma medicine, units came into being in the late 1970s - especially at George Washington University Hospital in Washington DC.

Lessons Learned ...

Rawhide Down fills in the minute by minute details of the timeline and the key players leading up to the day President Reagan was shot and its ensuing events. Fortunately, the agents had learned the lessons from the tragic mistakes of the past, such as:

* Training the President's body guards, which had been lacking during the times of Lincoln and Kennedy.

* The advances in trauma medicine, something unknown in the time of Garfield and McKinley.

All the above saved President Reagan, who would have otherwise been dead within twenty of the shooting.

A brand plucked out of the fire?

John Wesley, founder of the Methodist denomination, came close to burning to death at five years old when he was trapped inside a house on fire. He was snatched before the flames consumed the house as well as himself. Susannah, his mother, saw the hand of God in the rescue of her son. Susannah called John - a brand plucked from the burning (reference Zechariah 3:2).

Likewise, President Reagan came very close to dying while just three months in office. Throughout the ordeal of the shootings, the President still showed an optimism and a concern for those about him. In the epilogue of Rawhide Down, the President wrote in an entry about his near assassination:

Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can.

Indeed, President Reagan pressed on for the next eight years with ups and down and was mostly successful. Under his watch after previous years of malaise, the Spirit of America revived with renewed optimism. Taxes were reduced. The economy recovered from stagflation and boomed. Defense was beefed up. Reagan did not cave in to appease the Soviet Union. And shortly after he left office, the Berlin Wall came tumbling down and the Soviet Union fell apart.

What was meant for evil, God had turned to good. (Genesis 50:20)

The Saving of Ronald Reagan and renewing our national spirit is part of America's Story which is to be continued ...


TOPICS: Government; History; Politics; Religion
KEYWORDS: assassination; providence; rawhide; reagan
The links, video are better at the orignal site.

Reagan wrote in an entry about his near assassination:

Whatever happens now I owe my life to God and will try to serve him in every way I can.

We need someone like him for these troubled times.

1 posted on 03/26/2012 9:36:46 AM PDT by NEWwoman
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To: NEWwoman

“We need someone like him for these troubled times.”

And another 435 to replace the corrupt, criminal US Congress. (There might be 10-15 who could stay...)


2 posted on 03/26/2012 9:47:17 AM PDT by carriage_hill (I'll "vote for an orange juice can", over Barry 0bummer and another 4yrs of his Regime From Hell!)
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To: carriage_hill

Something about the Beltway that disconnects people from the rest of the country ....


3 posted on 03/26/2012 9:53:22 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: NEWwoman; LucyT; Brown Deer

Some little known facts about the shooting:

“A dinner party was scheduled for March 31, 1981, the day after an assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, which, if successful, would have elevated Vice President and former CIA chief George Bush to the presidency. The dinner was immediately cancelled. It would have been held at the home of Neil Bush, and a guest was to be Scott Hinckley, brother of the would-be killer. Hinckley’s father and Bush were friends and fellow oil industrialists. A PR firm issued a statement: “This horrible coincidence has been devastating to the Bush Family. Our condolences go out to all involved. And we hope to get the matter behind us as soon as possible.”
Congressman Larry MacDonald was the only legislator who demanded an investigation, but his plane crashed. Whattaya think-—coincidence or conspiracy?
A. To me, it looks at first glance like coincidence by about 75% probability. I mean, who would be dumb enough to use an assassin with such obvious links to his employers? But then again, the Bush Crime Family seem to think they can get away with anything, from S&L fraud to stealing an election in the clear light of day with the whole world watching. They must have an even lower opinion of the intelligence of the American people than I do. Maybe I should change the probability down to about 50%. I guess this does deserve further investigation, by somebody who doesn’t fly in airplanes”

after the shooting:

http://www.voxfux.com/articles(closed)/00000013.htm

“Those who were not watching carefully here may have missed the fact that just a few minutes after George Bush had walked into the room, he had presided over the sweeping under the rug of the decisive question regarding Hinckley and his actions: was Hinckley a part of a conspiracy, domestic or international? Not more than five hours after the attempt to kill Reagan, on the basis of the most fragmentary early reports, before Hinckley had been properly questioned, and before a full investigation had been carried out, a group of cabinet officers chaired by George Bush had ruled out a priori any conspiracy. Haig, whose memoirs talk most about the possibility of a conspiracy, does not seem to have objected to this incredible decision.From that moment on, “no conspiracy” became the official doctrine of the USregime, for the moment a Bush regime, and the most massivew efforts were undertaken to stifle any suggestion to the contrary. The iron curtain came down on the truth about Hinckley.”


Also a video of a news clip from then:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_mvsF42PQ0


4 posted on 03/26/2012 10:04:52 AM PDT by know-the-law
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To: NEWwoman

the driver did not recognize the sound of gunfire when the first shot whizzed by the limousine.

Really? Was this the shot that put the bullet hole in the windshield?


5 posted on 03/26/2012 10:08:12 AM PDT by South Dakota (shut up and drill)
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To: South Dakota

According to this - http://www.fiftiesweb.com/kennedy/single-bullet-theory.htm the first shot missed the limo completely.

(Most of the account of the lack of evasive driving was from Wilber’s book)


6 posted on 03/26/2012 10:21:21 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: know-the-law

Interesting links and videos.

Hinckley had been stalking Carter, previously.


7 posted on 03/26/2012 10:31:54 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: NEWwoman

(Most of the account of the lack of evasive driving was from Wilber’s book?

Lack of evasive driving? Rumor has it that the limo stopped and the zapgruder film was doctored to hide this.

Sorry..I’m off topic


8 posted on 03/26/2012 10:33:34 AM PDT by South Dakota (shut up and drill)
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To: South Dakota

Wilber’s book states that the limo stopped as the driver looked behind to see what was going on.

Current procedures are to take evasive action and get the h* out of there.

Can’t wait for Bill O’Reilly’s new book - Killing Kennedy. Wonder what he will have to say.

Kennedy is another for another day ....


9 posted on 03/26/2012 10:49:53 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: South Dakota

Wilber’s book states that the limo stopped as the driver looked behind to see what was going on.

Current procedures are to take evasive action and get the h* out of there.

Can’t wait for Bill O’Reilly’s new book - Killing Kennedy. Wonder what he will have to say.

Kennedy is another for another day ....


10 posted on 03/26/2012 10:49:53 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: know-the-law
Congressman Larry MacDonald was the only legislator who demanded an investigation, but his plane crashed. Whattaya think-—coincidence or conspiracy?

It was shot down by a Soviet fighter plane. I think the Soviets might have had their own reasons for wanting to get rid of Larry McDonald, but I think it unlikely they knew he was on the plane, or that it had anything to do with it being shot down. Nor could Bush have arranged to have a Korean Air jet stray into Soviet airspace. So this is not a conspiracy, imo. I do think it is an amazing coincidence about the Bush ties with the Hinckley family, but I also think it would be a pretty stupid plan if they were using John Hinckley to give Bush Reagan's job. The shot he made was incredibly lucky, and who would use a friend's son to do the job?

11 posted on 03/26/2012 10:56:09 AM PDT by Defiant (If there are infinite parallel universes, why Lord, am I living in the one with Obama as President?)
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To: know-the-law

Your “Bush Stole The Election” claim invalidates your whole arguement.


12 posted on 03/26/2012 11:04:26 AM PDT by Old Sarge (RIP FReeper Skyraider (1930-2011) - You Are Missed)
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To: NEWwoman
I saw a documentary show about the timeline events of Reagan's shooting.
I was appalled at the fact that close to 30 minutes after the shooting they still couldn't figure out why Reagan was in such distress.
They finally checked his clothing and found a bullet hole.

Here is an article about this..President Reagan came really close to dying....
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-03-26/health/bs-hs-ronald-reagan-shot-20110327_1_40th-president-historic-presidency-trauma-patients

13 posted on 03/26/2012 11:22:49 AM PDT by freedommom
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To: freedommom

Bookmarked your link.

Wilber’s book, Rawhide Down, gives the skinny (like an episode of 24) on how confused everyone was. Reagan was not shot. He may have broken a rib. Why did he collapse? His blood pressure so low? Why so much fresh blood pumping out his chest?

The bullet hole was tiny - no outside blood. They had cut off his clothes. They missed it at first.

If agent Jack Parr had not made the call to drive Reagan to the hospital, instead of the White House, the President most likely would have died.

Likewise, the special - Saving Ronald Reagan - shares the same story.


14 posted on 03/26/2012 11:46:06 AM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: NEWwoman

***President Garfield suffered for 80 days, wasting away from 210 pounds to 130, in the sweltering summer in Washington DC before air conditioning.***

If I recall correctly, Garfield’s wife begged the public for someone to find a way to keep the President cool during that heat wave.

Someone came up with a way using an ammonia evaporation system which worked much like some of our AC units today and President Garfield had a cool room until his death.

Or so said Paul Harvey years ago.


15 posted on 03/26/2012 12:18:28 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: NEWwoman

And who can forget the reaction of the news media! They were in a tizzy over this. When it was mentioned that Hinkley got his pistol in Dallas, Frank Reynolds threw up his hands and yelled...”OH, DALLAS!

The next morning on one of the morning news shows, Lee Grant yelled...”The NRA is a RIFLE organization! They should give up their handguns and they can keep their rifles!”

Even HCI had issued a statement that they ONLY wanted to control handguns. Rifles and shotguns would not be affected!

This was before they found a new cause, the so-called Assault Rifle booger man.


16 posted on 03/26/2012 12:27:24 PM PDT by Ruy Dias de Bivar
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

That is a facinating piece of trivia on AC. (Learn so much on FR.)

I read plans were to move Garfield into the country were it was cooler, but he died before that happened.

Much like “bleeding” George Washington when he had a bad of strep throad - and the bleeding most likely killed him, if the doctors had left Garfield alone, he may have survived.


17 posted on 03/26/2012 12:52:16 PM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar
If I recall correctly, Garfield’s wife begged the public for someone to find a way to keep the President cool during that heat wave.
Someone came up with a way using an ammonia evaporation system which worked much like some of our AC units today and President Garfield had a cool room until his death.

Or so said Paul Harvey years ago.

Interesting sidelight: the American Revolution occurred during the Little Ice Age, and that lasted past the 1810’s. New England shippers hit on the idea of harvesting ice from New England lakes, loading the rectangular blocks into purpose-built storage facilities, and loading them onto ships, and exporting ice to warmer climes. It was quite a successful business, which got off to a rocky start when the first shipment arrived in Jamaica and there was no facility there for knowing what to do with the product to keep it from just melting away. But ultimately, the business was so successful that water from American lakes was being, as the poet put it, mixed with the Ganges river of India. And a Persian diplomat expressed to an American diplomat the appreciation of the Persian monarch that ice from America had been successfully used to treat one of his Persian subjects (source: The Americans: The National Experience by Daniel J. Boorstin - a most interesting read, BTW).
I suppose the business was killed by the end of the Little Ice Age, ultimately supplanted by the advent of refrigeration. Note that ammonia is and was the best refrigerant from the thermodynamic efficiency POV. But unfortunately, if you get a leak in an appliance charged with ammonia it makes a great chemical weapon . . .

18 posted on 03/26/2012 12:55:17 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion (DRAFT PALIN)
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To: Ruy Dias de Bivar

Not to mention what Sarah Brady did to her husband ... using him as a prop to push for her gun control agenda. Poor Jim, though undoubtedly Sarah does deeply love him. Wouldn’t wish any woman to have her husband wounded like that.


19 posted on 03/26/2012 12:56:09 PM PDT by NEWwoman (God Bless America)
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