On this date in 1981, would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. shot and seriously wounded US President Ronald Reagan on the street outside a Washington, D.C. hotel. This anniversary got me wondering about past presidential assassinations in history, especially in light of some of the highly publicized political violence following the passage of health-care reform legislation last week.
And you know what? It turns out that three of the four US presidents ever assassinated were republicans (Abraham Lincoln in 1865, James A. Garfield in 1881, and William McKinley in 1901). This probably surprised me because the most famous presidential assassination in the modern era was that of John F. Kennedy, a democrat, in 1963.
And of failed assassination attempts made on US presidents since the Civil War, five of the eight were also against republicans (Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan) while three were made against democrats (FDR, Harry Truman, and John F. Kennedy).