In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and fatally wounded by former mental patient John Hinckley, who had decided to assassinate him as a way to impress the actress Jodie Foster, on whom Hinckley had developed a fixation after seeing her in the movie Taxi Driver.
Zero Curse by Eric LippsReagan became the eighth victim of the so-called "zero curse," in which U.S.presidents elected in years ending with zero died in office. The others, in order, were:
- William Henry Harrison, elected 1840, died 1841 of pneumonia after only a month in office
- Abraham Lincoln, elected 1860, assassinated 1865
- Grover Cleveland, elected 1880, assassinated 1881
- William McKinley, (re)elected 1900, assassinated 1901
- Warren Harding, elected 1920, died 1923
- Franklin Delano Rooseelt, elected 1940 (3rd term), died 1945 (fourth term; cerebral hemorrhage)
- John F. Kennedy, elected 1960, assassinated 1963.
Vice-President George Herbert Walker Bush was sworn in as the forty-first U.S. President March 31. His would be a troubled presidency, assailed from left and right alike. Only the Democrats' unwise choice of the colorless Walter Mondale as their nominee in 1984 would enable him to secure a second term.
In the 1990s, speculation would run rampant as to what would happen to the winner of the approaching 2000 election.