A Letter From The Publisher: Apr. 13, 1981

Ever since that fateful day in Dallas in 1963, journalists covering the President have been especially alert to the possibility that someone might try to take his life. That knowledge has brought a tinge of apprehension to even the most routine presidential assignments. TIME'S Dirck Halstead had just such a prosaic task last week: taking pictures of President Reagan at the Washington Hilton. Suddenly gunshots rang out. Halstead, who photographed one of the assassination attempts on Gerald Ford in 1975, was able to take some of the dramatic pictures that accompany this week's cover stories. Says Halstead: "It has become necessary...

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