Seriously, Folks...

When Nancy Reagan first arrived at George Washington University Hospital, her husband deadpanned:

"Honey, I forgot to duck." The President, a onetime radio sportscaster, borrowed that line from Prizefighter Jack Dempsey, who said it to his wife in 1926 after losing the world heavyweight championship to Gene Tunney.

The crack was the first in a barrage of good-humored quips that Reagan tossed off after the shooting. The remarks, made before he had learned that other victims had been critically injured, did much to reassure his family, his staff and the American public that he was still healthy enough to laugh. They were also...

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