April 5, 1981 – The end of a roller-coaster week. President Reagan, surviving an assassination attempt from John Hinckley, was on the mend and was up and around, joking with reporters and White House staffers. Not so much on the mend was Press Secretary Jim Brady, who was also in the line of fire and bore the brunt of the gunshots. He was recovering, but with complications – and the extent of damage to his brain wouldn’t be known for some days, so the prognosis on this day was guarded, though Hospital spokespeople said Brady was alert and talking and eating solid foods.
But the President survived and Capitol Hill was breathing a sigh of relief. He was briefed on other news from vice-President Bush and received a visit from Urban League President Vernon Jordan, who in turn briefed reporters, saying Reagan was chipper and cheerful and relayed his own story of a murder attempt less than a year earlier and advised the President to listen to the nurses – it worked for him.
The world continued to spin. From Prague came word that Communist Party boss Leonid Brezhnev was in town to attend the Communist party conference there. He was coming to meet with Warsaw Pact leaders to figure what the next step was going to be in the continuing saga of Solidarity and the protests in Warsaw. It was reported that more Warsaw Pact troops were taking part in the war game going on inside Poland. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger was quoted from London as saying the Brezhnev trip underscored the seriousness of the Warsaw crisis.
And that’s a little of what went on, this April 5, 1981 – as reported by CBS Radio‘s Hourly News.