Ronald Reagan – A Centennial Celebration
Reagan would have turned 100 years old today. In 1994, the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease earlier in the year. He passed away ten years later at the age of 93.
Ronald ‘Dutch’ Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois. He stayed in the state through childhood and studied for Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois.
Upon his graduation, Reagan moved to Iowa to work as a radio broadcaster and then in 1937 to Los Angeles, California. He began a career as an actor, first in films and later television, appearing in over 50 movie productions and gaining enough success to become a famous, publicly recognized figure.
Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and later spokesman for the General Electric company. In fact, it was through his work with GE that his start in politics occurred. Originally a member of the Democratic Party, he switched to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.
As president, Reagan implemented sweeping new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed “Reaganomics,” advocated reducing tax rates to spur economic growth, controlling the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and reducing government spending.
In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, took a hard line against labour unions, and ordered military actions in Grenada.
He was re-elected in a landslide in 1984 for a second term, proclaiming it was “Morning in America.”
His second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, such as the ending of the Cold War, the bombing of Libya, and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair. Reagan negotiated with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, culminating in the INF Treaty and the decrease of both countries’ nuclear arsenals preceded by the fall of the Berlin Wall.
He continues to rank highly in public opinion polls of U.S. Presidents, and remains a conservative icon to many in the USA.
Reagans’ centenary will be marked by a number of activities and events, including the broadcast of this poignant video tribute, which will be shown in the Cowboys Stadium in Texas to the 100,000 people waiting for the kick-off of todays’ coinciding Super Bowl LXV: