175 Facts About President Ronald Reagan


Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989.

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President Ronald Reagan graduated from Eureka College in 1932 and began to work as a radio sports commentator in Iowa.

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In 1937, Reagan moved to California, where he found work as an actor and appeared in several major productions.

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From 1947 to 1952, Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, during which time he worked to root out alleged communist influence within it.

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Early in his presidency, President Ronald Reagan began implementing new political and economic initiatives.

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President Ronald Reagan enacted cuts in domestic discretionary spending, cut taxes, and increased military spending, which contributed to a near tripling of the federal debt.

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President Ronald Reagan transitioned Cold War policy from detente to rollback by escalating an arms race with the USSR while engaging in talks with Gorbachev.

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President Ronald Reagan's tenure constituted a realignment toward conservative policies in the United States known as the Reagan Era, and he is often considered a conservative icon.

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Ronald Wilson Reagan was born on February 6,1911, in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois.

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President Ronald Reagan was the younger son of Nelle Clyde and Jack Reagan.

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President Ronald Reagan's father nicknamed his son "Dutch", due to his "fat little Dutchman" appearance and Dutch-boy haircut; the nickname stuck with him throughout his youth.

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President Ronald Reagan recalled the time when his college football team was staying at a local hotel that would not allow two black teammates to stay there, and he invited them to his parents' home 15 miles away in Dixon.

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President Ronald Reagan's mother invited them to stay overnight and have breakfast the next morning.

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President Ronald Reagan's father was strongly opposed to the Ku Klux Klan due to his Catholic heritage, but due to the Klan's anti-semitism and anti-black racism.

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Later, as a politician, President Ronald Reagan was often accused of appealing to white racial resentment and backlash against the civil-rights movement; one example was during his first campaign for Governor of California, President Ronald Reagan's platform included a promise to repeal legislation barring housing discrimination.

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Ronald Reagan wrote that his mother "always expected to find the best in people and often did".

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President Ronald Reagan attended the Disciples of Christ church regularly and was active, and very influential, within it; she frequently led Sunday school services and gave the Bible readings to the congregation during the services.

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President Ronald Reagan was an adherent of the Social Gospel movement.

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At many points the positions taken by the First Christian Church of President Ronald Reagan's youth coincided with the words, if not the beliefs of the latter-day President Ronald Reagan.

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Subsequently, from 1964 onwards, President Ronald Reagan began to attend church services at Bel Air Presbyterian Church, where he became acquainted with Donn Moomaw.

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President Ronald Reagan attended Dixon High School, where he developed interests in acting, sports, and storytelling.

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President Ronald Reagan was an indifferent student, majored in economics and sociology and graduated with a C average.

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President Ronald Reagan developed a reputation as a "jack of all trades", excelling in campus politics, sports, and theater.

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President Ronald Reagan was a member of the football team and of the swim team.

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President Ronald Reagan was elected student body president and participated in student protests against the college president.

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President Ronald Reagan moved to WHO radio in Des Moines as an announcer for Chicago Cubs baseball games.

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President Ronald Reagan's specialty was creating play-by-play accounts of games using only basic descriptions that the station received by wire as the games were in progress.

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President Ronald Reagan spent the first few years of his Hollywood career in the "B film" unit, where, Reagan joked, the producers "didn't want them good; they wanted them Thursday".

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President Ronald Reagan earned his first screen credit with a starring role in the 1937 movie Love Is on the Air, and by the end of 1939, he had appeared in 19 films, including Dark Victory with Bette Davis and Humphrey Bogart.

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President Ronald Reagan returned to the 18th AAF Base Unit after completing this duty and was promoted to captain on July 22,1943.

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In January 1944, President Ronald Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the Sixth War Loan Drive, which campaigned for the purchase of war bonds.

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President Ronald Reagan was reassigned to the 18th AAF Base Unit on November 14,1944, where he remained until the end of World War II.

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President Ronald Reagan was separated from active duty on December 9,1945, as an Army captain.

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President Ronald Reagan was first elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild in 1941, serving as an alternate member.

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President Ronald Reagan was re-elected six times, in 1947,1948,1949,1950,1951 and 1959.

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President Ronald Reagan led the SAG through implementing the 1947 Taft–Hartley Act, various labor-management disputes, and the Hollywood blacklist era.

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Also during his tenure, President Ronald Reagan was instrumental in securing residuals for television actors when their episodes were re-run, and later, for motion picture actors when their studio films aired on TV.

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In 1946, President Ronald Reagan served on the national board of directors for the Independent Citizens Committee of the Arts, Sciences and Professions and had been a member of its Hollywood chapter.

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President Ronald Reagan asked the Screen Actors Guild to submit terms to Mr Walsh, for Walsh to give in the settling of this strike, and he told us to tell Mr Walsh that if he would give in on these terms he, in turn, would run this Sorrell and the other Commies out—I am quoting him—and break it up.

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However, President Ronald Reagan opposed measures soon to manifest in the Mundt–Nixon Bill in May 1948 by opining:.

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President Ronald Reagan landed fewer film roles in the late 1950s and moved into television.

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President Ronald Reagan was hired as the host of General Electric Theater, a series of weekly dramas that became very popular.

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President Ronald Reagan's contract required him to tour General Electric plants 16 weeks out of the year, which often demanded that he give 14 talks per day.

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On January 1,1959, President Ronald Reagan was the host and announcer for ABC's coverage of the Tournament of Roses Parade.

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In 1938, President Ronald Reagan co-starred in the film Brother Rat with actress Jane Wyman.

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When Reagan became president 32 years later, he became the first divorced person to assume the nation's highest office.

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President Ronald Reagan helped her with issues regarding her name appearing on a Communist blacklist in Hollywood; she had been mistaken for another Nancy Davis.

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President Ronald Reagan moved to the right-wing in the 1950s, became a Republican in 1962, and emerged as a leading conservative spokesman in the Goldwater campaign of 1964.

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President Ronald Reagan fought against Republican-sponsored right-to-work legislation and supported Helen Gahagan Douglas in 1950 when she was defeated for the Senate by Richard Nixon.

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At rallies, President Ronald Reagan frequently spoke with a strong ideological dimension.

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President Ronald Reagan built on previous efforts to limit the spread of nuclear weapons.

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President Ronald Reagan was hired by General Electric in 1954 to host the General Electric Theater, a weekly TV drama series.

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President Ronald Reagan traveled across the country to give motivational speeches to over 200,000 GE employees.

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President Ronald Reagan joined the National Rifle Association and would become a lifetime member.

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President Ronald Reagan consolidated themes that he had developed in his talks for GE to deliver his famous speech, "A Time for Choosing":.

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In 1966, Reagan accomplished what both US senator William Knowland in 1958 and former vice president Richard Nixon in 1962 failed to do: he was elected, defeating Pat Brown, the Democratic two-term governor.

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Shortly after assuming office, Reagan tested the 1968 presidential waters as part of a "Stop Nixon" movement, hoping to cut into Nixon's southern support and become a compromise candidate if neither Nixon nor second-place candidate Nelson Rockefeller received enough delegates to win on the first ballot at the Republican convention.

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President Ronald Reagan was involved in several high-profile conflicts with the protest movements of the era, including his public criticism of university administrators for tolerating student demonstrations at the Berkeley campus.

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On May 15,1969, during the People's Park protests at the university's campus, President Ronald Reagan sent the California Highway Patrol and other officers to quell the protests.

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President Ronald Reagan then called out 2,200 state National Guard troops to occupy the city of Berkeley for two weeks to crack down on the protesters.

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President Ronald Reagan had been in office for only four months when he signed the bill and later stated that had he been more experienced as governor, he would not have signed it.

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President Ronald Reagan maintained that position later in his political career, writing extensively about abortion.

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In 1967, President Ronald Reagan signed the Mulford Act, which repealed a law allowing the public carrying of loaded firearms.

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President Ronald Reagan chose not to seek a third term in the following election cycle.

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The only execution during President Ronald Reagan's governorship was on April 12,1967, when Aaron Mitchell's sentence was carried out by the state in San Quentin's gas chamber.

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In 1969, President Ronald Reagan signed the Family Law Act, which was an amalgam of two bills that had been written and revised by the California State Legislature over more than two years.

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President Ronald Reagan strongly advocated the Republican ideal of less government regulation of the economy, including that of undue federal taxation.

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President Ronald Reagan won North Carolina, Texas, and California, but the strategy failed, as he ended up losing New Hampshire, Florida, and his native Illinois.

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President Ronald Reagan issued an informal letter of opposition to the initiative, told reporters that he was opposed, and wrote an editorial in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner opposing it.

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Cannon reports that President Ronald Reagan was "repelled by the aggressive public crusades against homosexual life styles which became a staple of right wing politics in the late 1970s".

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President Ronald Reagan's campaign stressed some of his fundamental principles: lower taxes to stimulate the economy, less government interference in people's lives, states' rights, and a strong national defense.

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President Ronald Reagan launched his campaign with an indictment of a federal government that he believed had "overspent, overstimulated, and overregulated".

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President Ronald Reagan campaigned vigorously to restore organized prayer to the schools, first as a moment of prayer and later as a moment of silence.

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In 1981, Reagan became the first president to propose a constitutional amendment on school prayer.

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In 1987, President Ronald Reagan renewed his call for Congress to support voluntary prayer in schools and end "the expulsion of God from America's classrooms".

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President Ronald Reagan believed that God had spared his life so that he might go on to fulfill a higher purpose.

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On July 7,1981, President Ronald Reagan announced that he planned to nominate Sandra Day O'Connor as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, replacing the retiring Justice Potter Stewart.

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President Ronald Reagan had pledged during his 1980 presidential campaign that he would appoint the first woman to the Court.

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President Ronald Reagan implemented neoliberal policies based on supply-side economics, advocating a laissez-faire philosophy, and seeking to stimulate the economy with large, across-the-board tax cuts.

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President Ronald Reagan supported returning the United States to some sort of gold standard and successfully urged Congress to establish the US Gold Commission to study how one could be implemented.

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Conversely, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed into law tax increases of some nature in every year from 1981 to 1987 to continue funding such government programs as Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 1982, Social Security, and the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984.

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The Tax Reform Act of 1986, another bipartisan effort championed by President Ronald Reagan, simplified the tax code by reducing the number of tax brackets to four and slashing several tax breaks.

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President Ronald Reagan's policies proposed that economic growth would occur when marginal tax rates were low enough to spur investment, which would then lead to higher employment and wages.

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Questions arose whether President Ronald Reagan's policies benefited the wealthy more than those living in poverty, and many poor and minority citizens viewed President Ronald Reagan as indifferent to their struggles.

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President Ronald Reagan later set tax rates on capital gains at the same level as the rates on ordinary income like salaries and wages, with both topping out at 28 percent.

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President Ronald Reagan is viewed as an anti-tax hero despite raising taxes eleven times throughout his presidency, all in the name of fiscal responsibility.

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President Ronald Reagan was opposed to government intervention, and he cut the budgets of non-military programs including Medicaid, food stamps, federal education programs and the EPA.

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President Ronald Reagan protected entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, but his administration attempted to purge many people with disabilities from the Social Security disability rolls.

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President Ronald Reagan described the new debt as the "greatest disappointment" of his presidency.

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President Ronald Reagan reappointed Paul Volcker as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and in 1987 he appointed monetarist Alan Greenspan to succeed him.

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President Ronald Reagan fulfilled a 1980 campaign promise to repeal the windfall profits tax in 1988, which had previously increased dependence on foreign oil.

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However, President Ronald Reagan's term came to an end before the executive order could be coordinated and signed, and the incoming Bush administration, labeling Project Socrates as "industrial policy", had it terminated.

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President Ronald Reagan administration was often criticized for inadequately enforcing, if not actively undermining, civil rights legislation.

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President Ronald Reagan signed legislation establishing a federal Martin Luther King holiday, though he did so with reservations.

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President Ronald Reagan had argued that the legislation infringed on states' rights and the rights of churches and business owners.

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President Ronald Reagan escalated the Cold War, accelerating a reversal from the policy of detente that began during the Carter administration, following the Afghan Saur Revolution and subsequent Soviet invasion.

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President Ronald Reagan ordered a massive buildup of the United States Armed Forces and implemented new policies that were directed towards the Soviet Union; he revived the B-1 Lancer program that had been canceled by the Carter administration, and he produced the MX missile.

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In 1982 President Ronald Reagan tried to cut off Moscow's access to hard currency by impeding its proposed gas line to Western Europe.

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The President Ronald Reagan administration responded to the incident by suspending all Soviet passenger air service to the United States and dropped several agreements being negotiated with the Soviets, wounding them financially.

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However, in a break from the Carter administration's policy of arming Taiwan under the Taiwan Relations Act, President Ronald Reagan agreed with the communist government in China to reduce the sale of arms to Taiwan.

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President Ronald Reagan deployed the CIA's Special Activities Division to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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In March 1983, President Ronald Reagan introduced the Strategic Defense Initiative, a defense project that would have used ground- and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles.

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President Ronald Reagan believed that this defense shield could make nuclear war impossible.

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For those reasons, David Gergen, a former aide to President Reagan, believes that in retrospect, SDI hastened the end of the Cold War.

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President Ronald Reagan had said that Montt was getting a "bum rap", and described him as "a man of great personal integrity".

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Previous human rights violations had prompted the United States to cut off aid to the Guatemalan government, but the President Ronald Reagan administration appealed to Congress to restart military aid.

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On October 25,1983, President Ronald Reagan ordered US forces to invade Grenada where a 1979 coup d'etat had established a Soviet-Cuban supported Marxist–Leninist government led by Maurice Bishop.

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President Ronald Reagan accepted the Republican nomination in the Republican convention in Dallas, Texas.

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President Ronald Reagan proclaimed that it was "morning again in America", regarding the recovering economy and the dominating performance by the American athletes at the 1984 Summer Olympics on home soil, among other things.

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President Ronald Reagan became the first US president to open an Olympic Games.

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At the time, the 73-year-old Reagan was the oldest person to take the presidential oath of office; this record was later surpassed by Joe Biden, who was 78 at his inauguration in 2021.

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President Ronald Reagan said that "drugs were menacing our society" and promised to fight for drug-free schools and workplaces, expanded drug treatment, stronger law enforcement and drug interdiction efforts, and greater public awareness.

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Nancy President Ronald Reagan traveled to 65 cities in 33 states, raising awareness about the dangers of drugs, including alcohol.

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President Reagan was opposed to divestiture because, as he wrote in a letter to Sammy Davis Jr.

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President Ronald Reagan noted the fact that the "American-owned industries there employ more than 80,000 blacks" and that their employment practices were "very different from the normal South African customs".

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President Ronald Reagan vetoed the act, but the veto was overridden by Congress.

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Relations between Libya and the United States under President Reagan were continually contentious, beginning with the Gulf of Sidra incident in 1981; by 1982, Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was considered by the CIA to be, along with USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro, part of a group known as the "unholy trinity" and was labeled as "our international public enemy number one" by a CIA official.

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President Ronald Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986.

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President Ronald Reagan later withdrew the agreement between the United States and the International Court of Justice.

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President Reagan professed that he was unaware of the plot's existence.

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President Ronald Reagan opened his own investigation and appointed two Republicans and one Democrat, John Tower, Brent Scowcroft and Edmund Muskie, respectively, to investigate the scandal.

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The commission could not find direct evidence that President Ronald Reagan had prior knowledge of the program, but criticized him heavily for his disengagement from managing his staff, making the diversion of funds possible.

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Second, President Ronald Reagan explained his strategy was an arms buildup that would leave the Soviets far behind, with no choice but to negotiate arms reduction.

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President Ronald Reagan appreciated the revolutionary change in the direction of the Soviet policy with Mikhail Gorbachev, and shifted to diplomacy, intending to encourage the Soviet leader to pursue substantial arms agreements.

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President Ronald Reagan believed that if he could persuade the Soviets to allow for more democracy and free speech, this would lead to reform and the end of Communism.

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President Ronald Reagan said no, claiming that it was defensive only, and that he would share the secrets with the Soviets.

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At Gorbachev's visit to Washington in December 1987, he and President Ronald Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty at the White House, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons.

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When President Ronald Reagan visited Moscow for the fourth summit in 1988, he was viewed as a celebrity by the Soviets.

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Early in his presidency, President Ronald Reagan started wearing a custom-made, technologically advanced hearing aid, first in his right ear and later in his left ear as well.

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On July 13,1985, President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital to remove a section of his colon due to colorectal cancer.

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President Ronald Reagan relinquished presidential power to the vice president for eight hours in a similar procedure as outlined in the 25th Amendment, which he specifically avoided invoking.

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President Ronald Reagan resumed the powers of the presidency later that day.

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In January 1987, President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery for an enlarged prostate that caused further worries about his health.

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On January 7,1989, President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery at Walter Reed Army Medical Center to repair a Dupuytren's contracture of the ring finger of his left hand.

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On September 8,1989, President Ronald Reagan underwent surgery in Rochester, Minnesota to remove fluid from his brain due to an injury from falling off a horse on the Fourth of July earlier that year.

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That opportunity came during his first year in office when Associate Justice Potter Stewart retired; President Ronald Reagan selected Sandra Day O'Connor, who was confirmed unanimously by the Senate.

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When Chief Justice Warren E Burger retired in September 1986, Reagan nominated incumbent Associate Justice William Rehnquist to succeed Burger as Chief Justice.

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President Ronald Reagan initially chose Conservative jurist Robert Bork to succeed Powell.

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President Ronald Reagan pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor federal charge of interfering with the Secret Service, but other felony charges of assault and resisting officers were dropped.

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Stahl wrote that she came close to reporting that President Ronald Reagan was senile, but by the end of the meeting, he had regained his alertness.

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President Ronald Reagan's doctors said that he first began exhibiting overt symptoms of the illness in late 1992 or 1993, several years after he had left office.

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An example of which may include when President Ronald Reagan repeated a toast to Margaret Thatcher, with identical words and gestures, at his 82nd-birthday party on February 6,1993.

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President Ronald Reagan did experience occasional memory lapses, though, especially with names.

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President Ronald Reagan suffered an episode of head trauma in July 1989, five years before his diagnosis.

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Nancy President Ronald Reagan, citing what doctors told her, asserted that her husband's 1989 fall hastened the onset of Alzheimer's disease, although acute brain injury has not been conclusively proven to accelerate Alzheimer's or dementia.

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President Ronald Reagan was able to recognize only a few people, including his wife, Nancy.

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President Ronald Reagan remained active, however; he took walks through parks near his home and on beaches, played golf regularly, and until 1999 he often went to his office in nearby Century City.

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President Ronald Reagan suffered a fall at his Bel Air home on January 13,2001, resulting in a broken hip.

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The fracture was repaired the following day, and the 89-year-old President Ronald Reagan returned home later that week, although he faced difficult physical therapy at home.

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On February 6,2001, Reagan reached the age of 90, becoming only the third US president after John Adams and Herbert Hoover to do so.

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President Ronald Reagan died of pneumonia, complicated by Alzheimer's disease, at his home in the Bel Air district of Los Angeles, California, on the afternoon of June 5,2004.

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President Ronald Reagan's body was taken to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California, where well-wishers paid tribute by laying flowers and American flags in the grass.

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At the time of his death, Reagan was the longest-lived president in US history, having lived 93 years and 120 days.

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President Ronald Reagan was the first US president to die in the 21st century.

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President Ronald Reagan redefined the political agenda of the times, advocating lower taxes, novel and controversial economic policies, and a stronger military.

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When President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, a CBS poll indicated that he held an approval rating of 68 percent.

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President Ronald Reagan did not fare well with minority groups in terms of approval, especially African Americans.

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President Ronald Reagan emphasized family values in his campaigns and during his presidency, although he was the first president to have been divorced.

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The combination of President Ronald Reagan's speaking style, unabashed patriotism, negotiation skills, as well as his savvy use of the media, played an important role in defining the 1980s and his future legacy.

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President Ronald Reagan was known to joke frequently during his lifetime, displayed humor throughout his presidency, and was famous for his storytelling.

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President Ronald Reagan had the ability to offer comfort and hope to the nation as a whole at times of tragedy.

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Since President Ronald Reagan left office in 1989, substantial debate has occurred among scholars, historians, and the general public surrounding his legacy.

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Professor Jeffrey Knopf has argued that President Ronald Reagan's leadership was only one of several causes of the end of the Cold War.

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President Ronald Reagan reshaped the Republican party, led the modern conservative movement, and altered the political dynamic of the United States.

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In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln by the governor of Illinois in the area of government.

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In 1989, President Ronald Reagan was made an honorary knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, one of the highest British orders.

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President Ronald Reagan was named an honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford.

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On September 3,1990, President Ronald Reagan was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

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President Ronald Reagan was awarded the Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed by Republican members of the Senate.

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The Discovery Channel asked its viewers to vote for The Greatest American in June 2005; President Ronald Reagan placed in first place, ahead of Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King Jr.

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In 2006, President Ronald Reagan was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum.

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On June 3,2009, Nancy President Ronald Reagan unveiled a statue of her late husband in the United States Capitol rotunda.

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The day before, President Obama signed the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act into law, establishing a commission to plan activities to mark the upcoming centenary of Reagan's birth.

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In November 2018, a feature film named President Ronald Reagan received funding from TriStar Global Entertainment with Dennis Quaid portraying President Ronald Reagan.

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President Ronald Reagan was scheduled to begin filming in May 2020, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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