Thursday, February 6, 2014

This Day in History - Ronald Reagan Born

On this day in 1911, the 40th president of the United States, Ronald Wilson Reagan was born. He was born to Nelle and John Reagan in Tampico, Illinois. He attended Dixon High School and then Eureka College, where he studied economics and sociology. He also played football and acted in school plays. Reagan graduated during the Great Depression, and with few prospects, began working in radio in Iowa broadcasting for football and other sports.

In 1937, Reagan was offered a seven-year contract by Warner Brothers. The role he is most well-known for is that of George Gipp of Notre Dame from the film Knute Rockne - All-American. "The film told the story of the legendary Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne (played by Pat O’Brien), who died in a plane crash in 1931. Gipp was the walk-on who became Rockne’s star player and died of a throat infection two weeks after his final game. During his political career, Reagan would reprise the now-immortal line 'Win one for the Gipper' from his deathbed scene in the film."

While president of the Screen Actors Guild, Reagan led the union through volatile years as accusations of Communism ran rampant in Hollywood. In the 1950s, he hosted General Electric Theater and traveled the country giving speeches as the GE spokesman. During these years, his political views shifted from liberal to conservative. In 1962, Reagan officially switched his political affiliation, claiming, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me." Two years later, Reagan entered the political arena with his speech at a fundraiser for Barry Goldwater, the Republican presidential candidate. In 1966 he was elected Governor of California and then re-elected in 1970.

Ronald Reagan won the Republican Presidential nomination in 1980. The nation's concern over the Iran Hostage Crisis, helped Reagan defeat Jimmy Carter. In 1981, at the age of 69, he was the oldest man in history to take office as U.S. president. Only 69 days into his presidency, Reagan was shot by would-be assassin, John Hinckley Jr., but quickly recovered.

In 1984, Reagan and his vice-president, George Bush, easily beat Democratic candidate Walter Mondale and his running mate, Geraldine Ferraro. Reagan carried 49 out of 50 states. Skillful in obtaining legislation to stimulate economic growth, curb inflation, increase employment, and strengthen national defense, he also obtained an overhaul of the income tax code. Reagan's "peace through strength" policy of national defense was influential in ending the Cold War, but it also led to a large deficit.

Though his presidency weathered scandals, Reagan remained popular throughout his eight years in office and the nation enjoyed its longest recorded period of peacetime prosperity. In 1994, Reagan disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died ten years later at the age of 93.

For more about Ronald Reagan, you can visit:

Reagan quotes:

Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same.

Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.

All great change in America begins at the dinner table.

Entrepreneurs and their small enterprises are responsible for almost all the economic growth in the United States.

We are never defeated unless we give up on God.

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