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6 septembre 2011 2 06 /09 /septembre /2011 11:14

Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989), the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975) and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor.Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/P Battery

Reagan was born in Tampico in Whiteside County, Illinois, reared in Dixon in Lee County, Illinois, and educated at Eureka College in Eureka, Illinois, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and sociology. Upon his graduation, Reagan first moved to Iowa to work as a radio broadcaster and then in 1937 to Los Angeles, California. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/Q Battery

He began a career as an actor, first in films and later television, appearing in over 50 movie productions and earning enough success to become a famous, publicly recognized figure. Some of his most notable roles are in Knute Rockne, All American, Kings Row, and Bedtime for Bonzo. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11S/W Battery

Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, and later spokesman for General Electric; his start in politics occurred during his work for GE. Originally a member of the Democratic Party, he began to support Republican Party candidates in the early 1950s and eventually switched to theRepublican Party in 1962. Sony VAIO VGN-CS11Z/R Battery

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 as1976, but won both the nomination and election, defeating incumbent Jimmy Carter, in 1980.Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/P Battery

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. Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/Q Battery

In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, took a hard line against labor unions, and ordered an invasion of Grenada. He was reelected in a landslide in 1984, proclaiming that it was "Morning in America". His second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, such as the ending of theCold War, the 1986 bombing of Libya,Sony VAIO VGN-CS120J/R Battery

and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair. Publicly describing the Soviet Union as an "evil empire", he supported anti-communist movements worldwide and spent his first term forgoing the strategy of détente by ordering a massive military buildup in an arms race with the USSR.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTB Battery

Reagan negotiated with General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev, culminating in the INF Treaty and the decrease of both countries' nuclear arsenals.

Reagan left office in 1989. In 1994, the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease earlier in the year; he died ten years later at the age of 93. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTP Battery

He ranks highly in public opinion polls of U.S. Presidents. He is also credited for generating an ideological renaissance on the American political right.

Early life

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in an apartment on the second floor of a commercial building in Tampico, Illinois on February 6, 1911, to Jack Reagan and Nelle Wilson Reagan.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTQ Battery

Reagan's father was a salesman and a storyteller, the descendant of Irish Catholic immigrants from County Tipperary while his mother had Scots-English ancestors.[4] Reagan had one older brother, Neil "Moon" Reagan (1908–1996), who became an advertising executive.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTR Battery

As a boy, Reagan's father nicknamed his son "Dutch," due to his "fat little Dutchman"-like appearance, and his "Dutchboy" haircut; the nickname stuck with him throughout his youth. Reagan's family briefly lived in several towns and cities in Illinois, including Monmouth, Sony VAIO VGN-CS190JTW Battery

Galesburg and Chicago, until 1919, when they returned to Tampico and lived above the H.C. Pitney Variety Store. After his election as president, residing in the upstairs White House private quarters, Reagan would quip that he was "living above the store again".Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAB Battery

According to Paul Kengor, author of God and Ronald Reagan, Reagan had a particularly strong faith in the goodness of people, which stemmed from the optimistic faith of his mother, Nelle, and the Disciples of Christ faith, which he was baptized into in 1922. Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAC Battery

For the time, Reagan was unusual in his opposition to racial discrimination, and recalled a time in Dixon when the local inn would not allow black people to stay there. Reagan brought them back to his house, where his mother invited them to stay the night and have breakfast the next morning.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NAD Battery

Following the closure of the Pitney Store in late 1920, the Reagans moved to Dixon; the midwestern "small universe" had a lasting impression on Reagan. He attended Dixon High School, where he developed interests in acting, sports, and storytelling. His first job was as a lifeguard at the Rock River in Lowell Park, near Dixon, in 1927.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NBB Battery

Reagan performed 77 rescues as a lifeguard, noting that he notched a mark on a wooden log for every life he saved. Reagan attended Eureka College, where he became a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, and majored in economics and sociology.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCA Battery

He developed a reputation as a jack of all trades, excelling in campus politics, sports and theater. He was a member of the football team, captain of the swim team and was elected student body president. As student president, Reagan notably led a student revolt against the college president after he tried to cut back the faculty.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCB Battery

Military service

After completing fourteen home-study Army Extension Courses, Reagan enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve on April 29, 1937, as a private assigned to Troop B, 322nd Cavalry at Des Moines, Iowa. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Cavalry on May 25, 1937.Sony VAIO VGN-CS190NCC Battery

Reagan was ordered to active duty for the first time on April 18, 1942. Due to his nearsightedness, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. His first assignment was at the San Francisco Port of Embarkation at Fort Mason, California, as a liaison officer of the Port and Transportation Office.Sony VAIO VGN-CS50B/W Battery

Upon the approval of the Army Air Force (AAF), he applied for a transfer from the Cavalry to the AAF on May 15, 1942, and was assigned to AAF Public Relations and subsequently to the First Motion Picture Unit (officially, the "18th AAF Base Unit") inCulver City, California.Sony VAIO VGN-CS51B/W Battery

On January 14, 1943 he was promoted to First Lieutenant and was sent to the Provisional Task Force Show Unit of This Is The Armyat Burbank, California.He returned to the First Motion Picture Unit after completing this duty and was promoted to Captain on July 22, 1943.Sony VAIO VGN-CS52JB/W Battery

In January 1944, Captain Reagan was ordered to temporary duty in New York City to participate in the opening of the sixth War Loan Drive. He was re-assigned to the First Motion Picture Unit on November 14, 1944, where he remained until the end of World War II.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/P Battery

He was recommended for promotion to Major on February 2, 1945, but this recommendation was disapproved on July 17 of that year. He returned to Fort MacArthur, California, where he was separated from active duty on December 9, 1945. By the end of the war, his units had produced some 400 training films for the.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/Q Battery

Radio and film

After graduating from Eureka in 1932, Reagan drove himself to Iowa, where he auditioned for a job at many small-town radio stations. The University of Iowahired him to broadcast home football games for the Hawkeyes. He was paid $10 per game.Sony VAIO VGN-CS60B/R Battery

Soon after, a staff announcer's job opened at radio stationWOC in Davenport, and Reagan was hired, now earning $100 per month.Aided by his persuasive voice, he moved to WHO radio in Des Moines as an announcer for Chicago Cubs baseball games. His specialty was creating play-by-play accounts of games that the station received by wire.Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/P Battery

While traveling with the Cubs in California, Reagan took a screen test in 1937 that led to a seven-year contract with Warner Brothers studios. He 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".Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/Q Battery

While sometimes overshadowed by other actors, Reagan's screen performances did receive many good reviews.

His first screen credit was the starring role in the 1937 movie Love Is on the Air, and by the end of 1939 he had already appeared in 19 films, including Dark Victory. Before the film Santa Fe Trail in 1940, Sony VAIO VGN-CS61B/R Battery

he played the role ofGeorge "The Gipper" Gipp in the film Knute Rockne, All American; from it, he acquired the lifelong nickname "the Gipper". Reagan's favorite acting role was as a double amputee in 1942's Kings Row, in which he recites the line, "Where's the rest of me?", later used as the title of his 1965 autobiography. Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/P Battery

Many film critics consideredKings Row to be his best movie, though the film was condemned by New York Times critic Bosley Crowther. 

Reagan called Kings Row the film that "made me a star".Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/Q Battery

However, he was unable to capitalize on his success because he was ordered to active duty with the U.S. Army at San Francisco two months after its release, and never regained "star" status in motion pictures. In the post-war era, after being separated from almost four years of World War II stateside service with the 1st Motion Picture Unit in December 1945,Sony VAIO VGN-CS62JB/R Battery

Reagan co-starred in such films as,The Voice of the Turtle, John Loves Mary, The Hasty Heart, Bedtime for Bonzo, Cattle Queen of Montana, Tennessee's Partner, Hellcats of the Navy and The Killers (his final film) in a 1964 remake.

Fan mail

While he worked at Warner Bros., Reagan enlisted his mother Nelle Wilson Reagan to answer his fan mail. Sony VAIO VGN-CS71B/W Battery

She would handwrite letters and sign his name as if he had written the letters himself. Mrs. Reagan would sign her actor-son's name on photographs and even on membership cards in the Ronald Reagan Fan Club. The article "Devoted Mother, Devoted Son" in the January/February 1985 issue of The Pen & Quill,Sony VAIO VGN-CS72JB/W Battery

journal of the Universal Autograph Collectors Club, compares the handwriting of mother and son, pointing out the differences, and also reveals that Reagan was paying his mother $75.00 a week.

SAG president and television

Reagan was first elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild in 1941, serving as an alternate. Sony VAIO VGN-CS90HS Battery

Following World War II, he resumed service and became 3rd vice-president in 1946. The adoption of conflict-of-interest bylaws in 1947 led the SAG president and six board members to resign; Reagan was nominated in a special election for the position of president and subsequently elected.Sony VAIO VGN-CS90NS Battery

He would subsequently be chosen by the membership to seven additional one-year terms, from 1947 to 1952 and in 1959.Reagan led SAG through eventful years that were marked by labor-management disputes, theTaft-Hartley Act, House Committee on Un-American Activities (HUAC) hearings and the Hollywood blacklist era.Sony VAIO VGN-CS90S Battery

Amid the Red Scare in the late 1940s, Reagan provided the FBI with names of actors whom he believed to be communist sympathizers within the motion picture industry. Reagan testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee on the subject as well.Sony VAIO VGN-CS91HS Battery

A fervent anti-communist, he reaffirmed his commitment to democratic principles, stating, "I never as a citizen want to see our country become urged, by either fear or resentment of this group, that we ever compromise with any of our democratic principles through that fear or resentment."Sony VAIO VGN-CS91NS Battery

Though an early critic of television, Reagan landed fewer film roles in the late 1950s and decided to join the medium. He was hired as the host of General Electric Theater, a series of weekly dramas that became very popular. His contract required him to tour GE plants sixteen weeks out of the year, often demanding of him fourteen speeches per day.Sony VAIO VGN-CS91S Battery

He earned approximately $125,000 per year (about $1.07 million in 2010 dollars) in this role. His final work as a professional actor was as host and performer from 1964 to 1965 on the television series Death Valley Days. Reagan and Nancy Davis appeared together several times, including an episode of GE Theater in 1958 called A Turkey for the President.Sony VAIO VGN-CS92DS Battery

Marriages and children

In 1938, Reagan co-starred in the film Brother Rat with actress Jane Wyman (1917–2007). They were engaged at the Chicago Theatre, and married on January 26, 1940, at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather church in Glendale, California.Sony VAIO VGN-CS92JS Battery

Together they had two children, Maureen (1941–2001) and Christine (June 26, 1947 – June 27, 1947), and adopted a third, Michael (born 1945). Following arguments about Reagan's political ambitions, Wyman filed for divorce in 1948, citing a distraction due to her husband's Screen Actors Guild union duties; the divorce was finalized in 1949.Sony VAIO VGN-CS92XS Battery

He is the only US president to have been divorced.

Reagan met actress Nancy Davis (born 1921) in 1949 after she contacted him in his capacity as president of the Screen Actors Guild to help her with issues regarding her name appearing on a communist blacklist in Hollywood (she had been mistaken for another Nancy Davis).Sony VAIO VGN-FW11E Battery

She described their meeting by saying, "I don't know if it was exactly love at first sight, but it was pretty close." They were engaged at Chasen's restaurant in Los Angeles and were married on March 4, 1952, at the Little Brown Church in the San Fernando Valley.Actor William Holden served as best man at the ceremony. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11L Battery

They had two children: Patti (born October 21, 1952) and Ron (born May 20, 1958).

Observers described the Reagans' relationship as close, real, and intimate. During his presidency they were reported as frequently displaying their affection for one another; one press secretary said, "They never took each other for granted. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11M Battery

They never stopped courting." He often called her "Mommy;" she called him "Ronnie". He once wrote to her, "whatever I treasure and enjoy ... all would be without meaning if I didn’t have you." When he was in the hospital in 1981, she slept with one of his shirts to be comforted by his scent.Sony VAIO VGN-FW11S Battery

In a letter to U.S. citizens written in 1994, Reagan wrote "I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.... I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience," and in 1998, while Reagan was stricken by Alzheimer's, Nancy told Vanity Fair, "Our relationship is very special. Sony VAIO VGN-FW11ZU Battery

We were very much in love and still are. When I say my life began with Ronnie, well, it's true. It did. I can't imagine life without him."

Early political career

Reagan began his political career as a liberal Democrat, admirer of Franklin D. Roosevelt, and an active supporter of New Deal policies. Sony VAIO VGN-FW139E/H Battery

In the early 1950s, as his relationship with Republican actress Nancy Davis grew, he shifted to the right and, while remaining a Democrat, endorsed the presidential candidacies of Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952 and 1956 as well as Richard Nixon in 1960.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140AE Battery

The last time Reagan actively supported a Democratic candidate was in 1950 when he helped Helen Gahagan Douglas in her unsuccessful Senate campaign against Richard Nixon. After being hired in 1954 to host the General Electric Theater, a TV drama series,Reagan soon began to embrace the conservative views of the sponsoring company's officials.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140D Battery

His many GE speeches—which he wrote himself—were non-partisan but carried a conservative, pro-business message; he was influenced by Lemuel Boulware, a senior GE executive. Boulware, known for his tough stance against unions and his innovative strategies to win over workers, Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E Battery

championed the core tenets of modern American conservatism: free markets, anticommunism, lower taxes, and limited government.Eventually, the ratings for Reagan's show fell off and GE dropped Reagan in 1962. In August of that year Reagan formally switched to the Republican Party, stating, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The party left me."Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E/H Battery

Reagan opposed certain civil rights legislation, saying "If an individual wants to discriminate against Negroes or others in selling or renting his house, it is his right to do so". He later reversed his opposition to voting rights and fair housing laws. He strongly denied having racist motives.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140E/W Battery

When legislation that would become Medicare was introduced in 1961, Reagan created a recording for theAmerican Medical Association warning that such legislation would mean the end of freedom in America. Reagan said that if his listeners did not write letters to prevent it, "we will awake to find that we have so­cialism. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140FE Battery

And if you don't do this, and if I don't do it, one of these days, you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."

Reagan endorsed the campaign of conservative presidential contender Barry Goldwater in 1964.Sony VAIO VGN-FW140N Battery

Speaking for Goldwater, Reagan stressed his belief in the importance of smaller government. He revealed his ideological motivation in a famed speech delivered on October 27, 1964: "The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. Sony VAIO VGN-FW140N/W Battery

And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So we have come to a time for choosing." This "Time for Choosing" speech raised $1 million for Goldwater's campaign and is considered the event that launched Reagan's political career.Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E Battery

Reagan was a Life Member of the National Rifle Association.

Governor of California, 1967–1975

California Republicans were impressed with Reagan's political views and charisma after his "Time for Choosing" speech, and nominated him for Governor of California in 1966. Sony VAIO VGN-FW145E/W Battery

In Reagan's campaign, he emphasized two main themes: "to send the welfare bums back to work," and in reference to burgeoning anti-war and anti-establishment student protests at the University of California at Berkeley, "to clean up the mess at Berkeley." He was elected, defeating two-term governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown, and was sworn in on January 2, 1967.Sony VAIO VGN-FW160AE Battery

In his first term, he froze government hiring and approved tax hikes to balance the budget.

Shortly after the beginning of his term, Reagan tested the presidential waters in 1968 as part of a "Stop Nixon" movement, Sony VAIO VGN-FW160D Battery

hoping to cut into Nixon's Southern support and be a compromise candidate if neither Nixon nor second-place Nelson Rockefeller received enough delegates to win on the first ballot at theRepublican convention. However, by the time of the convention Nixon had 692 delegate votes,Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E Battery

25 more than he needed to secure the nomination, followed by Rockefeller with Reagan in third place.

Reagan was involved in high-profile conflicts with the protest movements of the era. On May 15, 1969, during the People's Park protests at UC Berkeley, Reagan sent the California Highway Patrol and other officers to quell the protests, Sony VAIO VGN-FW160E/H Battery

in an incident that became known as "Bloody Thursday." Reagan then called out 2,200 state National Guard troops to occupy the city of Berkeley for two weeks in order to crack down on the protesters. When the Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley and demanded the distribution of food to the poor, Sony VAIO VGN-FW160F/E Battery

Reagan joked, "It's just too bad we can't have an epidemic of botulism."

Early in 1967, the national debate on abortion was beginning. Democratic California state senator Anthony Beilensonintroduced the "Therapeutic Abortion Act," in an effort to reduce the number of "back-room abortions" performed in California.Sony VAIO VGN-FW170J/H Battery

The State Legislature sent the bill to Reagan's desk where, after many days of indecision, he signed it. About two million abortions would be performed as a result, most because of a provision in the bill allowing abortions for the well-being of the mother.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180AE Battery

Reagan had been in office for only four months when he signed the bill, and stated that had he been more experienced as governor, it would not have been signed. After he recognized what he called the "consequences" of the bill, he announced that he was pro-life. He maintained that position later in his political career, writing extensively about abortion.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180D Battery

Despite an unsuccessful attempt to recall him in 1968, Reagan was re-elected in 1970, defeating "Big Daddy" Jesse Unruh. He chose not to seek a third term in the following election cycle. One of Reagan's greatest frustrations in office concerned capital punishment, which he strongly supported.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E Battery

His efforts to enforce the state's laws in this area were thwarted when the Supreme Court of California issued its People v. Andersondecision, which invalidated all death sentences issued in California prior to 1972, though the decision was later overturned by a constitutional amendment. Sony VAIO VGN-FW180E/H Battery

The only execution during 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.

In 1969, Reagan, as Governor, signed the Family Law Act which was the first no fault divorce legislation in the United States.Sony VAIO VGN-FW180FU Battery

Reagan's terms as governor helped to shape the policies he would pursue in his later political career as president. By campaigning on a platform of sending "the welfare bums back to work," he spoke out against the idea of the welfare state. He also strongly advocated the Republican ideal of less government regulation of the economy, including that of undue federal taxation.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EBH Battery

Reagan did not seek re-election to a third term as governor in 1974 and was succeeded by Democratic California Secretary of State Jerry Brown on January 6, 1975.

1976 presidential campaign

In 1976, Reagan challenged incumbent President Gerald Ford in a bid to become the Republican Party's candidate for president.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190ECH Battery

Reagan soon established himself as the conservative candidate with the support of like-minded organizations such as the American Conservative Union which became key components of his political base, while President Ford was considered a more moderate Republican.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190EDH Battery

Reagan's campaign relied on a strategy crafted by campaign manager John Sears of winning a few primaries early to damage the inevitability of Ford's likely nomination. Reagan won North Carolina, Texas, and California, but the strategy failed, as he ended up losing New Hampshire, Florida, and his native Illinois.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NAH Battery

The Texas campaign lent renewed hope to Reagan, when he swept all ninety-six delegates chosen in the May 1 primary, with four more awaiting at the state convention. Much of the credit for that victory came from the work of three co-chairmen, including Ernest Angelo,Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NBH Battery

the mayor of Midland, and Ray Barnhart of Houston, whom President Reagan tapped in 1981 as director of the Federal Highway Administration.

However, as the GOP convention neared, Ford appeared close to victory. Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NCH Battery

Acknowledging his party's moderate wing, Reagan chose moderate Senator Richard Schweiker of Pennsylvania as his running mate if nominated. Nonetheless, Ford prevailed with 1,187 delegates to Reagan's 1,070. Ford would go on to lose the 1976 Presidential election to the Democrat Jimmy Carter.Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NDH Battery

Reagan's concession speech emphasized the dangers of nuclear war and the threat posed by the Soviet Union. Though he lost the nomination, he received 307 write-in votes in New Hampshire, 388 votes as an Independent on Wyoming's ballot, Sony VAIO VGN-FW190NEH Battery

and a single electoral vote from a faithless elector in the November election from the state of Washington, which Ford had won over Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter.

1980 presidential campaign

The 1980 presidential campaign between Reagan and incumbent President Jimmy Carter was conducted during domestic concerns and the ongoing Iran hostage crisis. Sony VAIO VGN-FW198U/H Battery

His 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.

Reagan launched his campaign by declaring "I believe in states' rights," in Philadelphia, Sony VAIO VGN-FW260J/B Battery

Mississippi, known at the time for the murder of three civil rights workers who had been trying to register African-Americans to vote during the civil rights movement. After receiving the Republican nomination, Reagan selected one of his primary opponents, George H.W. Bush, to be his running mate.Sony VAIO VGN-FW280J/H Battery

His showing in the October televised debate boosted his campaign. Reagan won the election, carrying 44 states with 489 electoral votes to 49 electoral votes for Carter (representing six states and Washington, D.C.). Reagan received 50.7% of the popular vote while Carter took 41%, and Independent John B. Anderson (a liberal Republican) received 6.7%.Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JRB Battery

Republicans captured the Senate for the first time since 1952, and gained 34 House seats, but the Democrats retained a majority.

During the presidential campaign, questions were raised by reporters on Reagan's stance on the Briggs Initiative, also known as Proposition 6, a ballot initiative in Reagan's home state of California where he was governor, Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTB Battery

which would have banned gays, lesbians, and supporters of LGBT rights from working in public schools in California. His opposition to the initiative was instrumental in its landslide defeat by Californian voters. Reagan published an editorial in which he stated "homosexuality is not a contagious disease like the measles..."Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTH Battery

and that prevailing scientific opinion was that a child's sexual orientation cannot be influenced by someone else.

Presidency, 1981–1989

During his Presidency, Reagan pursued policies that reflected his personal belief in individual freedom, brought changes domestically, both to the U.S. economy and expanded military, and contributed to the end of the Cold War.Sony VAIO VGN-FW290JTW Battery

Termed the Reagan Revolution, his presidency would reinvigorate American morale and reduce the people's reliance upon government. As president, Reagan kept a series of diaries in which he commented on daily occurrences of his presidency and his views on the issues of the day. Sony VAIO VGN-FW355J/H Battery

The diaries were published in May 2007 in the bestselling book, The Reagan Diaries.

First term, 1981–1985

To date, Reagan is the oldest man elected to the office of the presidency (at 69). In his first inaugural addresson January 20, 1981, which Reagan himself wrote,Sony VAIO VGN-FW373J/B Battery

he addressed the country's economic malaise arguing: "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem."

The Reagan Presidency began in a dramatic manner; as Reagan was giving his inaugural address, 52 U.S. hostages, held by Iran for 444 days were set free.Sony VAIO VGN-FW30B Battery

Assassination attempt

On March 30, 1981, only 69 days into the new administration, Reagan, his press secretary James Brady, Washington police officer Thomas Delahanty, and Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy were struck by gunfire from would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. outside the Washington Hilton Hotel. Sony VAIO VGN-FW50B Battery

Although "close to death" during surgery, Reagan recovered and was released from the hospital on April 11, becoming the first serving U.S. President to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. The attempt had great influence on Reagan's popularity; polls indicated his approval rating to be around 73%.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51B/W Battery

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

Establishing full U.S. diplomatic relations with the Vatican

Within months of President Reagan’s inaugural in 1981, one of the first steps taken by Reagan was to obtain the repeal of the 1868 federal law which prohibited the expenditure of funds for an U.S. Embassy to the Vatican.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF Battery

Reagan was successful in obtaining the repeal with out real opposition.

President Reagan announced on January 10, 1984 that full diplomatic relations between the United States and the Vatican had been established. The President did this over the opposition of the office of the Secretary of State.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51MF/H Battery

Air traffic controllers' strike

In summer 1981 PATCO, the union of federal air traffic controllers went on strike, violating a federal law prohibiting government unions from striking. Declaring the situation an emergency as described in the 1947 Taft Hartley Act, Reagan stated that if the air traffic controllers "do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated."Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF Battery

They did not return and on August 5, Reagan fired 11,345 striking air traffic controllers who had ignored his order, and used supervisors and military controllers to handle the nation's commercial air traffic until new controllers could be hired and trained.Sony VAIO VGN-FW51ZF/H Battery

As a leading reference work on public administration concluded, "The firing of PATCO employees not only demonstrated a clear resolve by the president to take control of the bureaucracy, but it also sent a clear message to the private sector that unions no longer needed to be feared."Sony VAIO VGN-FW52JB Battery

"Reaganomics" and the economy

During Jimmy Carter's last year in office (1980), inflation averaged 12.5%, compared to 4.4% during Reagan's last year in office (1988). Over those eight years, the unemployment rate declined from 7.1% to 5.5%, hitting annual rate highs of 9.7% (1982) and 9.6% (1983) and averaging 7.5% during Reagan's administration. Sony VAIO VGN-FW54FB Battery

Reagan implemented policies based on supply-side economics and advocated a classical liberal and laissez-faire philosophy, seeking to stimulate the economy with large, across-the-board tax cuts. Citing the economic theories of Arthur Laffer, Reagan promoted the proposed tax cuts as potentially stimulating the economy enough to expand the tax base, Sony VAIO VGN-FW70DB Battery

offsetting the revenue loss due to reduced rates of taxation, a theory that entered political discussion as the Laffer curve. Reaganomics was the subject of debate with supporters pointing to improvements in certain key economic indicators as evidence of success, and critics pointing to large increases in federal budget deficits and the national debt. Sony VAIO VGN-FW71DB/W Battery

His policy of "peace through strength" (also described as "firm but fair") resulted in a record peacetime defense buildup including a 40% real increase in defense spending between 1981 and 1985. Sony VAIO VGN-FW72JGB Battery

During Reagan's presidency, federal income tax rates were lowered significantly with the signing of the bipartisan Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981 which lowered the top marginal tax bracket from 70% to 50% and the lowest bracket from 14% to 11%,Sony VAIO VGN-FW73JGB Battery

however other tax increases signed by Reagan ensured that tax revenues over his two terms were 18.2% of GDP as compared to 18.1% over the past 40 years. Then, in 1982 the Job Training Partnership Act of 1982 was signed into law, initiating one of the nation's first public/private partnerships and a major part of the president's job creation program. Sony VAIO VGN-FW74FB Battery

Reagan's Assistant Secretary of Labor and Chief of Staff, Al Angrisani, was a primary architect of the bill. The Tax Reform Act of 1986, another bipartisan effort championed by Reagan, reduced the top rate further to 28% while raising the bottom bracket from 11% to 15% and reducing the quantity of brackets to 4. Sony VAIO VGN-FW81HS Battery

Conversely, Congress passed and Reagan signed

into law tax increases of some nature in every year from 1981 to 1987 to continue funding such government programs as TEFRA, Social Security, and the Deficit Reduction Act of 1984. Despite the fact that TEFRA was the "largest peacetime tax increase in American history,Sony VAIO VGN-FW81NS Battery

" Reagan is better known for his tax cuts and lower-taxes philosophy. Real gross domestic product (GDP) growth recovered strongly after the early 1980s recession ended in 1982, and grew during his eight years in office at an annual rate of 3.85% per year.Sony VAIO VGN-FW81S Battery

Unemployment peaked at 10.8% monthly rate in December 1982—higher than any time since the Great Depression—then dropped during the rest of Reagan's presidency. Sixteen million new jobs were created, while inflation significantly decreased.Sony VAIO VGN-FW82DS Battery

The net effect of all Reagan-era tax bills was a 1% decrease in government revenues when compared to Treasury Department revenue estimates from the Administration's first post-enactment January budgets.[128] However, federal Income Tax receipts increased from 1980 to 1989, rising from $308.7Bn to $549.0Bn. Sony VAIO VGN-FW82JS Battery

During the Reagan Administration, federal receipts grew at an average rate of 8.2% (2.5% attributed to higher Social Security receipts), and federal outlays grew at an annual rate of 7.1%. Reagan also revised the tax code with the bipartisan Tax Reform Act of 1986.Sony VAIO VGN-FW82XS Battery

Reagan's policies proposed that economic growth would occur when marginal tax rates were low enough to spur investment, which would then lead to increased economic growth, higher employment and wages. Critics labeled this "trickle-down economics"—the belief that tax policies that benefit the wealthy will create a "trickle-down" effect to the poor.Sony VAIO VGN-FW83DS Battery

Questions arose whether Reagan's policies benefited the wealthy more than those living in poverty, and many poor and minority citizens viewed Reagan as indifferent to their struggles. These views were exacerbated by the fact that Reagan's economic regimen included freezing the minimum wage at $3.35 an hour, Sony VAIO VGN-FW83JS Battery

slashing federal assistance to local governments by 60 percent, cutting the budget for public housing and Section 8 rent subsidies in half, and eliminating the antipoverty Community Development Block Grant program.

Further following his less-government intervention views, Reagan cut the budgets of non-ilitary programs including Medicaid, Sony VAIO VGN-FW83XS Battery

food stamps, federal education programs and the EPA. While he protected entitlement programs, such as Social Security and Medicare, his administration attempted to purge many people with disabilities from the Social Security disability rolls.Sony VAIO VGN-FW90HS Battery

The administration's stance toward the Savings and Loan industry contributed to the Savings and loan crisis. It is also suggested, by a minority of Reaganomics critics, that the policies partially influenced the stock market crash of 1987, but there is no consensus regarding a single source for the crash.Sony VAIO VGN-FW90S Battery

In order to cover newly spawned federal budget deficits, the United States borrowed heavily both domestically and abroad, raising the national debtfrom $997 billion to $2.85 trillion.Reagan described the new debt as the "greatest disappointment" of his presidency.Sony VAIO VGN-FW91NS Battery

He reappointed Paul Volcker as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, and in 1987 he appointed monetarist Alan Greenspan to succeed him. Reagan ended the price controls on domestic oil which had contributed to energy crises in the early 1970s. The price of oil subsequently dropped, and the 1980s did not see the fuel shortages that the 1970s had.Sony VAIO VGN-FW91S Battery

Reagan also fulfilled a 1980 campaign promise to repeal the Windfall profit tax in 1988, which had previously increased dependence on foreign oil. Some economists, such as Nobel Prize winners Milton Friedman and Robert A. Mundell, argue that Reagan's tax policies invigorated America's economy and contributed to the economic boom of the 1990s.Sony VAIO VGN-FW92DS Battery

Other economists, such as Nobel Prize winner Robert Solow, argue that the deficits were a major reason why Reagan's successor, George H. W. Bush, reneged on a campaign promise and raised taxes.

During Reagan's presidency a program was initiated within the US intelligence community to ensure America's economic strength.Sony VAIO VGN-FW92JS Battery

The program, Project Socrates, developed and demonstrated the means required for the US to generate and lead the next evolutionary leap in technology acquisition and utilization for a competitive advantage—automated innovation. To ensure that the US acquired the maximum benefit from automated innovation, Sony VAIO VGN-FW93DS Battery

President Reagan during his second term had an executive order drafted creating a new Federal agency to implement the Project Socrates results on a nation-wide basis. President Reagan's term came to end before the executive order could be coordinated and signed. President Bush terminated Project Socrates due to pressure from US allies.Sony VAIO VGN-FW93JS Battery

Lebanon and Operation Urgent Fury (Grenada), 1983

American peacekeeping forces in Beirut, a part of a multinational force during the Lebanese Civil War who had been earlier deployed by Reagan, were attacked on October 23, 1983. Sony VAIO VGN-FW93XS Battery

The Beirut barracks bombing resulted in the deaths of 241 American servicemen and the wounding of more than 60 others by a suicide truck bomber. Reagan sent a White House team to the site four days later, led by his Vice President, George H.W. Bush.Sony VAIO VGN-FW94FS Battery

Reagan called the attack "despicable," pledged to keep a military force in Lebanon, and planned to target the Sheik Abdullah barracks in Baalbek, Lebanon, training ground forHezbollah fighters, but the mission was later aborted. On February 7, 1984, President Reagan ordered the Marines to begin withdrawal from Lebanon. Sony VAIO VGN-FW94GS Battery

In April 1984, as his keynote address to the 20,000 attendees of the Rev. Jerry Falwell's "Baptist Fundamentalism '84" convention in Washington, D.C., he read a first hand account of the bombing, written by Navy Chaplain (Rabbi) Arnold Resnicoff, who had been asked to write the report by Bush and his team.Sony VAIO VGN-FW94HS Battery

Osama bin Laden would later cite Reagan's withdrawal of forces as a sign of American weakness.

On October 25, 1983, only two days later, Reagan ordered U.S. forces to invade Grenada, code named Operation Urgent Fury, where a 1979 coup d'état had established an independent non-aligned Marxist-Leninist government. Sony VAIO VGN-NS10E/S Battery

A formal appeal from the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) led to the intervention of U.S. forces; President Reagan also cited an allegedly regional threat posed by a Soviet-Cuban military build-up in the Caribbean and concern for the safety of several hundred American medical students at St. George's University as adequate reasons to invade. Sony VAIO VGN-NS10J/S Battery

Operation Urgent Fury was the first major military operation conducted by U.S. forces since the Vietnam War, several days of fighting commenced, resulting in a U.S. victory, with 19 American fatalities and 116 wounded American soldiers. In mid-December, after a new government was appointed by the Governor-General, U.S. forces withdrew.Sony VAIO VGN-NS10L/S Battery

Escalation of the Cold War

Reagan escalated the Cold War, accelerating a reversal from the policy of détente which began in 1979 following the Soviet war in Afghanistan. Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/L Battery

Reagan ordered a massive buildup of the United States Armed Forces and implemented new policies towards the Soviet Union: reviving the B-1 Lancer program that had been canceled by the Carter administration, and producing the MX missile.Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/S Battery

In response to Soviet deployment of the SS-20, Reagan oversaw NATO's deployment of the Pershing missile in West Germany.

Together with the United Kingdom's prime minister Margaret Thatcher, Reagan denounced the Soviet Union in ideological terms.Sony VAIO VGN-NS110E/W Battery

In a famous address on June 8, 1982 to the British Parliament in the Royal Gallery of the Palace of Westminster, Reagan said, "the forward march of freedom and democracy will leave Marxism-Leninism on the ash-heap of history." On March 3, 1983, he predicted that communism would collapse, stating, Sony VAIO VGN-NS115N/S Battery

"Communism is another sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages even now are being written." In a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals on March 8, 1983, Reagan called the Soviet Union "an evil empire".

After Soviet fighters downed Korean Air Lines Flight 007 near Moneron Island on September 1, 1983,Sony VAIO VGN-NS11J/S Battery

carrying 269 people, including Georgia congressmanLarry McDonald, Reagan labeled the act a "massacre" and declared that the Soviets had turned "against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere".Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/L Battery

The 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. As result of the shootdown, and the cause of KAL 007's going astray thought to be inadequacies related to its navigational system, Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/S Battery

Reagan announced on September 16, 1983 that the Global Positioning System would be made available for civilian use, free of charge, once completed in order to avert similar navigational errors in future.

Under a policy that came to be known as the Reagan Doctrine,Sony VAIO VGN-NS130E/W Battery

Reagan and his administration also provided overt and covert aid to anti-communist resistance movements in an effort to "rollback" Soviet-backed communist governments in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Reagan deployed the CIA's Special Activities Division to Afghanistan and Pakistan.Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/L Battery

They were instrumental in training, equipping and leading Mujaheddin forces against the Soviet Army. President Reagan's Covert Action program has been given credit for assisting in ending the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, though the US funded armaments introduced then would later pose a threat to US troops in the 2000s war in Afghanistan.Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/S Battery

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

In March 1983, 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS140E/W Battery

Reagan believed that this defense shield could make nuclear war impossible, but disbelief that the technology could ever work led opponents to dub SDI "Star Wars" and argue that the technological objective was unattainable.The Soviets became concerned about the possible effects SDI would have; leaderYuri Andropov said it would put "the entire world in jeopardy".Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/L Battery

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

Critics labeled Reagan's foreign policies as aggressive, imperialistic, and chided them as "warmongering," though they were supported by leading American conservatives who argued that they were necessary to protect U.S. security interests.Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/S Battery

A reformer, Mikhail Gorbachev, would later rise to power in the Soviet Union in 1985, implementing new policies for openness and reform that were called glasnost and perestroika.

1984 presidential campaign

Reagan accepted the Republican nomination in Dallas, Texas, on a wave of positive feeling.Sony VAIO VGN-NS190J/W Battery

He proclaimed that it was "morning again in America," regarding the recovering economy and the dominating performance by the U.S. athletes at the 1984 Summer Olympics, among other things. He became the first American president to open an Olympic Games held in the United States. Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/L Battery

Reagan's opponent in the 1984 presidential election was former Vice President Walter Mondale. With questions about Reagan's age, and a weak performance in the first presidential debate, his ability to perform the duties of president for another term was questioned. Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/P Battery

His apparent confused and forgetful behavior was evident to his supporters; they had previously known him clever and witty. Rumors began to circulate that he had Alzheimer's disease. Reagan rebounded in the second debate, and confronted questions about his age, quipping, "I will not make age an issue of this campaign. Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/S Battery

I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent's youth and inexperience," which generated applause and laughter, even from Mondale himself.

That November, Reagan was re-elected, winning 49 of 50 states.Sony VAIO VGN-NS235J/W Battery

The president's overwhelming victory saw Mondale carry only his home state of Minnesota (by 3800 votes) and the District of Columbia. Reagan won a record 525 electoral votes, the most of any candidate in United States history, and received 58.8% of the popular vote to Mondale's 40.6%.Sony VAIO VGN-NS240E/L Battery

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