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6 septembre 2011 2 06 /09 /septembre /2011 11:17

Second term, 1985–1989

Reagan was sworn in as president for the second time on January 20, 1985, in a private ceremony at the White House. Because January 20 fell on a Sunday, a public celebration was not held but took place in the Capitol Rotunda the following day.Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/L Battery

January 21 was one of the coldest days on record in Washington, D.C.; due to poor weather, inaugural celebrations were held inside the Capitol.

n the summer of 1982, several conservative activists, including Howard Phillips of The Conservative Caucus and Clymer Wright of Houston, Sony VAIO VGN-NS290J/S Battery

Texas, had urged Reagan to remove his White House chief of staff James Baker, also of Houston, on grounds that Baker, a political intimate of George H. W. Bush, was undercutting conservative initiatives in the administration. Not only did Reagan reject the Wright-Phillips request, Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/L Battery

but in 1985, after his reelection, he named Baker as United States Secretary of the Treasury, at Baker's request in a job-swap with then Secretary Donald T. Regan, a former Merrill Lynch officer who became chief of staff. Reagan also rebuked Wright and Phillips for having waged a "campaign of sabotage" against Baker.Sony VAIO VGN-NS50B/W Battery

In 1985, Reagan visited a German military cemetery in Bitburg to lay a wreath with West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. It was determined that the cemetery held the graves of forty-nine members of the Waffen-SS. Reagan issued a statement that called the Nazi soldiers buried in that cemetery as themselves "victims,"Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/L Battery

a designation which ignited a stir over whether Reagan had equated the SS men to victims of the Holocaust; Patrick J. Buchanan, Reagan's Director of Communications, argued that the president did not equate the SS members with the actual Holocaust.Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/P Battery

Now strongly urged to cancel the visit, the president responded that it would be wrong to back down on a promise he had made to Chancellor Kohl. He ultimately attended the ceremony where two military generals laid a wreath.

The disintegration of the Space Shuttle Challenger on January 28, 1986 proved a pivotal moment in Reagan's presidency. Sony VAIO VGN-NS51B/W Battery

All seven astronauts aboard were killed.[193] On the night of the disaster, Reagan delivered a speech written by Peggy Noonan in which he said (quoting the first and last lines of John Gillespie Magee's 1941 poem High Flight):Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/L Battery

The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted; it belongs to the brave... We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth' to 'touch the face of God.'Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/P Battery

War on Drugs

Midway into his second term, Reagan declared more militant policies in the War on Drugs. He 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NS52JB/W Battery

In 1986, Reagan signed a drug enforcement bill that budgeted $1.7 billion to fund the War on Drugs and specified a mandatory minimum penalty for drug offenses. The bill was criticized for promoting significant racial disparities in the prison population and critics also charged that the policies did little to reduce the availability of drugs on the street, Sony VAIO VGN-NS70B/W Battery

while resulting in a great financial burden for America. Defenders of the effort point to success in reducing rates of adolescent drug use. First Lady Nancy Reagan made the War on Drugs her main priority by founding the "Just Say No" drug awareness campaign,Sony VAIO VGN-NS71B/W Battery

which aimed to discourage children and teenagers from engaging in recreational drug use by offering various ways of saying "no". Mrs. Reagan traveled to 65 cities in 33 states, raising awareness about the dangers of drugs including alcohol. Sony VAIO VGN-NS72JB/W Battery

Libya bombing

Relations between Libya and the U.S. under President Reagan were continually contentious, beginning with the Gulf of Sidra incident in 1981; by 1982, Gaddafi was considered by the CIA to be, along with USSR leader Leonid Brezhnev and Cuban leader Fidel Castro,Sony VAIO VGN-NS90HS Battery

part of a group known as the "unholy trinity" and was also labeled as "our international public enemy number one" by a CIA official as well. These tensions were later revived in early April 1986, when a bomb exploded in a Berlin discothèque, resulting in the injuries of 63 American military personnel and death of one serviceman.Sony VAIO VGN-NS92JS Battery

Citing that there was "irrefutable proof" that Libya had directed the terrorist bombing, Reagan authorized the use of force against the country. In the late evening of April 15, 1986, the U.S. launched a series of air strikes on ground targets in Libya. Sony VAIO VGN-NS92XS Battery

The UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher allowed the US air force to use Britain's air bases to launch the attack, on the justification that the UK was supporting America's right to self-defence under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. The attack was designed to halt Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's ability to export terrorism, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

offering him "incentives and reasons to alter his criminal behavior". The president addressed the nation from the Oval Office after the attacks had commenced, stating, "When our citizens are attacked or abused anywhere in the world on the direct orders of hostile regimes, we will respond so long as I'm in this office."Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery

As early as 1981, Reagan had referred to Gaddafi as "the mad dog of the Middle East" and considered him to be public enemy number one.


Reagan signed the Immigration Reform and Control Act in 1986. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery

The act made it illegal to knowingly hire or recruit illegal immigrants, required employers to attest to their employees' immigration status, and granted amnesty to approximately 3 million illegal immigrants who entered the United States prior to January 1, 1982, and had lived in the country continuously. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

Critics argue that the employer sanctions were without teeth and failed to stem illegal immigration. Upon signing the act at a ceremony held beside the newly refurbished Statue of Liberty, Reagan said, "The legalization provisions in this act will go far to improve the lives of a class of individuals who now must hide in the shadows, Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

without access to many of the benefits of a free and open society. Very soon many of these men and women will be able to step into the sunlight and, ultimately, if they choose, they may become Americans."

Iran-Contra affair

In 1986, a scandal shook the administration stemming from the use of proceeds from covert arms sales to Iran to fund the Contras in Nicaragua, which had been specifically outlawed by an act of Congress.Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

The Iran-Contra affair became the largest political scandal in the United States during the 1980s. The International Court of Justice, whose jurisdiction to decide the case was disputed, ruled that the U.S. had violated international law in Nicaragua due to its obligations not to intervene in the affairs of other states. Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

President Reagan professed ignorance of the plot's existence. He appointed two Republicans and one Democrat (John Tower, Brent Scowcroft and Edmund Muskie, known as the "Tower Commission") to investigate the scandal. The commission could not find direct evidence that Reagan had prior knowledge of the program, Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/B Battery

but criticized him heavily for his disengagement from managing his staff, making the diversion of funds possible. A separate report by Congress concluded that "If the president did not know what his national security advisers were doing, he should have."Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/TC Battery

Reagan's popularity declined from 67 percent to 46 percent in less than a week, the greatest and quickest decline ever for a president.[216] The scandal resulted in fourteen indictments within Reagan's staff, and eleven convictions.Sony VAIO VGN-NW35E Battery

Many Central Americans criticize Reagan for his support of the Contras, calling him an anti-communist zealot, blinded to human rights abuses, while others say he "saved Central America".Daniel Ortega, Sandinistan and current president of Nicaragua, said that he hoped God would forgive Reagan for his "dirty war against Nicaragua".Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/S Battery

In 1986 the USA was found guilty by the International Court of Justice (World Court) of war crimes against Nicaragua.

End of the Cold War

By the early 1980s, the USSR had built up a military arsenal and army surpassing that of the United States. Sony VAIO VGN-NW380F/T Battery

Previously, the U.S. had relied on the qualitative superiority of its weapons to essentially frighten the Soviets, but the gap had been narrowed. After President Reagan's military buildup, the Soviet Union did not further dramatically build up its military;Sony VAIO VGN-NW50JB Battery

the enormous military expenses, in combination with collectivized agriculture and inefficient planned manufacturing, were a heavy burden for the Soviet economy. At the same time, the Reagan Administration persuaded Saudi Arabia to increase oil production,which resulted in a drop of oil prices in 1985 to one-third of the previous level;Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/N Battery

oil was the main source of Soviet export revenues. These factors gradually brought the Soviet economy to a stagnant state during Gorbachev's tenure.

Reagan recognized the change in the direction of the Soviet leadership with Mikhail Gorbachev, and shifted to diplomacy, with a view to encourage the Soviet leader to pursue substantial arms agreements.Sony VAIO VGN-NW51FB/W Battery

Reagan's personal mission was to achieve "a world free of nuclear weapons," which he regarded as "totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization." He was able to start discussions on nuclear disarmament with General Secretary Gorbachev.Sony VAIO VGN-NW70JB Battery

Gorbachev and Reagan held four summit conferences between 1985 and 1988: the first in Geneva, Switzerland, the second in Reykjavík, Iceland, the third in Washington, D.C., and the fourth in Moscow. 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.Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/N Battery

Speaking at the Berlin Wall on June 12, 1987, Reagan challenged Gorbachev to go further, saying:

"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"Sony VAIO VGN-NW71FB/W Battery

Prior to Gorbachev visiting Washington, D.C., for the third summit in 1987, the Soviet leader announced his intention to pursue significant arms agreements. The timing of the announcement led Western diplomats to contend that Gorbachev was offering major concessions to the U.S. on the levels of conventional forces, nuclear weapons, and policy in Eastern Europe.Sony VAIO VGN-NW91FS Battery

He and Reagan signed the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at the White House, which eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons. The two leaders laid the framework for the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, orSTART I; Reagan insisted that the name of the treaty be changed from Strategic Arms Limitation Talks to Strategic Arms Reduction Talks.Sony VAIO VGN-NW91GS Battery

When Reagan visited Moscow for the fourth summit in 1988, he was viewed as a celebrity by the Soviets. A journalist asked the president if he still considered the Soviet Union the evil empire. "No," he replied, "I was talking about another time, another era."Sony VAIO VGN-NW91VS Battery

At Gorbachev's request, Reagan gave a speech on free markets at the Moscow State University. In his autobiography, An American Life, Reagan expressed his optimism about the new direction that they charted and his warm feelings for Gorbachev.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11M Battery

In November 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down, the Cold War was officially declared over at a Malta Summit on December 3, 1989and two years later, the Soviet Union collapsed.


Early in his presidency, Reagan started wearing a custom, technologically advanced hearing aid, first in his right ear and later in his left as well.Sony VAIO VGN-SR11MR Battery

His decision to go public in 1983 regarding his wearing the small, audio-amplifying device boosted their sales.

On July 13, 1985, Reagan underwent surgery at Bethesda Naval Hospital to remove cancerous polyps from his colon.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D Battery

He 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.[239] The surgery lasted just under three hours and was successful.[240] Reagan resumed the powers of the presidency later that day.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/B Battery

In August of that year, he underwent an operation to remove skin cancer cells from his nose.[242] In October, additional skin cancer cells were detected on his nose and removed.[243]

In January 1987, Reagan underwent surgery for an enlarged prostate which caused further worries about his health. Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/P Battery

No cancerous growths were found, however, and he was not sedated during the operation.[244] In July of that year, aged 76, he underwent a third skin cancer operation on his nose.[245]


During his 1980 campaign, Reagan pledged that, if given the opportunity, he would appoint the first female Supreme Court Justice.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140D/S Battery

That opportunity came in his first year in office when he nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to fill the vacancy created by the retirement of Justice Potter Stewart. In his second term, Reagan elevated William Rehnquist to succeed Warren Burger as Chief Justice,Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E Battery

and named Antonin Scalia to fill the vacant seat. Reagan nominated conservative jurist Robert Bork to the high court in 1987. Senator Ted Kennedy, a Democrat of Massachusetts, strongly condemned Bork, and great controversy ensued.[247] Bork's nomination was rejected 58–42.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/B Battery

Reagan then nominated Douglas Ginsburg, but Ginsburg withdrew his name from consideration after coming under fire for his cannabis use. Anthony Kennedy was eventually confirmed in his place. Along with his three Supreme Court appointments, Reagan appointed 83 judges to the United States Courts of Appeals, Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/P Battery

and 290 judges to the United States district courts. His total of 376 appointments is the most by any president.

Reagan also nominated Vaughn R. Walker, who would later be revealed to be the earliest known gay federal judge, to the United States District Court for the Central District of California.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140E/S Battery

However, the nomination stalled in the Senate, and Walker was not confirmed until he was renominated by Reagan's successor, George H. W. Bush.

Post-presidential years, 1989–2004

After leaving office in 1989, the Reagans purchased a home in Bel Air, Los Angeles in addition to the Reagan Ranch in Santa Barbara.Sony VAIO VGN-SR140N/S Battery

They regularly attended Bel Air Presbyterian Church and occasionally made appearances on behalf of the Republican Party; Reagan delivered a well-received speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention. Previously on November 4, 1991, the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was dedicated and opened to the public. Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/B Battery

At the dedication ceremonies, five presidents were in attendance, as well as six first ladies, marking the first time five presidents were gathered in the same location. Reagan continued publicly to speak in favor of a line-item veto; the Brady Bill; a constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget; Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/P Battery

and the repeal of the 22nd Amendment, which prohibits anyone from serving more than two terms as president. n 1992 Reagan established theRonald Reagan Freedom Award with the newly formed Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation. His final public speech was on February 3, 1994 during a tribute to him in Washington,Sony VAIO VGN-SR165E/S Battery

D.C., and his last major public appearance was at the funeral of Richard Nixon on April 27, 1994.

Announcement and reaction

In August 1994, at the age of 83, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, an incurable neurological disorder which destroys brain cells and ultimately causes death.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBJ Battery

In November he informed the nation through a handwritten letter, writing in part:

I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's Disease... At the moment I feel just fine. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EBQ Battery

I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this earth doing the things I have always done... I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life. I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Thank you, my friends. May God always bless you.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190EEJ/C Battery

After his diagnosis, letters of support from well-wishers poured into his California home, but there was also speculation over how long Reagan had demonstrated symptoms of mental degeneration. In her memoirs, former CBS White House correspondent Lesley Stahl recounts her final meeting with the president, in 1986:Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NAB Battery

"Reagan didn't seem to know who I was. ... Oh, my, he's gonzo, I thought. I have to go out on the lawn tonight and tell my countrymen that the president of the United States is a doddering space cadet." But then, at the end, he regained his alertness. As she described it, "I had come that close to reporting that Reagan was senile."Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NBB Battery

However, Dr. Lawrence K. Altman, a physician employed as a reporter for the New York Times, noted that "the line between mere forgetfulness and the beginning of Alzheimer's can be fuzzy" and all four of Reagan's White House doctors said that they saw no evidence of Alzheimer's while he was president.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NDB Battery

Dr. John E. Hutton, Reagan's primary physician from 1984 to 1989, said the president "absolutely" did not "show any signs of dementia or Alzheimer's". Reagan did experience occasional memory lapses, though, especially with names.Once, while meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NEB Battery

he repeatedly referred to Vice President Bush as "Prime Minister Bush". Reagan's doctors, however, note that he only began exhibiting overt symptoms of the illness in late 1992 or 1993, several years after he had left office. His former Chief of Staff James Bakerconsidered "ludicrous" the idea of Reagan sleeping during cabinet meetings.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190NGB Battery

Other staff members, former aides, and friends said they saw no indication of Alzheimer's while he was President. In contrast, Reagan's son, Ron Reagan, wrote in his 2011 memoir that he had noticed evidence of dementia as early as Reagan's first Presidential term, and that by 1986 Reagan was unable to recall the names of previously familiar landmarks near Los Angeles.Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PAB Battery

Complicating the picture, Reagan suffered an episode of head trauma in July 1989, five years prior to his diagnosis. After being thrown from a horse in Mexico, a subdural hematoma was found and surgically treated later in the year. Nancy Reagan asserts that her husband's 1989 fall hastened the onset of Alzheimer's disease,Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PCB Battery

citing what doctors told her, although acute brain injury has not been conclusively proven to accelerate Alzheimer's or dementia.Reagan's one-time physician Dr. Daniel Ruge has said it is possible, but not certain, that the horse accident affected the course of Reagan's memory. Sony VAIO VGN-SR190PFB Battery


As the years went on, the disease slowly destroyed Reagan's mental capacity. He was only able to recognize a few people, including his wife, Nancy. He 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.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

Reagan suffered a fall at his Bel Air home on January 13, 2001, resulting in a broken hip. The fracture was repaired the following day[274] and the 89 year old Reagan returned home later that week, although he faced difficult physical therapy at home.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VN Battery

On February 6, 2001, Reagan reached the age of 90, becoming the third former president to do so (the other two being John Adams and Herbert Hoover, with Gerald Ford later reaching 90). Reagan's public appearances became much less frequent with the progression of the disease, and as a result, his family decided that he would live in quiet isolation.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19VRN Battery

Nancy Reagan told CNN's Larry King in 2001 that very few visitors were allowed to see her husband because she felt that "Ronnie would want people to remember him as he was." Since her husband's diagnosis and death, Mrs. Reagan has become a stem-cell research advocate,Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

urging Congress and President George W. Bush to support federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, something President Bush opposed. Mrs. Reagan has said that she believes that it could lead to a cure for Alzheimer's.


Reagan died of pneumonia[279] at his home in Bel Air, California on the afternoon of June 5, 2004.Sony VAIO VGN-SR19XN Battery

A short time after his death, Nancy Reagan released a statement saying: "My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has died after 10 years of Alzheimer's Disease at 93 years of age. We appreciate everyone's prayers." President George W. Bush declared June 11 a National Day of Mourning,Sony VAIO VGN-SR210J/S Battery

and international tributes came in from around the world. Reagan's body was taken to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California later in the day, where well-wishers paid tribute by laying flowers and American flags in the grass. On June 7, his body was removed and taken to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Sony VAIO VGN-SR21M/S Battery

where a brief family funeral was held conducted by Pastor Michael Wenning. His body lay in repose in the Library lobby until June 9; over 100,000 people viewed the coffin.

On June 9, Reagan's body was flown to Washington, D.C. where he became the tenth United States president to lie in state; in thirty-four hours, 104,684 people filed past the coffin.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/H Battery

On June 11, a state funeral was conducted in the Washington National Cathedral, and presided over by President George W. Bush. Eulogies were given by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney, and both Presidents Bush.Sony VAIO VGN-SR21RM/S Battery

Also in attendance wereMikhail Gorbachev, and many world leaders, including British Prime Minister Tony Blair, German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, and interim presidents Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan, and Ghazi al-Yawer of Iraq.Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/B Battery

After the funeral, the Reagan entourage was flown back to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, where another service was held, and President Reagan was interred.At the time of his death, Reagan was the longest-lived president in U.S. history,Sony VAIO VGN-SR220J/H Battery

having lived 93 years and 120 days (2 years, 8 months, and 23 days longer than John Adams, whose record he surpassed). He is now the second longest-lived president, just 45 days fewer than Gerald Ford. He was the first United States president to die in the 21st century, and his was the first state funeral in the United States since that of President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1973.Sony VAIO VGN-SR240J/B Battery

His burial site is inscribed with the words he delivered at the opening of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: "I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and that there is purpose and worth to each and every life."Sony VAIO VGN-SR240N/B Battery


The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library was dedicated on November 4, 1991. Supporters have pointed to a more efficient and prosperous economy  and a peaceful end to the Cold War.  Critics argue that his economic policies caused huge budget deficits, quadrupling the United States national debt,Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTH Battery

and that the Iran-Contra affair lowered American credibility. As time has passed, he has generally come to be viewed in a more positive light, and ranks highly among presidents in many public opinion polls.  In presidential surveys he has consistently been ranked in the first and second quartiles, with more recent surveys generally ranking Reagan in the first quartile of U.S. presidents.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTJ Battery

Edwin Feulner, President of The Heritage Foundation, said that Reagan "helped create a safer, freer world" and said of his economic policies: "He took an America suffering from 'malaise'... and made its citizens believe again in their destiny."  However, Mark Weisbrot, co-Director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, said that Reagan's "economic policies were mostly a failure";Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JTQ Battery

with Reagan's detractors accusing him of creating a range of fiscal calamities such as widening the wealth inequality to the point where the richest 1% of Americans held 39% of the nation's wealth, a rise in the poverty population from 26.1 million in 1979 to 32.7 million in 1988, and an increase in homelessness to 600,000 Americans on any given night.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVB/C Battery

Despite the continuing debate surrounding his legacy, many conservative and liberal scholars agree that Reagan has been the most influential president sinceFranklin D. Roosevelt, leaving his imprint on American politics, diplomacy, culture, and economics. Since he left office, historians have reached a consensus,Sony VAIO VGN-SR290JVH/C Battery

as summarized by British historian M. J. Heale, who finds that scholars now concur that Reagan rehabilitated conservatism, turned the nation to the right, practiced a pragmatic conservatism that balanced ideology and the constraints of politics, revived faith in the presidency and in American self respect, and contributed to victory in the Cold War.Sony VAIO VGN-SR290NTB Battery

In response, Howard Kurtz of The Washington Post has opined that Reagan was "a far more controversial figure in his time than the largely gushing obits on television would suggest."

Cold War

The Cold War was a major political and economic endeavor for over four decades, but the confrontation between the two superpowers had decreased dramatically by the end of Reagan's presidency.Sony VAIO VGN-SR29VN/S Battery

The significance of Reagan's role in ending the Cold War has spurred contentious and opinionated debate. That Reagan had some role in contributing to the downfall of the Soviet Union is collectively agreed, but the extent of this role is continuously debated, with many believing that Reagan's defense policies,Sony VAIO VGN-SR29XN/S Battery

hard line rhetoric against the Soviet Union and Communism, as well as summits with General Secretary Gorbachev played a significant part in ending the War.

He was notable amongst post–World War II presidents as being convinced that the Soviet Union could be defeated rather than simply negotiated with,Sony VAIO VGN-SR2RVN/S Battery

a conviction that was vindicated by Gennadi Gerasimov, the Foreign Ministry spokesman under Gorbachev, who said that Star Wars was "very successful blackmail. ... The Soviet economy couldn't endure such competition." Reagan's strong rhetoric toward the nation had mixed effects; Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAB Battery

Jeffery W. Knopf, PhD observes that being labeled "evil" probably made no difference to the Soviets but gave encouragement to the East-European citizens opposed to communism. That Reagan had little or no effect in ending the Cold War is argued with equal weight; that Communism's internal weakness had become apparent, Sony VAIO VGN-SR390NAH Battery

and the Soviet Union would have collapsed in the end regardless of who was in power. President Harry Truman's policy of containment is also regarded as a force behind the fall of the U.S.S.R., and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan undermined the Soviet system itself. Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/P Battery

General Secretary Gorbachev said of his former rival's Cold War role: "[He was] a man who was instrumental in bringing about the end of the Cold War," and deemed him "a great President." Gorbachev does not acknowledge a win or loss in the war, but rather a peaceful end; he said he was not intimidated by Reagan's harsh rhetoric.Sony VAIO VGN-SR41M/S Battery

Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, said of Reagan, "he warned that the Soviet Union had an insatiable drive for military power... but he also sensed it was being eaten away by systemic failures impossible to reform." Sony VAIO VGN-SR49VN/H Battery

She later said, "Ronald Reagan had a higher claim than any other leader to have won the Cold War for liberty and he did it without a shot being fired." Said Brian Mulroney, formerPrime Minister of Canada: "He enters history as a strong and dramatic player [in the Cold War]."Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/P Battery

Former President Lech Wa??sa of Poland acknowledged, "Reagan was one of the world leaders who made a major contribution to communism's collapse."

Domestic and political legacy

Ronald Reagan reshaped the Republican party, led the modern conservative movement, and altered the political dynamic of the United States.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51B/S Battery

More men voted Republican under Reagan, and Reagan tapped into religious voters. The so-called "Reagan Democrats" were a result of his presidency.

Since leaving office, Reagan has become an iconic influence within the Republican party. His policies and beliefs have been frequently invoked by Republican presidential candidates since 1989.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF Battery

The 2008 Republican presidential candidates were no exception, for they aimed to liken themselves to him during the primary debates, even imitating his campaign strategies. Republican nomineeJohn McCain frequently stated that he came to office as "a foot soldier in the Reagan Revolution".Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/P Battery

Lastly, Reagan's most famous statement that "Government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem", has become the unofficial slogan for the rise of conservative commentators like Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh; as well as the emergence of the Tea Party Movement.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/S Battery

Cultural and political image

According to columnist Chuck Raasch, "Reagan transformed the American presidency in ways that only a few have been able to." He redefined the political agenda of the times, advocating lower taxes, a conservative economic philosophy, and a stronger military.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MF/W Battery

His role in the Cold War further enhanced his image as a different kind of leader. Reagan's "avuncular style, optimism, and plain-folks demeanor" also helped him turn "government-bashing into an art form."

As a sitting president, Reagan did not have the highest approval ratings, but his popularity has increased since 1989.Sony VAIO VGN-SR51MR Battery

Gallup polls in 2001 and 2007 ranked him number one or number two when correspondents were asked for the greatest president in history, and third of post–World War II presidents in a 2007 Rasmussen Reports poll, fifth in an ABC 2000 poll, ninth in another 2007 Rasmussen poll, and eighth in a late 2008 poll by United Kingdom newspaper The Times.Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG Battery

In a Siena Collegesurvey of over 200 historians, however, Reagan ranked sixteenth out of 42. While the debate about Reagan's legacy is ongoing, the 2009 Annual C-SPAN Survey of Presidential Leaders ranked Reagan the 10th greatest president. The survey of leading historians rated Reagan number 11 in 2000.Sony VAIO VGN-SR59VG/H Battery

In 2011, the Institute for the Study of the Americas released the first ever U.K. academic survey to rate U.S. presidents. This poll of U.K. specialists in U.S. history and politics placed Reagan as the 8th greatest U.S. president.

Reagan's ability to connect with the American people earned him the laudatory moniker "The Great Communicator".Sony VAIO VGN-SR70B/S Battery

Of it, Reagan said, "I won the nickname the great communicator. But I never thought it was my style that made a difference—it was the content. I wasn't a great communicator, but I communicated great things." His age and soft-spoken speech gave him a warm grandfatherly image.Sony VAIO VGN-SR72B/P Battery

Reagan also earned the nickname "the Teflon President," in that public perceptions of him were not tarnished by the controversies that arose during his administration.  According to Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who coined the phrase, and reporter Howard Kurtz, the epithet referred to Reagan's ability to "do almost anything wrong and not get blamed for it."<

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Public reaction to Reagan was always mixed; the oldest president was supported by young voters, and began an alliance that shifted many of them to the Republican party. ] Reagan did not fare well with minority groups, especially African-Americans. This was largely due to his opposition to affirmative action policies.Sony VAIO VGN-SR73JB/S Battery

However, his support of Israel throughout his presidency earned him support from many Jews. He emphasized family values in his campaigns and during his presidency, although he was the first president to have been divorced. The combination of Reagan's speaking style, unabashed patriotism, negotiation skills,Sony VAIO VGN-SR74FB/S Battery

as well as his savvy use of the media, played an important role in defining the 1980s and his future legacy.

Reagan was known to gibe frequently during his lifetime, displayed humor throughout his presidency, and was famous for his storytelling.  His numerous jokes and one-liners have been labeled "classic quips" and "legendary".Sony VAIO VGN-SR90FS Battery

Among the most notable of his jokes was one regarding the Cold War. As a sound check prior to his weekly radio address in August 1984, Reagan made the following joke as a way to test the microphone: "My fellow Americans, I'm pleased to tell you today that I've signed legislation that will outlaw Russia forever. Sony VAIO VGN-SR90NS Battery

We begin bombing in five minutes." ormer aide David Gergen commented, "It was that humor... that I think endeared people to Reagan."


Reagan received a number of awards in his pre- and post-presidential years. Following his election as president, Reagan received a lifetime gold membership in the Screen Actors Guild, as well as theUnited States Military Academy's Sylvanus Thayer Award.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90S Battery

In 1989, Reagan was made an Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath, one of the highest British orders (this entitled him to the use of the post-nominal letters "GCB" but, by not being the citizen of a Commonwealth realm, not to be known as "Sir Ronald Reagan"); only two American presidents have received this honor, Reagan and George H.W. Bush.Sony VAIO VGN-SR90US Battery

Reagan was also named an honorary Fellow of Keble College, Oxford. Japan awarded him the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Chrysanthemum in 1989; he was the second American president to receive the order and the first to have it given to him for personal reasons (Dwight D. Eisenhower received it as a commemoration of U.S.-Japanese relations).Sony VAIO VGN-SR91NS Battery

On January 18, 1993, Reagan's former Vice-President and sitting President George H. W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor that the United States can bestow. Reagan was also awarded the Republican Senatorial Medal of Freedom, the highest honor bestowed by Republican members of the Senate.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91PS Battery

On Reagan's 87th birthday, in 1998, Washington National Airport was renamed Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport by a bill signed into law by President Clinton. That year, the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center was dedicated in Washington, D.C.Sony VAIO VGN-SR91S Battery

He was among 18 included in Gallup's List of Widely Admired People of the 20th Century, from a poll conducted of the American people in 1999; two years later, USS Ronald Reaganwas christened by Nancy Reagan and the United States Navy. Sony VAIO VGN-SR91US Battery

It is one of few Navy ships christened in honor of a living person and the first aircraft carrier to be named in honor of a living former president.

Congress authorized the creation of the Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home National Historic Site in Dixon, Illinois in 2002, pending federal purchase of the property.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92NS Battery

On May 16 of that year, Nancy Reagan accepted the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor bestowed by Congress, on behalf of the president and herself.

Following Reagan's death, the United States Postal Service issued a President Ronald Reagan commemorative postage stamp in 2005.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92PS Battery

Later in the year, CNN, along with the editors of TIME magazine, named him the "most fascinating person" of the network's first 25 years; Time listed Reagan one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th century as well.  The Discovery Channel asked its viewers to vote for The Greatest Americanin an unscientific poll on June 26, 2005; Reagan received the honorary title.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92S Battery

In 2006, Reagan was inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women, and the Arts. Every year since 2002, California Governors Gray Davis and Arnold Schwarzenegger have proclaimed February 6 "Ronald Reagan Day" in the state of California in honor of their most famous predecessor.Sony VAIO VGN-SR92US Battery

In 2010, Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 944, authored by Senator George Runner, to make every February 6 Ronald Reagan Day in California.

In 2007, Polish President Lech Kaczy?ski posthumously conferred on Reagan the highest Polish distinction, Sony VAIO VGN-SR93DS Battery

the Order of the White Eagle, saying that Reagan had inspired the Polish people to work for change and helped to unseat the repressive communist regime; Kaczy?ski said it "would not have been possible if it was not for the tough-mindedness, determination, and feeling of mission of President Ronald Reagan".Sony VAIO VGN-SR93JS Battery

Reagan backed the nation of Poland throughout his presidency, supporting the anti-communist Solidarity movement, along with Pope John Paul II.

On June 3, 2009, Nancy Reagan unveiled a statue of her late husband in the United States Capitol rotunda.Sony VAIO VGN-SR93PS Battery

The statue represents the state of California in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Following Reagan's death, both major American political parties agreed to erect a statue of Reagan in the place of that of Thomas Starr King. The day before, President Obama signed the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act into law, Sony VAIO VGN-SR93YS Battery

establishing a commission to plan activities to mark the upcoming centenary of Reagan's birth.

Independence Day 2011 saw the unveiling of another statue to Reagan this time in the British capital of London, outside the American Embassy, Grosvenor Square.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94FS Battery

The unveiling was supposed to be attended by Reagan's wife Nancy, but she did not attend; former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice took her place and read a statement on her behalf; further to the former First Lady's absence President Reagan's friend and the British Prime Minister during Reagan's presidency Baroness Thatcher was also unable to attend due to frail health.Sony VAIO VGN-SR94GS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-SR94HS Battery,Sony VAIO VGN-SR94VS Battery

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