Ronald Wilson Reagan was sworn in as President of the United States on January 20, 1981. Iran, which had been holding dozens of American hostages for more than a year, released the former embassy workers within an hour of Reagan's taking office.
What started as the best year of Ronald Reagan's long lifetime came to an abrupt halt when would-be assassin John Hinckley, Jr. shot the President outside of the Washington Hilton Hotel. Reagan survived, winning the hearts of both supporters and opponents alike with his ever-positive and humorous personality, telling doctors who were about to operate on him, "I hope you're all Republicans."
Weeks later, the President surprised nearly everyone by passing the "Kemp-Roth" 25% income tax cuts through a Democrat-controlled House of Representatives. The cuts are credited with turning around the American economy and mainstreaming "supply-side economics." Though Reagan cut taxes, the resulting economic growth resulted in federal government revenues increasing by 96% during the Gipper's 8 years in office.
The popular Reagan was re-elected and concluded his distinguished political career in 1989.
About that time, the Soviet Union began to disintegrate, the Berlin Wall fell and Eastern Europe was freed from communist oppression. Ronald Reagan arguably had accomplished more than any other person in the 20th Century. But his retirement years were cut short by the revelation in 1994 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer disease.
The retired president faded from public view after the announcement and lived until 2004, when the family announced his passing.
The President was buried in southern California near his presidential library in June 2004 after a moving nationally televised funeral service. Ronald Wilson Reagan, the simple boy from Tampico, Illinois, had become the man of the century, changing the course of world history and freeing hundreds of millions of people from the slavery of oppression.
Let me thank you, the American people, for giving me the great honor of allowing me to serve as your President. When the Lord calls me home, whenever that may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future .I know that for America there will always be a bright dawn ahead. Ronald Reagan
I remember that day well. After I heard about it, I went outside to put up my flag in tribute, and my next door neighbor was already out there putting up his. I had tears in my eyes.
"Our enemies may be irrational, even outright insane,
driven by nationalism, religion, ethnicity or ideology.
They do not fear the United States
for its diplomatic skills or the number of automobiles
and software programs it produces.
They respect only the firepower of our tanks,
planes and helicopter gunships."
President Ronald Reagan
"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,
or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children
and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."
President Ronald Reagan
Even in his passing America was held up. It was an inspiring and sad funeral. I couldn’t stop watching and cried more for what America had lost than for his passing. RIP Ronnie.
Reagan was very well read and knew his history. Those that scoffed and discounted him as a lightweight had no idea about the background he came furnished with. Reagan's enemies called his campaign "Bedtime for Bonzo." They didn't realize this guy in many ways knew more than they did.
This is a hard act to follow. At the time, I didn't know much about Reagans background or why he was so good. It was only later that I learned about all this stuff he did before anybody took notice.
God Bless you Mr. Reagan. I intend to see you someday in Heaven.
I remember that day. I remember the work I was doing, and listening to the radio and the coverage of President Reagan’s death.
I also remember a lot of the funeral events from that whole week, ending with the heartbreaking sight of Mrs.Reagan at the final service in CA, and her not wanting to leave the side of the casket.
My favorite President, and there will be no other to take his place in my heart.
"Almost all the world's constitutions are documents
in which governments tell the people what their privileges are.
Our Constitution is a document in which
'We the people' tell the government what it is allowed to do.
'We the people' are free."
- President Ronald Reagan
I’m at home watching “I Want Your Money” on Netflix, when I decided to check my email and Freep on the laptop while watching. ‘Ol Ron was speaking in the show when this story crossed my screen. Great timing!
Thanks again Gipper!
I cried buckets full of tears when President Reagan died. Was glued to my tv to watch the funeral events, and later visited his grave shortly after his passing with a group of California FReepers, including JimRob. Will never forget.
I lived in Ireland during the first years of Reagan’s presidency. The leftist scum over there were putting up anti-US propaganda posters showing a cartoon of Reagan wearing an Uncle Sam outfit and shooting “innocent” Middle East Arabs . . . ridiculous how bad the anti-US propaganda was back then; it’s far worse now.
RIP. It was so sad to see this great man struck down by Alzheimer’s. I know he is truly at peace now.
So California is worth fighting for, people. Don't dismiss it so easily.
One of the saddest days ever in my life.
To this day I can’t look at his photo’s, read about him or listen to his speeches without getting wet eyes.
I loved this great man while her was here, I sorely miss him now and will until my time is up.
The put a picture of President Reagan on the infield matrix board; and I knew. After a brief delay, there was a PA announcement and people were asked to stand in silence in memory of the late President. The place was absolutely quiet. Afterward a couple of my daughter's friends asked respectful questions about the President, and I answered.
It was 1986. I was flown in to DC as a delegate to my fraternity. The hotel picked me up at the airport. The driver said “get in the car, as fast as you can!!”. I complied and he said he had a surprise for me. Upon reaching the hotel, he said “I’m taking your bags in. Go stand there on the curb. President Reagan will be arriving any minute!!” Well, sure enough, in came the motorcade. I was one of a few people standing there on the hotel corner curb to the basement entrance. The President waved at us and I got a pic of it. I then went in to the hotel to check in, then went downstairs to the ballrooms. The Secret Service blocked each door and eyeballed me as I stood there to listen to that golden voice booming through the corridors. I’ll never forget the selflessness and hustle of that hotel driver for allowing me to witness the Great One.