Skip to comments.6 Awesome Things You Probably Didn't Know About Ronald Reagan
Posted on 04/04/2012 6:00:41 PM PDT by Kaslin
It's no secret that Ronald Reagan holds a special place in the heart of conservatives--and indeed most Americans. Winston Groom, who has a new book out on Ronald Reagan, spoke Wednesday evening at a Reagan exhibit in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., and shared fascinating anecdotes from Reagan's past that gave insight into what shaped the 40th president of the United States.
Some of the most dynamic examples revealed Reagan's ability to embrace hard work and take on even the most unglamorous of jobs. They also showed a man who knew how to overcome obstacles through that hard work. Try reading these tidbits Groom shared with the audience Wednesday and not be inspired:
--Reagan went from a scrawny, 90-pound guy trying to make it on the football team to captaining the team. What helped him was a job in construction, of all things, that helped him gain bulk. It's fun, in these days of weight rooms and athletic trainers and sports camps from before you learn how to drive, to see a guy who could transform himself without any of the bells and whistles.
--One of Reagan's jobs was washing dishes in a sorority house.
--Another of Reagan's initial jobs was working as a sportscaster, covering the Chicago Cubs. This job would eventually launch his acting career, because the Wrigley family owned an island in California where the Cubs would go for spring training. While in California, Reagan looked up an old contact who was working in showbusiness out there.
--Reagan graduated from college in 1932, which Groom characterized as possibly the worst time anyone could graduate from college. Reagan didn't get the job his father had lined up for him--something that Reagan feels changed the entire course of his life. So the next time you get turned down for a job, remember Reagan's story.
--During his time in the military during World War II, Reagan actually came up with an idea to utilize the talent of Hollywood set designers to help create 3D models of targets that the U.S. needed to bomb.
--Reagan couldn't afford horses, but he loved riding them, so he actually joined a military program similar to ROTC which enabled him to ride.
Groom said he wrote his new book, "Ronald Reagan, Our 40th President," for young adults to learn more about this contemporary president, but, based on the facts he chose to share Wednesday, it's likely the generation that elected Reagan will find themselves falling in love with the Great Communicator all over again.
Proving that Reagan was a very smart man :-)
You know what I found out Ronnie didn’t wear any TV makeup story was after Love in the air Old guy working for Warner Bros said SON you don’t need makeup you have complexion don’t need it after that NO Makeup
Some years back, the History channel had a pretty good show about Reagan. It talked about a lot of little things that I found interesting like him collecting acorns to feed to DC squirrels.
People can get the same information from Reagan's autobiography, "An American Life."
Geez do I miss that guy in the American stage...proudest votes I’ve ever cast were for him...
I remember a story about his early acting days in a western. While they director was setting up a shot, Regan was scraping a mound of dirt together with his feet and made himself the tallest man in the scene without anyone noticing till it was too late to change.
I know that I think Mitt Romney tries to make his voice sound like Reagan’s and it’s creepy.
Interesting fact; he had a pen pal for 50 years.
Philadelphia native Lorraine Wagner first wrote to President Reagan when she was 13 and he was in his 30s. Her request was an autographed picture.
Out of 10 celebrities she wrote to, only then-actor Ronald Reagan (search) wrote back. They were pen pals for the next 50 years.
“It was a very cordial relationship, a relationship that began by simply writing letters ... a relationship he allowed to evolve to a friendship,” Wagner said. “That’s the extraordinary part of it and the extraordinary character of the man who allowed that.”
Wagner sent hundreds of letters and gifts to the actor-turned-governor-turned president. He responded to her more than 200 times, sometimes offering a rare insight into his personal life, although most of the letters centered around their daily lives and families.
Reagan wrote in one letter: “I’ve been asked to run for governor and while I’m highly honored, I don’t think I’m right for the part.”
Wagner denies there was anything more than just friendship between the two, although she might have had a teenage crush on the dashing Hollywood star.
Reagan knew the truth about freedom.
We are in a sad state of affairs today.
OMG! How ‘bout some punctuation?? Had to read your comment 5 times before I could figure out where one sentence ended and another started. Geeeez!
Thanks for posting, Now I’m #1 on the waiting list at our library!
Ronald Reagan movies, TV, speeches, tributes...
Huh? Good grief...
I love learning all things Reagan.
The library is pretty good..
Ha-ha i liked that reply a shift key could be lose a bad keyboard might be the cause his computer could be pregnant
Reagan Telling Russian Jokes.....
True story: I’m a big Batman fan and have had the nickname since I was 15 (even had the car) and that was 37 years ago. Last April, 2011, I was visiting my brother that now lives in Ventura, CA.
We took a day and went to the Reagan Libarary in Simi Valley. It’s the third time I’ve been there. They’ve completely remodeled it and have the new Air Force One exhibit.
I was, as always, wearing a Dark Knight t-shirt and ran into Aaron Eckhart’s father and mother there. He sent me a signed movie poster (huge) that I have framed in my home.
The first vote I cast, and my first Commander In Chief. Both were an honor.
He’s not the Messiah.
The reporter was aware that Reagan's critics snickered about squirrels following him around the white house grounds and how it proved he was some kind of nut. The Japanese reporter, an older classy gentlemen, asked Reagan for his side of the story. Reagan beamed and explained that the reason the squirrels followed him was because he collected acorns to hand out. It was one of his favorite ways to relax around the white house when he was stuck in Washington.
Quite the contrast to B.J. Clinton's favorite method when the story aired: getting blow-jobs from interns.
Another little known aspect of the man. he liked to build models:
More interesting facts about Reagan:
At the age of two, Ronald Reagan and his family left Tampico, Illinois and moved to Chicago, where his father had taken a job selling shoes at Marshall Fields department store. They lived in the city near the University of Chicago and Ronald witnessed urban life firsthand the gaslit sidewalks, streets alive with people, carriages, trolleys, and the occasional automobile. While he watched the horse-drawn fire engines race by he dreamed of becoming a fireman. source: http://www.reaganfoundation.org/details_t.aspx?p=RR1001LT&h1=936&h2=937&sw=&lm=reagan&args_a=cms&args_b=1&argsb=N&tx=936
Yeah I hear that one before LOL!
That the story was Reagan 1980s bio American Life
OHHHHH I have hear of that story how about building a sign before George Bush Sr came into office he build new sign say WATCH OUT For Millie
Classic Reagan humor ROFL
Ronald Reagan dated Doris Day after his divorce from Jane Wyman when she and Reagan were contract players at Warner Brothers. Day, a staunch Republican, told him that he was so good at talking that he should be touring the country making speeches.
Wow. He should have married Doris Day.
Wouldn’t THAT have been a President and First Lady!!!!
What’s wrong with Nancy? I think she was a fine First Lady
Two things: Patti and Ron, Jr.
Two things: Patti and Ron, Jr.
Two things: Patti and Ron, Jr.
But think about it; DORIS DAY, First Lady. America's Sweetheart..an American icon.
Ok. I admit I love and adore Doris Day.
(My grandmother used to play her movies for us to watch when I was little and she baby sat me. I guess that's where my love of her took hold. LOL)
With Doris for a potential First Lady, he would have been sure to win by a huge landslide. America still loves her to this day.
If he had stayed with Jane Wyman? I liked her, too. But she had a reputation for being too bossy and headstrong. Doris, with her all American goodness reputation, love of animals? Perfect.