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Tribute To Ronald Reagan

Special thanks to Henchster for this tribute

Remembering.......                                   (210690 bytes)

....the greatest President since Washington. 


History’s verdict

Margaret Thatcher composed Reagan's epitaph when she said, a few years ago, that ``he won the Cold War without firing a shot.'' Reagan himself said he never thought he would live to see the end of the Soviet Union. Since his career was, in large part, devoted to securing that result, no doubt it gave him supreme satisfaction. Yet we who are living through the greatest economic boom in history have another reason to give Reagan credit. He is the architect of the current era of peace and prosperity.

Yes, it's true. When we examine the ingredients of the current boom - the taming of inflation, the revival of economic growth, the restructuring of the economy, the silicon revolution, the opening up of world markets, the peaceful climate generated by the end of the Cold War - we see that in virtually every case, the turning point came in the 1980s.

So Ronald Reagan is the man most responsible for America's economic restoration. He is the secret of our success. This is not widely recognized because many people - especially younger folk - see Reagan through a lens deliberately distorted by many in the academy and the media.

According to his detractors, Reagan was a good-natured ignoramus who used his acting skills to lull Americans into a feel-good trance, deflecting their attention from serious problems. Diplomat Clark Clifford dubbed Reagan an ``amiable dunce.'' Liberal journalist Nicholas Von Hoffman spoke for many in the media when he wrote that it was ``humiliating to think of this unlettered bumpkin being our president.'' Since Reagan left office, his critics have defined his legacy as one of ``$200 billion deficits as far as the eye can see,'' in the words of Reagan's own former budget director, David Stockman.


That is the conventional wisdom among the intelligentsia, and it is wrong in every respect. Consider those infamous deficits. Throughout the 1980s the pundits warned that deficits would grow endlessly and menace the future of our children and grandchildren. Actually the deficit in 1989, Reagan's last year in office, was around 3 percent of the gross domestic product - almost exactly the same as when Reagan was first elected. Moreover, in the last year or so the deficit suddenly evaporated and the federal budget is in surplus. Suddenly all the dire prophets of deficit apocalypse look rather foolish.

Reagan did not fit the conventional notion of what it takes to be a leader. He was a former actor. He eschewed complex details and seemed detached from the daily operations of government. He put in a short day at the office and was even said to take occasional naps. Reagan himself once joked, ``They say that hard work never killed anyone, but I figure, why take a chance?''

The mystery of Reagan's success was conveyed in a remark that former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane once made about him to former Secretary of State George Shultz: ``He knows so little and accomplishes so much.'' Despite his unorthodox style, Reagan achieved a great deal because he had the qualities most important in a leader. He was a visionary who had the moral imagination to see the world differently from the way it was. He was a man of action who, instead of consulting pollsters and focus groups to determine what to do, presumed that he embodied the shared values of the American people and moved resolutely to achieve his policy goals. Reagan then made the case for his actions to the American people, confident that he would win their support, at least by the next election.


The best example of Reagan's vision is his view of Soviet communism. Although many scoffed when Reagan in 1983 called the Soviets an ``evil empire,'' the events of the next decade showed that Reagan understood communism with the same kind of moral clarity with which Lincoln understood slavery.

Even more remarkable, at a time when virtually everyone in the West saw the Soviet Union as a permanent threat, Reagan perceived the vulnerability of the communist system. In 1981 Reagan told an audience at the University of Notre Dame: ``The West won't contain communism. It will transcend communism. It will dismiss it as a bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written.'' The next year Reagan predicted that freedom and democracy would leave Soviet communism ``on the ash heap of history.''

In 1987 Reagan stood at the Brandenburg Gate and said, ``General Secretary Gorbachev ... if you seek peace, if you seek liberalization - tear down this wall.'' Not long after this, the wall came tumbling down, and the most formidable empire in world history ceased to exist, just as Reagan predicted and intended.

None of that seemed remotely plausible when Reagan was first elected in 1980. At that time America seemed to be on a downward spiral in economic well-being and global influence. A mob of Iranian extremists had humiliated the United States by seizing the American embassy and taking its entire staff as hostages; the ignominy was compounded when President Carter's rescue attempt to recover the captives failed miserably.

Between 1974 and 1980, while the U.S. wallowed in post-Vietnam angst, 10 countries fell into the Soviet orbit: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, South Yemen, Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Grenada, Nicaragua and Afghanistan. Capitalism and democracy were in retreat in much of the world. During the 1970s the Soviet nuclear arsenal surpassed that of the United States for the first time. The Soviets deployed a new generation of intermediate-range missiles targeted at Western Europe with the obvious purpose of nuclear intimidation.

The domestic situation too was grim when Reagan took office. The most serious problem was stagflation - stagnant growth combined with high inflation. The inflation rate had been climbing since the 1960s and reached double digits in the 1970s. At the 12 percent rate of 1979-80, inflation promised in the space of a few years to double the prices of basic goods and cut in half the value of savings accounts and pension plans. Another serious problem was the energy crisis, symbolized by rising gas prices and long lines at the pump. Interest rates in 1980 peaked at 21 percent, the highest since the Civil War. Unemployment and poverty rates were also high. It was the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression.

President Reagan came to Washington with the most ambitious agenda since the New Deal, and a serene optimism that its adoption would secure a brighter future for America and the world. To curtail inflation and produce lasting economic growth, he advocated a program of tax cuts, deregulation and stable money. He also pledged massive increases in defense spending to counter the Soviet threat and promote the spread of capitalism and democracy around the world.

Just a few weeks after his inauguration, Reagan amazed political observers by convincing Congress to reduce taxes by 25 percent across the board over three years. The top rate fell from 70 percent to 50 percent. (Later, thanks to Reagan's tax reform proposal of 1986, the top rate would be reduced to 28 percent.) Reagan also secured large increases in defense spending: Measured in constant dollars, the military budget soared from $187 billion in 1980 to $286 billion in 1989, an increase of more than 50 percent.


Reagan was unable, however, to convince Congress to make correspondingly large reductions in domestic spending. Nor did he fight very hard for the needed cuts; instinctively he understood that a serious effort to cut politically popular entitlements would jeopardize the rest of his program. This is the single largest domestic failure of his administration. Coupled with tax cuts and arms spending, it caused the federal deficit to gape wider.

Reagan's critics have seized on his failure to match tax cuts with spending cuts as evidence that his tenure was a period of economic disaster. This criticism, however, ignores the challenge that all leaders must face - to set priorities and make the best choices under the circumstances. Reagan himself said in 198l, ``I did not come here to balance the budget - not at the expense of my tax-cutting program and my defense program.'' Then he quipped, ``I'm not too worried about the deficit. It's big enough to take care of itself.''

Although he was not able to force spending cuts, Reagan could and did support the fight against inflation. He backed the restrictive monetary policies of Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, and in 1983 he reappointed Volcker to a second term. Soon the Fed's harsh medicine worked: The inflation rate dropped sharply during Reagan's first term and averaged 3 percent during his second. Volcker was primarily responsible for slaying the inflation dragon, but Reagan deserves credit for keeping him at the helm and backing his policy of monetary restraint.

Reagan paid a high political price for that policy. During the recession of 1982 the poverty rate rose from 12 percent to 15 percent. Unemployment climbed sharply, from 7 percent to nearly 11 percent, which meant that 10 million Americans were out of work. High unemployment rates were due not just to the economic slowdown but also to larger changes in the economy. Foreign competition was forcing American companies to downsize and become more competitive.

Reagan's critics blamed him for the recession and dubbed his policies ``Reaganomics.'' Leading Democrats called for massive public works programs to put Americans back to work. Many economists and pundits called for a new ``industrial policy,'' modeled on the Japanese system. Instead of leaving things to the market, intellectuals offered to plan the future of the American economy, investing taxpayer money in ``sunrise'' sectors they felt would be profitable in the future and protecting jobs in ``sunset'' industries where American jobs were losing out to automation or foreign competition.

Reagan rejected these proposals as shortsighted and misguided. ``Stay the course'' was the theme he adopted in the 1982 midterm election. He told the American people that the economic crisis he had inherited took a long time to create, and it wasn't going to be solved in a year. He met criticism with his usual aplomb. ``Mr. President,'' television reporter Sam Donaldson yelled at him after a press conference, ``in talking about the continuing recession tonight, you have blamed the mistakes of the past and you've blamed the Congress. Does any of the blame belong to you?'' Without missing a beat, Reagan replied, ``Yes. Because for many years I was a Democrat.''


In 1983, the final year that the Reagan tax cuts went into effect, the U.S. economy commenced a 15-year period of economic growth. At a rate of 3.5 percent, the gross national product increased by a third during the rest of Reagan's term, and it has continued to expand at an equally rapid pace since then. Nearly 20 million new jobs were created between 1983 and 1989, and an equal number in the 1990s. The ``Reagan boom,'' as columnist James Glassman calls it, is the largest peacetime expansion in American history. ``The best sign that our economic program is working,'' Reagan quipped, ``is that they don't call it `Reaganomics' anymore.''

So what about the rising deficits? In 1984 Time reflected the conventional wisdom in the media and academia that ``deficits of such unprecedented magnitude threaten to boost interest rates, re-ignite inflation and hinder growth.'' None of that happened. Instead the deficit began to put pressure on Congress to reduce domestic spending. Curiously, the deficit accomplished for Reagan what he was unable to achieve directly: For the first time in this century, Congress began to impose limits on the growth of government. Of all the measures that have been tried, economist Milton Friedman wrote in 1988, ``The deficit has been the only effective restraint on congressional spending.''

Admittedly, the biggest decline in the deficit came after Reagan left office. But the shrinkage can be traced to two things that took place under Reagan. One is the persistence of the Reagan boom, which has proved a bonanza for the U.S. Treasury. The other is the peace dividend produced by America's victory in the Cold War.

The $1.5 trillion deficit of the Reagan years matches almost exactly the cost of Reagan's military buildup. Thus the deficit can be viewed as an investment in overcoming the adversary that Reagan accurately termed the ``evil empire.'' It is not unusual for a country to borrow money in such a situation. Sure, the accumulated debt represents a liability for future generations, but in return they inherit a world in which the threat of nuclear war is greatly diminished. Since the Berlin Wall fell, the U.S. government has saved hundreds of billions of dollars in reduced defense allocations. In purely economic terms, economist Lawrence Lindsey says, the Reagan military buildup produced a ``fantastic payoff.'' It was the best investment the U.S. government ever made.

America's victory in the Cold War also has opened up markets in every continent. Indeed, it has made the world safe for American multinationals. Consequently, major American companies such as Coca-Cola and Microsoft have been reaping large profits in countries once inhospitable to U.S. investment. These profits, combined with those generated by a growing domestic economy, have helped propel the stunning rise in the Dow Jones average from 800 in 1982 to around 11,000 now.

Diplomat Clare Boothe Luce liked to say that history, which has no room for clutter, will remember each president by a single line, such as ``Washington was the father of the country'' or ``Lincoln freed the slaves.'' Reagan is likely to be judged one of the greatest presidents in American history and, along with Franklin Roosevelt, one of the two most influential in the 20th century. His policies and his leadership enabled the U.S. win the Cold War, advance capitalism and democracy, and revive the American economy after years of malaise.



On Feb. 6, Ronald Reagan will get a wonderful 90th birthday present. Tragically he will be unable to appreciate it because he is in the final stages of Alzheimer's. The birthday gift is a book titled, "Reagan, In His Own Hand" and is being published by one of the biggest publishing houses in the United States in a first edition of 100,000.

The book is a collection of the originals of radio commentaries and newspaper columns on major issues — labor policy, the future of Asia and Africa, communist imperialism, arms limitation — composed in Mr. Reagan's own handwriting (including his misspellings — the occasional "i'ts" for "it's" and again "it's" for "its") long before he became, in 1980, the 40th president of the United States. These several thousand pages, uncatalogued until a few months ago at the Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, California, reveal a Reagan far different from the idiot savant phantasm still current among American liberal intellectuals.

Hendrik Hertzberg, formerly a speech writer for President Jimmy Carter and now a senior editor at the New Yorker, called Mr. Reagan just that — an "idiot savant" in a 10-page essay in the New Republic Sept. 9, 1991. For documentation he used Lou Cannon's biography, "President Reagan: The Role of a Lifetime" — which quotes Clark Clifford as describing the president as "an amiable dunce" at a fashionable Georgetown party. Mr. Cannon's source is the Wall Street Journal, Oct. 8, 1981. One of Mr. Reagan's biographers titled a chapter, "The Amiable Dunce."

This deceptive image was of course the creation of American liberalism — mainstream intellectuals, academics and historians, journalists, TV anchors, magazine editors who are mostly left-liberal Democrats. Strangely enough this image received a good deal of its putative documentation from the treacherous memoirs of Mr. Reagan's staff and even some Cabinet members, with notable exceptions: Secretary of State George Shultz who has written the introduction to the new Reagan book and Attorney General Edwin Meese III.

Robert C. McFarlane, Mr. Reagan's national security adviser, has been quoted as saying in a tone of bewilderment: "Why is Ronald Reagan so successful? He knows so little and accomplishes so much?" It turns out, as "Reagan, In His Own Hand" clearly shows, that Mr. Reagan knew a lot more than he let on.

Martin Anderson, the economist who worked for Mr. Reagan as domestic policy adviser, described in "Revolution," his still unrivaled history of the Reagan administration, this liberal fiction:

"Since 1986 a torrent of books and articles on his presidency has painted a portrait of a dumb but likable man, a man who either deliberately abdicated his responsibility to make major decisions or worse simply didn't know what was going on most of the time."

It rarely occurred to these opinion makers to inquire as to how this bumbler managed to get elected and re-elected governor of California, managed decisively to oust an incumbent president, Jimmy Carter, in 1980, an event which was followed by a second-term landslide victory. Mr. Reagan's re-election in 1984 allowed him to initiate a foreign policy which allowed him to preside over the beginning of the bloodless end of the Soviet empire and the Cold War. And when he left office he was accorded in public opinion polls one of the highest popularity ratings of any president in modern times.

What was not fully realized at the time was that he was one of the best-prepared candidates for the presidency. Twice governor of California (1966-1974) and a widely acclaimed public speaker, he had done an enormous amount of reading and writing about domestic and foreign policy issues.

At the Reagan Library, dozens and dozens of once sealed cartons have been found holding several thousand pages in Mr. Reagan's own very legible handwriting, with the original editing. A young professor, Kiron K. Skinner, of Carnegie Mellon University who was writing a book on Mr. Reagan's foreign policy was given access by the Reagan library to these cartons and it was then she made her breathtaking discovery. She took copies of the pages to Martin and Annelise Anderson, both Hoover fellows, who with Ms. Skinner realized their value as history and became the editors.

It is these writings which should compel the most rabid anti-Reagan historians to rethink their failed scholarship. In doing so, they might recall the words of Leopold von Ranke, the great 19th-century German historian, who said it was the historian's duty to tell us wie es eigentlich gewesen ist "what really happened." In the case of Mr. Reagan these historians have clearly failed in their duty.

George Shultz in his introduction says that the book is important because it "provides a key to unlocking the mystery of Reagan that has baffled so many so long."

The question before American historians today is whether they will use the key. The American people who chose Mr. Reagan twice as their president, of course, didn't need a key.


Reagan, the Early Years:

Ronald Reagan burst onto the national political scene in 1964 with a televised address on behalf of conservative Republican candidate Barry Goldwater. This was not a good time for conservative Republicans. Polls showed Goldwater trailing incumbent Lyndon Johnson by a huge margin. The nation was awash in nostalgia for Kennedy's New Frontier and enthusiasm for Johnson's Great Society. When the election was over the Republican party was in shambles. Johnson won by a landslide. Ronald Reagan, however, not only survived the debacle, but emerged as an established, conservative leader. Time Magazine called Reagan's televised address on behalf of Goldwater "the one bright spot in a dismal campaign."

Reagan was no stranger to seemingly dismal situations. His childhood was marked by poverty, an alcoholic father and a long-suffering, "do-gooder" mother. Despite this, Reagan early on embraced an optimistic outlook that often defied the reality around him. In time, his rosy perspective and faith in better days ahead would win over legions.

The youngest of John and Nelle Reagan's two sons, Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911 in Tampico, Illinois. When Ronald-- his family called him "Dutch"-- was nine, the Reagans moved to nearby Dixon. What little money John Reagan earned as a shoe salesman was often squandered on his drinking binges. As an adult, Reagan would say of his boyhood, "We didn't live on the wrong side of the tracks, but we lived so close to them we could hear the whistle real loud." But the future president appeared to gain wisdom from his meager beginnings, later reporting, "...I learned the real riches of rags."

Reagan's mother, Nelle, instilled in her son her belief in the essential goodness of all people and the importance of religious devotion. She encouraged Ron to participate in Disciples of Christ church activities and doctrine. Young Ron was especially drawn to the sect's strict abhorrence to alcohol. Not yet a teenager, Reagan honed his public speaking skills drumming up support for Prohibition.

From an early age, it was clear that Ronald Reagan loved to perform. As a young boy he participated in church skits. In high school he studied drama (along with playing football) and starred in several well-received school plays. His love of the stage developed further at nearby Eureka College. Reagan was particularly drawn to moralistic dramas featuring heroes who, against great odds, prevail by being true to their core values. In Reagan's view of the world, heroes were important and necessary.

During his teenage years, Reagan's summer months were spent as a lifeguard on the banks of the Rock River. It was a role that allowed him to shine. All day, seven days a week, Reagan-- lean, tall, and tan-- would command center stage at Lowell Park. From 1927 through 1932, Reagan pulled 77 people from the perils of the swift Rock River current.

Following college graduation, Reagan landed a job as a radio announcer at WOC in Davenport, Iowa and later at WHO in Des Moines. He quickly realized he was in a position "...of getting into a new industry and riding it to the top." An often repeated tale of Reagan's radio days recounts how he delivered "play-by-play broadcasts" of Chicago Cubs baseball games he had never seen. His flawless recitations were based solely on telegraph accounts of games in progress.

On a 1937 trip to California to cover baseball spring training, Reagan took a screen test for Warner Brothers film studios. It led to his first part in a Hollywood movie. The role seemed tailor-made for Reagan; he played a radio announcer in "Love Is on the Air. "From then on, Reagan carved a niche for himself in grade-B movies. The characters he played tended to be upstanding, wholesome Americans, much like himself. Upon seeing her son on screen for the first time, Nelle Reagan proclaimed, "That's my boy...that's my Dutch. That's the way he is at home."

Of the more than 50 films Reagan appeared in, two stand apart. In "Knute Rockne--All American," he was cast as George Gipp, who implored Knute Rockne to "win just one for the Gipper." Reagan delivered what he considered to be his finest performance as Drake McHugh in the 1941 film, "King's Row". Shocked to discover he has had his legs amputated by a vengeful surgeon, Reagan, as McHugh, exclaims, "Where's the rest of me?" Reagan later used that line as the title of his autobiography, perhaps indicating ambitions beyond the silver screen.

Raised on the doctrines of the New Deal, Ronald Reagan underwent a political metamorphosis during the 1940s and `50s. Spurred on by his fear of "communist infiltration in American society," Reagan began to adopt a conservative outlook. Appearing before the House Un-American Activities Committee in 1947, Reagan cited factions within Hollywood that were "more or less following the tactics we associate with the Communist Party." Elected that year as president of the Screen Actors Guild, Reagan successfully negotiated union contracts and endeavored to keep communists from gaining influence in the film industry. As he gained prominence for his skillful execution of the S.G.A. presidency, his personal life suffered. His nine-year marriage to actress Jane Wyman came to an end over her reported displeasure with his increased political activism.

The divorce greatly disturbed Reagan, and ushered in a period of professional and personal searching. Disappointed with the caliber of roles Hollywood was offering him, Reagan looked outside of show business for opportunities. His second wife, Nancy Davis, whom he married in 1952, encouraged him to speak out in defense of the American values dear to him.

In 1954, the General Electric Corporation asked Reagan to host their weekly television series. In addition to his hosting duties, Reagan traveled to GE plants across the country seeking out the opinions of workers and boosting their morale. He grew increasingly sympathetic toward "overburdened" taxpayers and innovative corporations hamstrung by excessive government regulation. Reagan's extensive travel on behalf of GE gave him ample opportunity to hone his skills as a public speaker and conservative spokesperson.

With his 1964 speech in support of Barry Goldwater, Reagan minced no words in portraying "big government" as an impediment to individual freedom:

This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

Reagan's rallying cry grabbed the attention of middle-class voters in California who saw costly Great Society programs as a threat to their standard of living. Reagan's genial demeanor helped make voters more comfortable with what he was saying. In 1966, political novice Reagan beat out five experienced candidates to win the Republican nomination for governor with sixty-five percent of the vote. Months later, he unseated incumbent Edmund "Pat" Brown to become governor of California. Brown, whom Reagan beat by more than one million votes, later surmised he had made the mistake of regarding Reagan as little more than a B-level actor.

Reagan's tenure as governor got off to a rocky start. He and his staff of admitted "novice amateurs" knew little about the intricacies of state government. In an effort to reign in state spending, Reagan instituted an across-the-board ten percent budget cut. When it failed to produce the desired results, Reagan was actually forced to raise taxes by $1 billion. Claiming his hand was forced by exploding welfare costs and mistakes made by his predecessor, Reagan remained popular with voters who re-elected him in 1970.

Reagan impressed voters who had grown impatient with the protests and demonstrations that marked the late `60s and early `70s. Early in his first term as governor, he stood up to protesters within the "free speech movement" at the University of California at Berkeley with the slogan, "Observe the rules or get out." During his second term as governor, Reagan increased his national stature by pursuing an aggressive policy of welfare reform. Although California state spending had increased--from $4.6 billion to $10.2 billion annually--on his watch, more than 300,000 names were removed from the welfare rolls.

In 1976, Reagan challenged President Gerald Ford for the Republican presidential nomination. Beaten soundly in the early primaries, Reagan was determined to take his message, touting a return to "American values" and a reduced federal government, to the people. His effort to gain the nomination fell short by only sixty delegates. But 1976 would prove to be just a dress rehearsal for Reagan's impressive performance in 1980 when he soundly defeated Jimmy Carter to capture the White House.


Birth Of A Mighty Warship: The U.S.S Ronald Reagan Aircraft Carrier


Nancy Reagan is accompanied by the 43rd President of the United States George W. Bush as she christens the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan 

President Ronald W. Reagan will be honored with a floating tribute Sunday — the 10th nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and the first carrier ever named after a living former president.

The U.S.S. Ronald Reagan is 1,092 feet long, will serve 18,150 meals a day, be home to 6,000 sailors and marines, carry more than 80 aircraft, cruise at speeds in excess of 30 knots and need 400,000 gallons of filtered seawater daily.

When the President's namesake ship joins the fleet in 2003, it will be the most modern and sophisticated aircraft carrier in the world. The mighty warship with a 4.5-Acre flight deck and 47,000 tons of steel, will be christened next Sunday by former First Lady Nancy Reagan at 2 p.m. at the shipbuilding yard in Newport News, Virginia. That day also happens to be the Reagan's 49th anniversary.

Ronald Reagan will be the ninth Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carrier. At the time of the christening, Reagan will be about 60 percent complete. The ship is scheduled to be launched six days after the christening ceremony and will undergo another two years of final construction, with delivery to the Navy set for the year 2003.

Ronald Reagan is preceded by eight other ships in the class — Nimitz, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Carl Vinson, Theodore Roosevelt, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington, John C. Stennis and Harry S. Truman. Advancements in technology result in each of the ships being slightly different, but Reagan is part of a transition to the new class of carriers and its modifications are more significant than those of its predecessors.

Among Reagan's design changes are a completely new island, a bulbous bow for improved flight operations, larger arresting gear to land heavier aircraft, and a relocated weapons elevator to improve safety and weapons movement. In addition, significant changes were made to the support systems on the ship such as increased air conditioning capability, better power and lighting distribution systems and an advanced fiber optic-based network for improved communication and machinery monitoring and control.


Towers 20 stories above the waterline
1,092 feet long: nearly as long as the Empire State Building is tall
4.5-acre flight deck
Four bronze propellers, each 21 feet across and weighing 66,220 pounds
Steering accomplished by two rudders, each 29 feet by 22 feet and weighing 50 tons
Four high speed aircraft elevators, each more than 4,000 square feet, bring planes to the flight deck from the hangar below

Top speed exceeds 30 knots
Powered by two nuclear reactors that can operate for more than 20 years without refueling
Expected to operate in the fleet for about 50 years
Typical Nimitz-class ship carries 80-plus combat aircraft
Three two-inch diameter arresting wires on the deck bring an airplane going 150 miles per hour to a stop in less than 400 feet

Home to about 6,000 military Navy and Marine personnel
Enough food and supplies to operate for 90 days
Daily newspaper, and radio and television stations
18,150 meals served daily
Distillation plants providing 400,000 gallons of fresh water from sea water daily, enough to supply 2,000 homes
Nearly 30,000 light fixtures and 1,325 miles of cable and wiring
1,400 telephones, 14,000 pillowcases and 28,000 sheets
Using sophisticated three-dimensional computer modeling systems, engineers and designers are able to design and update in a single database, called a product model, all the vast and complex structures and systems associated with the ship. They can determine how various systems will fit together in a hull long before the ship is built. Product models were used to design the island , combat system spaces and select piping systems on Reagan.

This mighty warship — the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan — is a fitting tribute from a grateful nation — to one of America's greatest presidents, Ronald Wilson Reagan.



Reagan Humor Museum


"Nations crumble from within when the citizenry asks of government those things which the citizenry might better provide for itself."

"My whole family were Democrats. As a matter of fact, I had an uncle who won a medal once for having never missed voting in an election for fifteen years....and he's been dead for fourteen."

"Government does not solve problems; it subsidizes them."

June 1952 (from a commencement address at Williams Woods College,
"I, in my own mind, have always thought of America as a place in the divine scheme of things that was set aside as a promised land. It was set here and the price of admission was very simple: the means of selection was very simple as to how this land should be populated. Any place in the world and any person from those places; any person with the courage, with the desire to tear up their roots, to strive for freedom, to attempt and dare to live in a strange and foreign place, to travel halfway across the world was welcome here."
June 7, 1957, Commencement Address at Eureka College
In a phase of this struggle not widely known, some of us came toe to toe with this enemy this evil force in our own community in Hollywood, and make no mistake about it, this is an evil force. Don't be deceived because you are not hearing the sound of gunfire, because even so you are fighting for your lives. And you're fighting against the best organized and the most capable enemy of freedom and of right and decency that has ever been abroad in the world. ………

This democracy of ours which sometimes we've treated so lightly, is more than ever a comfortable cloak, so let us not tear it asunder, for no man knows once it is destroyed where or when he will find its protective warmth again

October 27, 1964 (from his nationally televised speech, which he called "A Time for Choosing" but was later simply referred to as "The Speech," in support of candidate Barry Goldwater)
"If all of this seems like a great deal of trouble, think what's at stake. We are faced with the most evil enemy mankind has known in his long climb from the swamp to the stars. There can be no security anywhere in the free world if there is no fiscal and economic stability within the United States. Those who ask us to trade our freedom for the soup kitchen of the welfare state are architects of a policy of accommodation."

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
Are you willing to spend time studying the issues, making yourself aware, and then conveying that information to family and friends? Will you resist the temptation to get a government handout for your community? Realize that the doctor's fight against socialized medicine is your fight. We can't socialize the doctors without socializing the patients. Recognize that government invasion of public power is eventually an assault upon your own business. If some among you fear taking a stand because you are afraid of reprisals from customers, clients, or even government, recognize that you are just feeding the crocodile hoping he'll eat you last.

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
Have we the courage and the will to face up to the immorality and discrimination of the progressive tax, and demand a return to traditional proportionate taxation? . . . Today in our country the tax collector's share is 37 cents of every dollar earned. Freedom has never been so fragile, so close to slipping from our grasp. [Contributor's note: The Tax Foundation reports government at all levels as of 1994 takes 49% of personal income, minus transfer payments.]

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
Public servants say, always with the best of intentions, "What greater service we could render if only we had a little more money and a little more power." But the truth is that outside of its legitimate function, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector.

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
It's time we asked ourselves if we still know the freedoms intended for us by the Founding Fathers. James Madison said, "We base all our experiments on the capacity of mankind for self-government." This idea that government was beholden to the people, that it had no other source of power, is still the newest, most unique idea in all the long history of man's relation to man. This is the issue of this election: Whether we believe in our capacity for self-government or whether we abandon the American Revolution and confess that a little intellectual elite in a far-distant capital can plan our lives for us better than we can plan them ourselves.

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. 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.

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
They say the world has become too complex for simple answers. They are wrong. There are no easy answers, but there are simple answers. We must have the courage to do what we know is morally right. Winston Churchill said that "the destiny of man is not measured by material computation. When great forces are on the move in the world, we learn we are spirits -- not animals." And he said, "There is something going on in time and space, and beyond time and space, which, whether we like it or not, spells duty."

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
We are for a provision that destitution should not follow unemployment by reason of old age, and to that end we have accepted Social Security as a step toward meeting the problem. However, we are against those entrusted with this program when they practice deception regarding its fiscal shortcomings, when they charge that any criticism of the program means that we want to end payments.

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
We are for aiding our allies by sharing our material blessings with nations which share our fundamental beliefs, but we are against doling out money government to government, creating bureaucracy, if not socialism, all over the world.

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
We need true tax reform that will at least make a start toward restoring for our children the American Dream that wealth is denied to no one, that each individual has the right to fly as high as his strength and ability will take him. . . . But we cannot have such reform while our tax policy is engineered by people who view the tax as a means of achieving changes in our social structure.

October 27, 1964 , from "The Speech"
Yet any time you and I question the schemes of the do-gooders, we're denounced as being opposed to their humanitarian goals. It seems impossible to legitimately debate their solutions with the assumption that all of us share the desire to help the less fortunate. They tell us we're always "against," never "for" anything.

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream -- the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order -- or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism. Regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have embarked on this downward path. Plutarch warned, "The real destroyer of the liberties of the people is he who spreads among them bounties, donations and benefits."

October 27, 1964, from "The Speech"
You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done.

"During a college demonstration when students chanted around the governor's limousine, 'We are the future,' Reagan scribbled a reply on a piece of paper, which he held up to the car window:" I'll sell my bonds.

Government is like a baby--an alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.

I don't know of anybody who was born holding public office. I am not a professional politician. The man [Pat Brown] who currently has the job has more political experience than anybody. That's why I'm running.

January 5, 1967, "California and the Problem of Government Growth"
if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? Using the temporary authority granted by the people, an increasing number lately have sought to control the means of production, as if this could be done without eventually controlling those who produce. Always this is explained as necessary to the people's welfare. But, "The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principle upon which it was founded" [Montesquieu]. This is as true today as it was when it was written in 1748.

Government is the people's business, and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid. With all the profound wording of the Constitution, probably the most meaningful words are the first three: "We, the People." Those of us here today who have been elected to constitutional office or legislative position are in that three-word phrase. We are of the people, chosen by them to see that no permanent structure of government ever encroaches on freedom or assumes a power beyond that freely granted by the people. We stand between the taxpayer and the tax spender.

The Creative Society, 1968
Government must not supersede the will of the people or the responsibilities of the people. The function of government is not to confer happiness, but to give men the opportunity to work out happiness for themselves.

The Creative Society, 1968
The American dream is not that every man must be level with every other man. The American dream is that every man must be free to become whatever God intends he should become.

Their signs said make love, not war, but they didn't look like they could do either.

January 7, 1970….Los Angeles Times,
Welfare's purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.

May 10, 1972
Too many people, especially in government, feel that the nearest thing to eternal life we will ever see on this earth is a government program.

August 9, 1973
Do you remember back in the days when you thought that nothing could replace the dollar. Today it practically has!)

November 14, 1974

"Government does not produce revenue; it consumes it."

August 29, 1975
I don't have much faith in the third-party movement. I think a third party usually succeeds in electing the people they set out to oppose.

March 31, 1976 (from his "To Restore America" speech, which included one of many references to his experiences during the Depression)
"No one who lived through the Great Depression can ever look upon an unemployed person with anything but compassion. To me, there is no greater tragedy than a breadwinner willing to work, with a job skill but unable to find a market for that job skill. Back in those dark depression days I saw my father on a Christmas eve open what he thought was a Christmas greeting from his boss. Instead, it was the blue slip telling him he no longer had a job. The memory of him sitting there holding that slip of paper and then saying in a half whisper, 'That's quite a Christmas present,' it will stay with me as long as I live."

I would like to be president, because I would like to see this country become once again a country where a little six-year old girl can grow up knowing the same freedom that I knew when I was six years old, growing up in America. If this is the America you want for yourself and your children; if you want to restore government not only of and for but by the people; to see the American spirit unleashed once again; to make this land a shining, golden hope God intended it to be…

March 2, 1977
Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.

1980 (during the 1980 presidential campaign) "A recession is when your neighbor loses his job. A depression is when you lose yours. And recovery is when Jimmy Carter loses his."

July 17, 1980 (from his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention)
"[The Democrats] say that the United States has had its days in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith.… My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view."

You know, I think the best possible social program is a job.

Pledging his Sacred Honor to protect, defend and uphold the Constitution and America. He believed his sworn oath and he lived it. God Bless You, Mr. President.

First Inaugural Address, January 20, 1981
It is not my intention to do away with government. It is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; stand by our side, not ride on our back. Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it. This Administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy. "

January 20, 1981 First Inaugural Address,.
[N]o arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.

February 18, 1981 (from his speech to Congress detailing his program for economic recovery)
"We don't have an option of living with inflation and its attendant tragedy.…We have an alternative, and that is the program for economic recovery. True, it'll take time for the favorable effects of our program to be felt. So, we must begin now. The people are watching and waiting. They don't demand miracles. They do expect us to act. Let us act together."

Sometimes our right hand doesn't know what our far right hand is doing.

March 30, 1981…To surgeons as he entered the operating room,
I hope you're all Republicans.

May 17, 1981 Notre Dame Univ.
"The years ahead will be great ones for our country, for the cause of freedom and the spread of civilization. The West will not contain Communism, it will transcend Communism. We will not bother to denounce it, we'll dismiss it as a sad, bizarre chapter in human history whose last pages are even now being written."

September 29, 1981
We who live in free market societies believe that growth, prosperity and ultimately human fulfillment, are created from the bottom up, not the government down. Only when the human spirit is allowed to invent and create, only when individuals are given a personal stake in deciding economic policies and benefitting from their success -- only then can societies remain economically alive, dynamic, progressive, and free. Trust the people. This is the one irrefutable lesson of the entire postwar period contradicting the notion that rigid government controls are essential to economic development.

October 5, 1981 Address to the National Alliance of Business
The size of the federal budget is not an appropriate barometer of social conscience or charitable concern.

October 30, 1981
Government has an important role in helping develop a country's economic foundation. But the critical test is whether government is genuinely working to liberate individuals by creating incentives to work, save, invest, and succeed.

1981 Commenting on Congress and the federal budget
Cures were developed for which there were no known diseases.

November 13, 1981
You know, Senator Kennedy was at a dinner just recently, the ninetieth birthday party for former governor and ambassador Averell Harriman. Teddy Kennedy said that Averell's age was only half as old as Ronald Reagan's ideas. And you know, he's absolutely right. The Constitution is almost two hundred years old, and that's where I get my ideas.....

January 14, 1982 ..Address to the New York City Partnership Association,
Government is the people's business and every man, woman and child becomes a shareholder with the first penny of tax paid.

March 28, 1982 ..Address to National Association of Realtors,
We don't have a trillion-dollar debt because we haven't taxed enough; we have a trillion-dollar debt because we spend too much.

1982 Speech to Britain's Parliament,
It is the Soviet Union that runs against the tide of history.... [It is] the march of freedom and democracy which will leave Marxism- Leninism on the ash heap of history as it has left other tyrannies which stifle the freedom and muzzle the self-expression of the people.

June 1982
"In an ironic sense, Karl Marx was right. We are witnessing today a great revolutionary crisis -- a crisis where the demands of the economic order are colliding directly with those of the political order. But the crisis is happening not in the free, non-Marxist West, but in the home of Marxism-Leninism, the Soviet Union.... [Communism will be] left on the ash heap of history."

October 13, 1982 (in an address to the nation on the economy)
"I have a special reason for wanting to solve this [economic] problem in a lasting way. I was 21 and looking for work in 1932, one of the worst years of the Great Depression. And I can remember one bleak night in the thirties when my father learned on Christmas Eve that he'd lost his job. To be young in my generation was to feel that your future had been mortgaged out from under you, and that's a tragic mistake we must never allow our leaders to make again."

March 8, 1983 Speech to the National Association of Evangelicals,
Let us beware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world.... I urge you to beware the temptation ... to ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of any evil empire, to simply call the arms race a giant misunderstanding and thereby remove yourself from the struggle between right and wrong, good and evil.

March 23, 1983 Address to the Nation,
I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering those nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete.

May 18, 1983
Somebody asked me one day why we didn't put a stop to Sam's [correspondent Sam Donaldson] shouting questions at us when we're out on the south lawn. We can't. If we did, the starlings would come back....

Abortion and the Conscience of America
Source: The Human Life Review; Published:Spring 1983 (reprinted 1993);
Author: Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan, while sitting as the fortieth president of the United States, sent us this article shortly after the tenth anniversary of Roe v. Wade; we printed it with pride in our Spring, 1983 issue, and reprint it now, after Roe's twentieth anniversary, just as proudly.

The 10th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade is a good time for us to pause and reflect. Our nationwide policy of abortion-on-demand through all nine months of pregnancy was neither voted for by our people nor enacted by our legislators— not a single state had such unrestricted abortion before the Supreme Court decreed it to be national policy in 1973. But the consequences of this judicial decision are now obvious: since 1973, more than 15 million unborn children have had their lives snuffed out by legalized abortions. That is over ten times the number of Americans lost in all our nation's wars.

Make no mistake, abortion-on-demand is not a right granted by the Constitution. No serious scholar, including one disposed to agree with the Court's result, has argued that the framers of the Constitution intended to create such a right. Shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision, Professor John Hart Ely, now Dean of Stanford Law School, wrote that the opinion "is not constitutional law and gives almost no sense of an obligation to try to be." Nowhere do the plain words of the Constitution even hint at a "right" so sweeping as to permit abortion up to the time the child is ready to be born. Yet that is what the Court ruled.

July 19, 1983
Many governments oppress their people and abuse human rights....I have one question for those rulers: If communism is the wave of the future, why do you still need walls to keep people in, and armies of secret police to keep them quiet?
September 20, 1983 Address to the University of South Carolina, Columbia,
There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder.

September 5, 1983 (in a televised speech following the Soviets' downing of a Korean airliner)
"And make no mistake about it, this attack was not just against ourselves or the Republic of Korea. This was the Soviet Union against the world and the moral precepts which guide human relations among people everywhere. It was an act of barbarism born of a society which wantonly disregards individual rights and the value of human life and seeks constantly to expand and dominate other nations."

September 20, 1983. Address to the University of South Carolina, Columbia
I call upon the scientific community in our country, those who gave us nuclear weapons, to turn their great talents now to the cause of mankind and world peace, to give us the means of rendering those nuclear weapons impotent and obsolete. Address to the Nation, March 23, 1983 There are no such things as limits to growth, because there are no limits on the human capacity for intelligence, imagination and wonder,

January 16, 1984
History teaches that wars begin when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap. Address to the nation,

***. This Url is RR’s speech on the 50th anniversary of Normandy’s D-Day (NOT wav)…

June 6, 1984.. Normandy, France,
We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.

June 6, 1984 ... Normandy, France,
The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest.

August 23, 1984 RNC speech,

In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America's is.
"The poet called Miss Liberty's torch 'the lamp beside the golden door.' Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we're here tonight.

The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise, every opportunity, is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America. Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the '80s unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed. In this springtime of hope, some lights seem eternal; America's is."

"The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away. "...

"However, our task is far from over. Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. "...R.R.

"Liberals are like puppies, all warm, fuzzy and cuddly [pregnant pause]" "The only difference is that puppies open their eyes after six weeks!"

January 28, 1986…Speech about the Challenger disaster,
We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them -- this morning, as they prepared for their journey, and waved good-bye, and "slipped the surly bonds of earth" to "touch the face of God."

February 4, 1986…State of the Union Address,
Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom. What brought America back? The American people brought us back -- with quiet courage and common sense; with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.

August 15, 1986..Remarks to the White House Conference on Small Business,
Government's view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

September 15, 1986 FORTUNE,
"Surround yourself with the best people you can find, delegate authority, and don't interfere."

December 10, 1986…Remarks at Human Rights Day event,
The other day, someone told me the difference between a democracy and a people's democracy. It's the same difference between a jacket and a straitjacket.

September 25, 1987…Remarks in Arlington, Virginia,
How do you tell a Communist? Well, it's someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It's someone who understands Marx and Lenin.

Reagan responds to the applause of the German crowd at Berlin's Brandenburg Gate after calling on Mikhail Gorbachev to "Tear down this wall."
1987..Speech near the Berlin Wall
Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!
-------- This URL contains the speech…halfway down the page (wav 66K)…

February 11, 1988
A friend of mine was asked to a costume ball a short time ago. He slapped some egg on his face and went as a liberal economist.

May 31, 1988 Address to students at Moscow State University
Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things. It is the continuous revolution of the marketplace. It is the understanding that allows to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions. ,

Republicans believe every day is 4th of July, but Democrats believe every day is April 15.


From the President's Farewell Address:
And that's about all I have to say tonight, except for one thing. The past few days when I've been at that window upstairs, I've thought a bit of the `shining city upon a hill.' The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we'd call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free. I've spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don't know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, windswept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That's how I saw it, and see it still.
And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she's still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

We've done our part. And as I walk off into the city streets, a final word to the men and women of the Reagan revolution, the men and women across America who for 8 years did the work that brought America back. My friends: We did it. We weren't just marking time. We made a difference. We made the city stronger, we made the city freer, and we left her in good hands. All in all, not bad, not bad at all.

And so, goodbye, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.

Now there was a President and a First Lady to be Proud of

Spring 1989, The Reagan Years --Special Commemorative Issue (The Heritage Foundation)
The Ten Legacies of Ronald Reagan

August 17, 1992 ..Republican National Convention,.
When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats, well ladies and gentleman, I'd follow the example of their nominee; don't inhale.

August 17, 1992 ..Republican National Convention,
This fellow they've nominated claims he's the new Thomas Jefferson. Well let me tell you something; I knew Thomas Jefferson. He was a friend of mine and Governor... You're no Thomas Jefferson!

August 17, 1992 RNC speech,
For you see, my fellow Republicans, we are the change!

The poet called Miss Liberty's torch, "the lamp beside the golden door." Well, that was the entrance to America, and it still is. And now you really know why we're here tonight.

The glistening hope of that lamp is still ours. Every promise every opportunity is still golden in this land. And through that golden door our children can walk into tomorrow with the knowledge that no one can be denied the promise that is America.

Her heart is full; her torch is still golden, her future bright. She has arms big enough to comfort and strong enough to support, for the strength in her arms is the strength of her people. She will carry on in the eighties unafraid, unashamed, and unsurpassed.

Feb. 3, 1994…RNC Annual Gala,
"After watching the State of the Union address the other night, I'm reminded of the old adage that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Only in this case, it's not flattery, but grand larceny: the intellectual theft of ideas that you and I recognize as our own. Speech delivery counts for little on the world stage unless you have convictions, and, yes, the vision to see beyond the front row seats."

Feb. 3, 1994…RNC Annual Gala,
"Although the political landscape has changed, the bold ideas of the 1980's are alive and well. Republican candidates swept every major election across the country last year... and as a result, it seems that our opponents have finally realized how unpopular liberalism really is. So now they're trying to dress their liberal agenda in a conservative overcoat."

Feb. 3, 1994 ...RNC Annual Gala,
"However, our task is far from over. Our friends in the other party will never forgive us for our success, and are doing everything in their power to rewrite history. Listening to the liberals, you'd think that the 1980's were the worst period since the Great Depression, filled with suffering and despair. I don't know about you, but I'm getting awfully tired of the whining voices from the White House these days. They're claiming there was a decade of greed and neglect, but you and I know better than that. We were there."

Feb. 3, 1994 …RNC Annual Gala,
"It was leadership here at home that gave us strong American influence abroad, and the collapse of imperial Communism. Great nations have responsibilities to lead, and we should always be cautious of those who would lower our profile, because they might just wind up lowering our flag."

Feb. 3, 1994 RNC Annual Gala,
"Now, as most of you know, I'm not one for looking back. I figure there will be plenty of time for that when I get old. But rather, what I take from the past is inspiration for the future, and what we accomplished during our years at the White House must never be lost amid the rhetoric of political revisionists."

Feb. 3, 1994 RNC Annual Gala,
"The Democrats may remember their lines, but how quickly they forget the lessons of the past. I have witnessed five major wars in my lifetime, and I know how swiftly storm clouds can gather on a peaceful horizon. The next time a Saddam Hussein takes over Kuwait, or North Korea brandishes a nuclear weapon, will we be ready to respond? In the end, it all comes down to leadership, and that is what this country is looking for now."

Feb. 3, 1994 RNC Annual Gala
The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away. "After watching the State of the Union address the other night, I'm reminded of the old adage that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Only in this case, it's not flattery, but grand larceny: the intellectual theft of ideas that you and I recognize as our own. Speech delivery counts for little on the world stage unless you have convictions, and, yes, the vision to see beyond the front row seats.",

November 5, 1994 (his letter to the American people revealing his Alzheimer's diagnosis)

November 5, 1994 

"My fellow Americans, I have recently been told that I am one of the millions of Americans who will be afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.

Upon learning this news, Nancy and I had to decide whether as private citizens we would keep this a private matter or whether we would make this news known in a public way. In the past, Nancy suffered from breast cancer and I had my cancer surgeries. We found through our open disclosures we were able to raise public awareness. We were happy that as a result, many more people underwent testing. They were treated in early stages and able to return to normal, healthy lives.

So now we feel it is important to share it with you. In opening our hearts, we hope this might promote greater awareness of this condition. Perhaps it will encourage a clearer understanding of the individuals and families who are affected by it.

At the moment I feel just fine. I intend to live the remainder of the years God gives me on this Earth doing the things I have always done. I will continue to share life's journey with my beloved Nancy and my family. I plan to enjoy the great outdoors and stay in touch with my friends and supporters.

Unfortunately, as Alzheimer's disease progresses, the family often bears a heavy burden. I only wish there was some way I could spare Nancy from this painful experience. When the time comes, I am confident that with your help she will face it with faith and courage. In closing, 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 day may be, I will leave with the greatest love for this country of ours and eternal optimism for its future.

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. "    Ronald Reagan

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