Birth of Ronald Reagan

U.S. #3897 was issued a year after Reagan’s death.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was born in Tampico, Illinois, on February 6, 1911.

Even as a young man, Reagan showed an interest in acting and politics. He appeared in several school plays throughout his high school career and was elected president of the student council. In 1928, “Dutch,” as he was known, entered Eureka College, majoring in economics and sociology. While attending Eureka, Reagan participated in different sports, played the lead role in several school productions, and served as the president of the student body.

In 1932, Reagan graduated from college and became a sportscaster at a local radio station in Des Moines, Iowa. Five years later, while covering baseball spring training in California, Reagan made a screen test for Warner Brothers. Between 1937 and 1964, Reagan appeared in over 50 motion pictures. He served six terms as president of the Screen Actors Guild, a union that represents actors and actresses. Because of his poor eyesight, Reagan couldn’t serve overseas during World War II, but helped produce over 400 Army Air Force training films.

U.S. #4494 was issued to mark Reagan’s 100th birthday.

Reagan first entered politics as a Democrat, campaigning for Harry Truman in 1948. However, during the 1950s, Reagan gradually adopted more conservative views, campaigning for Republican candidates Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon. In 1962, Reagan officially joined the Republican Party.

In 1966, Reagan was elected to the first of three terms as Governor of California. While in office, Reagan worked hard to reduce the size and cost of government. Although he was responsible for major policy decisions, Governor Reagan surrounded himself with capable people and relied on them to work out the details of his legislative program.

Item #59742 – Reagan First Day Cover with gold-plated medal.

Reagan’s first bid for the presidency came in 1968. However, he failed to win the nomination. In 1976 he ran again, this time losing the nomination by a small margin to Gerald Ford. Encouraged by the small margin of defeat, Reagan began preparing for the 1980 nomination almost immediately. This time he won the Republican nomination on the first ballot, as well as the election itself.

Item #M8331 – Mint sheet issued the year Reagan died.

During the election campaign, Reagan detailed his plan to lower inflation. He vowed to cut federal income taxes by as much as 30%, reduce government regulation of business, increase military spending, and cut funding for several other federal programs. This plan to balance the budget and lower inflation came to be known as “Reaganomics.” Though the economy recovered, the national debt nearly tripled over the course of his presidency, the largest percentage increase during any presidency outside of the First and Second World Wars.

On March 31, 1981, President Reagan narrowly escaped death after being shot in the chest by John W. Hinckley Jr. The assassination attempt occurred as Reagan was leaving a Washington, DC, hotel. Although Reagan was 70 years old, he recovered quickly from his wound.

Item #M8332 was issued in 2004 and pictures scenes from Reagan’s life.

In November 1986, news broke that Iran was given US weapons in return for the release of the US hostages. The next day it was reported that Reagan approved the deal. The scandal widened, as it was revealed that some of the proceeds from the arms sales had been diverted to the Nicaraguan Contras. On December 30, 1986, the president admitted “mistakes were made,” but insisted he did not know arms sales were diverted to Nicaragua. Later, special investigations officially blamed the president for the operation.

Item #M10768 – Mint sheet issued for Reagan’s 100th birthday.

As the Republicans gathered for their National Convention on August 18, 1988, Vice President George Bush secured the nomination. With Reagan’s endorsement, Bush won a sweeping victory in the election. Reagan left office with a high approval rating and planned to have an active post-presidency. However, he revealed in 1994 that he had Alzheimer’s and made his last public appearance at Richard Nixon’s funeral. He died 10 years later in 2004 and is often considered an icon of the Republican Party.

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    1. Never was there a more un-american president, anti union, anti american worker, – a drug dealer and religious zealot – may yoiu rot in hell you piece of shit

      1. You sir have no clas and are obviously ignorant of that time in America and the world. President Reagan restored America to greatness and precipitated the fall of the Soviet Union and thereby liberated all the people of Eastern Europe, which allowed for the massive reduction of defense spending and our armed forces size. That reduction is what allowed Pres. Clinton and Congress to balance the federal budget.

      2. UnAmerican? drug dealer? Anti-American worker? Anti-Union because he fired air traffic controllers whose strike put peoples lives at risk? You’ve got Reagan mixed up with Joe Biden.

  1. Just visited the Reagan library in Simi Valley. This was my second visit. Too bad we don’t have this type of leadership today.

  2. There is much debate over the Reagan years, but there is little doubt about his effect on the US military. The military saw the end of the Vietnamese War with the Communists taking Saigon and
    then unifying the country. The military frankly went into a depressions with grave doubts about the abilities to confront the Soviet Union on a European battlefield. A number of generals came together to end the self-doubts with a new doctrine (Airland Battle) to fight and win in Europe. With Reagan in power new tanks, the M1 and the Bradley fighting vehicles plus new aircraft with an emphasis on troop morale and realistic training turned the military around. It was expensive, but the victory in the First Gulf War proved the wisdom of Reagan’s policies. I know because I fought in Iraq in 1991. See my Book: 100 Miles From Baghdad, 1993. James J. Cooke, Prof. Emeritus of History, U. of Mississippi

  3. As always, an excellent article. However, no mention of his influence in helping bring an end to communism in Europe.

  4. Best part he ever had and he played it to the hilt. BTW, “Reaganomics” did not revive the economy. Traditional deficit spending did.

  5. Es un honor ver de nuevo a este personaje que fue muy querido por muchas circunstancias en el mundo, Feliz cumpleaños.

  6. Like any president the good and the bad happened on his administration. So I won’t be political, but simply say thank Mystic for the history of this president. It does seem that both Dems and Repubs refer to him in speeches. May he rest in peace.

  7. Reagan once said, “If you Enjoyed Meeting Me Half As Much As I Enjoyed Meeting You, Then You Enjoyed It Twice As Much As I Did!”

  8. Yes, Reagan said what he meant and did what he said. He had great love for this country and worked everyday to make it better in the world and domestically. His economic achievements followed into the Clinton administration.

  9. Although from 2002, California celebrated February 6 as Ronald Reagan Day, it was in 2010 that a Senate Bill 944 that made every February 6 as Ronald Reagan Day in California.In 1989, Reagan was made Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath. It is one of the highest British Orders that entitled him to use post-nominal letters GCB, ss a foreign national, hence, Reagan will not be known as SIR Ronald Reagan. Only two U.S. presidents have this honor : the other president is George H W Bush. Japan also conferred upon Reagan Grand Cordon of the Order of Chrysanthemum. . He was the second President to be so honored. The first was Dwight Eisenhower. In 2007, Polish President Lech Kaczynsk, posthumously conferred highest Polish honor The Order of the Eagle. President Ronald Reagan was undoubtedly a great American . It is a different story, that some of his detractors have described his as RAY-GUN for his star wars policy.

  10. While my reply is a couple years late it still applies. The response from joe pubic is obviously from an uneducated piece of garbage. Like him or not Reagan defined the words proud to be American, and was responsible for restoring that pride. Carter allowed Iran to take our embassy people and let them rot. As soon as Reagan took office they were released. On and on. He wasn’t perfect but he did a pretty good job. Considering unions demands for rediculously high wages that caused many companies to go overseas and stay, along with their criminal and communist alliances, I’d say it’s the unions that are unamerican. Good riddance. What came out of joe pubics mouth is an indicator of the level of his ignorance. There are women on this blog. He probably lost his job cleaning toilets and lives with his Mom sitting on her couch bad mouthing his betters. Someone commented that he has no class and I agree.

  11. When Reagan was a small boy,he moved with his family to our small town and rented a house a short distance away from my father’s home. He often told me of playing with Ronnie.

  12. Great president who loved his country and peacefully negotiated the end of communism in Eastern Europe with dignity and strength. We could use his leadership today

  13. There is no question that Ronald Reagan was the best president of this generation’s lifetime. Thank you for your article reminding us of his great lifetime and contribution to the United States of America. Oh, how we need his kind of American leadership and patriotism today.

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