Today marks the 100th anniversary of Ronald Reagan’s birth. From humble origins in Illinois as the son of an alcoholic, he rose through the ranks of sportscasting to career in Hollywood, to the pinnacle of political power. We have assembled a collection of videos reflecting the highlights of his public life.
Although Reagan had been involved in political affairs from his days as head of the Screen Actors Guild — as a liberal Democrat — he first broke onto the national stage after his realignment to the Republican Party with a speech he gave on behalf of Barry Goldwater just before the 1964 election. “A Time for Choosing” became known as simply “The Speech” — the one thing that went right for the senator from Arizona. After narrowly losing the 1976 Republican presidential nomination to Gerald Ford, Reagan trounced Jimmy Carter in 1980 and began America’s turnaround. His first inaugural address announced an abrupt change of philosophy in D.C.: “Government is not the solution to our problem,” he said. “Government is the problem.” By 1984, the nation had rediscovered its confidence; Reagan ran for re-election on the theme, “It’s Morning Again in America.” Many of the unforgettable moments in Reagan’s presidency are commemorated in the video tribute to Ronald Reagan below, produced by Frontiers of Freedom. Reagan left office in 1989 with a Farewell Address that described his eight years in office as “a rediscovery of our values and our common sense.” He summed up: “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.” In fact, his presidency was the best many Americans have in living memory. As time marches forward, Reagan refuses to recede into the past. Instead, his legacy grows larger, more significant, and more definitive with each growing year.
A Time for Choosing (October 27, 1964):
Reagan’s First Inaugural Address (January 20, 1981):
A Tribute to Ronald Reagan:
The Re-Election Commercial, “Morning in America” (1984):
Reagan’s Farewell Address (January 11, 1989)
Ronald Wilson Reagan, RIP.