Author: Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan, Official White House Portrait, 1981

Born in 1911, President Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) grew up in a small town in Illinois. He worked his way through college and moved to Hollywood to become an actor in his late 20s. After appearing in over 50 films, Reagan served as president of the Screen Actors Guild, became a conservative radio host, and was elected governor of California in 1966 and again in 1970. Running as the Republican presidential nominee in 1980, Reagan handily defeated incumbent Jimmy Carter. He remained in office for a second term after winning reelection by a landslide in 1984. He retired from politics in 1989 and died in 2004 at the age of 93. 

Remarks at a Flag Day Ceremony

Ronald Reagan

In the decades following World War II, world affairs were dominated by the Cold War—and the threat of nuclear war—between the United States and its Western and Asian allies and the Soviet Union and its allies. But during and after the unsuccessful war in Vietnam (which ended in 1975), American public opinion was divided about America’s role in the world, and for many Americans, patriotism itself was under suspicion.

Remarks on Signing the Columbus Day Proclamation, 1988

Ronald Reagan

In proclaiming Columbus Day 1988, during his last year in office, President Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) comments on the significance of Columbus and Columbus Day and looks forward to the 500th anniversary of Columbus’ voyage to America. What does he mean by suggesting that “Columbus was the inventor of the American dream”? For what does Reagan celebrate immigrants to America?

Speech on the Fortieth Anniversary of D-Day

Ronald Reagan

Although not given to commemorate Veterans Day, this speech by President Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) on the fortieth anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, delivered on the very spot that the invasion began to an audience of D-Day veterans and heads of state, is a most moving tribute to those who fought to defend their country, liberate the victims of tyranny, and advance the principles of freedom and democracy throughout the world.

What July Fourth Means to Me

Ronald Reagan

In 1981, during his first year in office, Parade magazine asked President Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) to write something for them about what Independence Day meant to him. This submission was written by Reagan himself, and in his own hand. It exhibits both his special ability to locate himself emotionally amongst the people and his habit of speaking without irony about high principle and without embarrassment about human greatness.