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Ronald Reagan Centennial: Roses and Remembrance

4 years ago
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He won't be around to celebrate, but the 100th anniversary of former President Ronald Reagan's birth is going to be a big production.

It starts on New Year's Day with a special Reagan float in the annual Tournament of Roses Parade, preceding the Rose Bowl game between Texas Christian University and the University of Wisconsin. The Gipper's float is 55 feet long, 26 feet high and includes a replica of a statue of Reagan in the U.S. Capitol, according to the Sacramento Bee.

On Jan. 7, the scene shifts to Washington with the opening of a Reagan Centennial Exhibit in the "Public Vaults" section at the National Archives. The exhibition of "rarely displayed" original documents and artifacts is opening in partnership with the California-based Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum.

Former President Ronald ReaganVisitors will see three pages of Reagan's "evil empire" speech on the Soviet Union, complete with hand-written edits, Politico said. Fragments from the first U.S. missile destroyed after the signing of the INF nuclear treaty will also be on display, along with a bronze cast of the Kremlin given to Reagan by Mikhail Gorbachev, and Reagan's "talking points" for a meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze in 1985. Lots of other stuff too, including a chunk of a wrecked Soviet missile.

The 40th president was born on Feb. 6, 1911 in Tampico, Ill., and was a New Deal Democrat during his early years as an actor before joining the Republican Party. He was president from 1981 to 1989 and died in 2004. Last year, President Obama signed legislation creating the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission, an 11-member panel that is overseeing festivities throughout the year.

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January 30 2011 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Now, a perspective from someone who is not an American during Reagan presidency, Americans should be proud of President Reagan as he provided leadership when it was most wanted in contrast to Carter defeatist belief that America is a weak and declining nation, Reagan proved him wrong. For those elitist intellectual who think Reagan is an intellectual lightweight, Reagan common sense approached in real life proves what an intellectual lightweight these so called intellectual elite were. Yes, Reagan made America a beacon of hope for those who seek freedom all over the world and not the betrayal the so called liberal have championed for the sake of peace, peace at any price is not peace, its idiocy! and not just idiocy but dangerous to human lives, that life in question could be yours.

And I can say I am proud of President Reagan, an American president, but a President who offered hope to every one, non-American included at a time when Marxist-leninist is on the march and looks unstoppable. The very fact that some American do not appreciate Reagan contribution to the spread of freedom which is enormous proves that you are lucky indeed that Reagan succeeded in dismantling Marxist-leninist as they and we know it, for you have been dead or incarcerated now. That is the true legacy of President Reagan not just to America but to the rest of the world, to be free!

January 15 2011 at 8:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Why are we celebrating the birthday of a dead person? Does anyone else see anything wrong with this picture? PEOPLE - dead people don't have birthdays!!! To me this is just stupid and insensitive. Somehow I see some marketing firm out there trying to make this into a money making opportunity for some group. I wonder what the Reagan family thinks of this? This is even worse than those families that for years after the death of a family member that take Happy Birthday balloons and all sorts of things and put them on the graves of family members. There's a couple in our local cemetary. Each holiday and birthday the graves look like a complete circus. It's actually to the point that it looks disrespectful. I just think this whole birthday thing for people who have died IS disrespectful.

January 02 2011 at 12:34 PM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply

kabookie 9:40 AM Jan 1, 2011 (7) (19)
reagan didn't bring the Russians down, no money brought them down, they spent all there resources on making missle and nuclear subsxxx

duh! Star wars,Iceland summit, No START treaty= I wonder why they felt they had to keep spending? HMMM!
The Reagan administration decided to deploy a new series of U.S. nuclear missiles in Europe. Despite the protests and howling liberal media, Reagan began to deploy advanced Pershing II tactical missiles and land-based Tomahawk cruise missiles to meet the Soviet SS-20 threat.
WOW REAGAN was going to defend in Europe! LIBS hated this move
Kabookie read some of the history surronding this! You might call it escalation Spending! Who was raising the stakes? A dem would not!
Example Afghanistan/Russia= Carter stopped the U.S. Olympic team BUT really showed where he was coming from by continuing to sell wheat to the USSR!!!!!

January 02 2011 at 8:49 AM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply

I think he had alzheimers when he was the governor, maybe before.

January 01 2011 at 12:39 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to sundowner928's comment

More like top three for the worst. I like your idea of Fred Thompson, however.

January 01 2011 at 12:56 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply

Don't forget that he introduced America to Jelly Belly candies and Alzheimer's. He called his wife, 'Mommy'. Nancy essentially ran the country near the end of his presidential term because of his illness (which was supposed to be hidden). Kudos to Nancy.

January 01 2011 at 12:35 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Pamela's comment

Actually, it was Nancy's astrologer.

January 02 2011 at 5:40 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
Theo Rue

Great President, top 3, the only person who can come close to him is "Fred Thompson" my GOP pick for the future. He needs to find a differen't campain team....Good Luck.........

Vernonia; Oregon

January 01 2011 at 12:11 PM Report abuse -7 rate up rate down Reply

Ronald Reagan always acted from a position of strength and no president should ever get the idea that there is a better way because there isn't a better way. Somehow the Russians seemed to have the upper hand in the recent Start Treaty negotiations. I just read a report that stated that the Ukraine was prompted by the U.S to turn over it's nuclear materials to Russia. I need to study that one a little more but it sounds weird to me right now.

January 01 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse -4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joe's comment

Most of the Soviet republics willingly forfeited their nuclear status, mostly to win favors from the west and rid themselves of very expensive Cold War relics.

January 01 2011 at 5:33 PM Report abuse +11 rate up rate down Reply

Lets remember that unemployment was even higher than it is today, that the savings and loans were looted and the taxpayers had to bail them out. Remember the 241 marines killed by sheer stupidity and the invasion of a tiny island to create wag the dog.

January 01 2011 at 11:34 AM Report abuse +12 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to benreddnekk's comment

Even worse than the 241 was the fact that it resulted in absolutely no policy changes to prevent recurrence. The result was 9/11.

January 01 2011 at 5:35 PM Report abuse +10 rate up rate down Reply

Too bad we did not clone Ronald Reagan. We could use Reagan today to clean up the mess Obama created. When Reagan took office in 1981 he cleaned up the mess Jimmy Carter created. Iran literally held America hostage after Carter took office in 1977. Iran released the hostages Reagan's first day in office. Reagan later ordered F-16s do missile strikes to Khadfi, Libya tent to send a message. It did. Khadfi was not heard from again until Obama took office. lets hope there is another Ronald Reagan out there in 2012 before we lose the America we haved loved.

January 01 2011 at 11:18 AM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply

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