Theodore's World: Happy Birthday President Ronald Reagan ~ February 6th 1911

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February 06, 2012

Happy Birthday President Ronald Reagan ~ February 6th 1911

We all miss you so much. God Bless Ronald Reagan.


Posted by Wild Thing at February 6, 2012 05:55 AM


America needs Ronald Reagan again.

Posted by: BobF at February 6, 2012 07:28 AM

Today is a very good day indeed, the 101st birthday of Ronald Reagan.

Thank you for this great compilation of the good American humor of the greatest President since Lincoln and certainly of our lifetime. I share some as well below.

So I’d like to share a little about what happened on February 12, 1909, the 100th birthday of Abraham Lincoln and something about the president at that time.

In my den, I have an old black and white picture of President Teddy Roosevelt with flags and uniformed soldiers behind him all marching up the hill of Sinking Spring Farm in Hodgenville, Kentucky to a wooden log cabin on the site where Nancy Hanks Lincoln gave birth to her second child, Abraham Lincoln.

Having commissioned the first copper pennies with Lincoln’s likeness, commemorating the Lincoln Centennial there on site in Kentucky, Teddy Roosevelt slapped the first trowel of mortar on the cornerstone of the temple Architect John Russell Pope would build to shelter the tiny log cabin. He spoke and compared Abraham Lincoln and George Washington, saying that each possessed “inflexible courage in adversity” and “the gentler virtues commonly exhibited by good men.” Of Abraham Lincoln’s virtues, the most important “was the extraordinary way in which Lincoln could fight valiantly against what he deemed wrong, and yet preserve undiminished his love and respect for the brother from whom he differed.”

Two Februarys later, just North of this Kentucky site in neighboring Illinois, in a second floor flat above a shoe store and a bank in Tampico, Illinois, Nelle Wilson Reagan gave birth to her second son, Ronald Reagan.

George Washington showed America to the world. Abraham Lincoln showed Americans who we are. Ronald Reagan showed Americans what we can be.

More than any other, Reagan made us and the world believe that America was much more than a geographic place in the world, but a creed and a way of life, “a shining city on a hill” that is the last best hope for freedom in the world.

On this 101st anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, it’s unfortunate that so many simply were too young or not even alive to know just how tense the years of the Cold War with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics were.

How behind the iron curtain in Easter Europe so many nations lived underneath Soviet domination with political prisoners sitting within gulags for years heard for the first time a voice from America challenging the Russian Soviets and bringing them hope.

When nobody else on the left or even the right in America had the courage and gall not to tolerate and appease, but to defy, defame and outright challenge. Ronald Reagan saw history’s arrival. He like no other politician in the world saw what was happening in Moscow and took full measure of an adversary in Mikhail Gorbachev.

The history of the last century cannot be written without the two names of Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev.

As Great Britain’s Margaret Thatcher said, “Ronald Reagan won the Cold War without firing a shot.”

The Soviet Union did not collapse on its own as far too many revisionists claim today. How did Reagan win the Cold War ? By clearing speaking truth to power and assembling a strategy of peace through strength against an “evil empire”.

He deployed American Pershing medium-range missiles in Western Europe to counter balance Soviet SS-20’s already deployed in Eastern Europe. He imposed economic embargoes preventing construction of Russian Soviet oil pipelines to the West restricting revenue of hard currency to the Soviets - all compelling Gorbachev to later negotiate from a position of weakness.

The Polish Solidarity labor movement within the iron curtain received secret funding from Washington. Anti communist guerrillas in Nicaragua, Angola, Afghanistan and Cambodia received aid as well. The small Caribbean island nation of Grenada was quickly liberated by swift military action by Ronald Reagan in 1983. He asserted American interests sending air force bombers against Libya after an attack on American soldiers in West Berlin and ordered naval escorts in the Persian Gulf to maintain the free flow of oil. This was all part of the Reagan Doctrine that brought retreat to the tyranny of the Soviet Union and its subsequent defeat and demise.

If brutal and suppressive enough, tyrannies can endure indefinitely. Why did the Soviet empire collapse ? Because previously, there was no Western pressure against the Russian Soviets. It was the time of appeasement, detente and President Jimmy Carter speaking of American malaise while the Russian Soviets were on the march all over the world with their relentless expansionism.

The American people had the good sense to elect Ronald Reagan in 1980 whose decisiveness and leadership would with time come to liberate millions the world over. His American life was as if one prepared for destiny.

Ronald Reagan was born in midwest America during a time of gas lights and horse drawn carriages. Paying for college by washing dishes, he was elected his student body president at Eureka College where he studied economics and sociology, played on the football team, and acted in school plays.

As a Rock River lifeguard he developed a vigilant and watchful eye for danger. He developed his expressive narrative skills as a sports radio broadcaster showing others, well before there was any television, to see things as he saw them, which ultimately led to his career as a film actor and to national fame appearing in 53 films. He was elected president of Hollywood's Screen Actors Guild. He further refined his communicating skills as a traveling spokesman and pitchman for General Electric visiting its plants across America and speaking with reassuring cheerful confidence.

In his 50’s, he then decided to enter politics becoming a Republican, supporting Barry Goldwater in 1964, and later serving as governor of California for eight years.

After two unsuccessful attempts to win his party's nomination, Ronald Reagan never gave up. He finally won the presidency the United States at the age of 69 in 1980 and again four years later in the greatest landslide ever. The rest is history of course. Today’s reverence for his exemplary life is well deserved as it was a class act in his role of a lifetime, and as in the title of his autobiography, An American Life.

Yes, today, Sunday February 6, 2012, is a very good day.

A century later, here’s something special as well:

There are so many speeches with which to quote, listen and learn from Ronald Reagan. Here’s part of a favorite and the last speech he made publicly on the occasion of his 83rd birthday:

“They're trying to dress their liberal agenda in a conservative overcoat. 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. 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.

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.

I don't think an event of this kind would be complete without something that you probably got used to during my days in Washington: one of my stories. It's a story about a woman who walked into a bridal shop one day and told the sales clerk that she was looking for a wedding gown for her fourth wedding.

Well the saleswoman asked, "Just exactly what type of dress are you looking for?"

"A long, flowing white dress with a veil," she responded with assurance.

Not totally convinced, but afraid to offend the woman, the sales lady said, "You know, dresses of that nature are usually more appropriate for brides who are being married for the first time -- for those a bit more innocent, if you know what I mean."

Well the lady retorted and put her hand on her hip, "I do know what you mean and I can assure you I'm as innocent as the rest of them, despite all of my marriages. I remain as innocent as any first-time bride. You see my husband was a dear, sweet man. It was a terrible tragedy, actually. All of the excitement of the wedding was simply too much for him and he died as we checked into the hotel on our wedding night."

"I'm sorry to hear that," said the clerk, "but what about the others?"

"Well my second husband and I got into a terrible fight in the limousine on the way to our wedding reception. We haven't spoken since -- and got the marriage quickly annulled."

"What about your third husband?" asked the store clerk.

"Well," the woman replied, "he was a Democrat and every night for four years he just sat on the edge of the bed and told me how good it was going to be."

Here in full is Ronald Reagan seated next to Margaret Thatcher. Click, listen and read along as he speaks to us for the last time in February 1994 before his announcement that he had Alzheimer’s Disease later that same year:

Just as last year, I’m traveling now on my way to Washington for this year’s 2012 American Conservative Union CPAC convention later this week. As I wrote last year, I attended a live concert performance of the Irish musical ensemble Celtic Woman on this very special day.

We all saw and learned so much from Ronald Reagan’s Irish eyes, here’s something that would have pleased his eyes and ears:

This first image of Ronald Reagan was done in pencil:

The stars and stripes forever !

Posted by: Carlos at February 6, 2012 08:31 AM

We here at Wild Thing's site are so lucky to have lived during Ronald Reagan's presidency. We are lucky to know how great America can be under strong honest leadership. We are unlucky in knowing that we may never see that quality of leadership again.

Great comment as always Carlos. Thank you. You briefly touched on them, but I would add several names to Reagan's and Gorbachev's as people who defeated Soviet Communism. Margaret Thatcher and Poland's L Walisa(sp?). Also, Pope John Paul II who with Reagan and Thatcher makes up the often referred to, "Holy Trinity". Finally, the adversary most feared by the Soviet Russians, the American GI.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at February 6, 2012 01:57 PM

When I was stationed in Michigan, we had a female clerk who used to be a USAF SP dog handler. When she was based at Hickam AFB, Hawaii, her and her dog got to provide security and accompany President Reagan when he played a round of golf. She had pictures of her, her dog, and President Reagan in a golf cart. Can you imagine doing that?

Posted by: BobF at February 6, 2012 07:55 PM

Thank you everyone so very much.

Tom, thank you so much I appreciate it.

Carlos, wow thank you for all the information and links. And about the photo on your wall.

Bob, that is interesting. Maybe she was asked a lot about it and she would do that for conversation. That would be really special for sure to have known him like that.

HUGE thank you for all of the sharing from each of you.


Posted by: Wild Thing at February 7, 2012 03:20 AM

We live on the left coast and have been to the Reagan Library 3-4 times and each time we go we come away feeling terrific. That is until we drive down the hill and get back onto the 118, the Reagan Freeway.

The place has recently been remodeled and we look forward to going again real soon. If any of you guys find your self out here in Governor Moonbeams territory, let us know and we'll hook up. Trust me, the trip to that place is magical and you'll be so glad you did.

Posted by: cuchieddie (enemy of the state) at February 7, 2012 04:46 PM