News / USA

Sunday Marks 100th Anniversary of Ronald Reagan's Birth

President Ronald Reagan gives a thumbs up to the crowd while his wife, first lady Nancy Reagan, waves from a limousine during the inaugural parade in Washington following Reagan's swearing in as the 40th president of the United States, (File).
President Ronald Reagan gives a thumbs up to the crowd while his wife, first lady Nancy Reagan, waves from a limousine during the inaugural parade in Washington following Reagan's swearing in as the 40th president of the United States, (File).

Sunday, February 6, marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ronald Reagan, America's 40th president. He is remembered as the Great Communicator - and as the man who helped to end tensions with the former Soviet Union.  

Ronald Reagan was a well known Hollywood actor before he became governor of California.   His election as president in 1980 thrust him into the international spotlight.

At the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, scholars and authors have been assessing Mr. Reagan's impact, and ordinary Americans are recalling his legacy.

Ronald Reagan had an important insight into the Soviet Union, says presidential biographer Richard Reeves.  “That communism could not sustain itself and that the time had come to move from containment, which was the American policy before he became president, to a more confrontational face toward communism.  And it worked, I think, far beyond his wildest dreams,” he said.

But the Reagan administration also faced controversy in the Iran-Contra scandal, a secret arms sale to Iran, which was under an arms embargo.  Members of the Reagan administration diverted some of the proceeds to anti-communist guerrillas in Nicaragua.

Michael Genovese studies the presidency, and says it was black mark on the administration.

“And all presidents have mixed legacies, some good, and some bad,” Genovese said. “Reagan contributed to the demise of the Soviet Union.  He helped bring the economy back.  He helped bring 'morning in America' back.  But he was also the president who brought in huge debt.  When he became president, we were the world's largest creditor nation.  When he left office, we were the world's largest debtor nation, something we still haven't recovered from.”

Mr. Reagan had strong beliefs and was guided by principle, says scholar Robert Rowland. “But then also pragmatism.  He was willing to compromise.  He was willing to take what he could get and work with the other side,” Rowland states.

Mr. Reagan built a conservative coalition, but Rowland says he might not see eye to eye with some modern conservatives.

“They remember him as opposing government of all kinds, and that simply is not his legacy.  He cut the growth of government but not government itself.  He tried to reform government.  He certainly was not a contemporary Tea Party Republican,” he adds.

Scholars say Mr. Reagan's greatest strength was understanding leadership and how to communicate his vision to Americans. 

You May Like

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid