Profession: US President & Actor
Political Party: Republican Political Titles: Governor of California
Why Famous: Previously an actor and the Governor of California from 1967 to 1975, Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter in the 1980 election, having lost the Republican nomination previously in 1976.
In 1981 he survived an assassination attempt. His first term saw the introduction of 'Reaganomics', which advocated supply-side policies involving tax rate reduction, deregulation and reduction in public spending. He also fought the labor unions, including the firing of air traffic controllers who went on strike.
His second term commenced in 1984 after he won the largest electoral college landslide in American history. Reagan initiated rollback, increasing tensions with the Soviet Union by introducing new military spending. He famously went in front of the Berlin Wall and exhorted Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!". Despite this he formed a good working relationship with Gorbachev, who introduced reforms; Reagan's era saw the end of the Cold War and the confirmation of American dominance in international affairs.
In his presidency he initiated the bombing of Libya, the invasion of Grenada and weathered a major public scandal when it emerged his administration was conducting arms sales to Iran - then the subject of international sanctions - and using the money to fund the Contras in Nicaragua.
Reagan left office with a 68% approval rating. Despite criticism of his foreign and domestic policies, he is a conservative icon among Republicans and often seen as a symbol of America's re-emergence as a cultural, political and military power during the 1980s.
Shortly after the end of his presidency, the Berlin Wall fell and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. In 1994 Reagan announced he had Alzheimers disease and died from complications related to that in 2004.
‘My Name is Jimmy Carter and I’m Running for President’
Iran Hostage Crisis
Ronald Reagan is Shot
USS Challenger Explodes
Reagan and Gorbachev
Cold War Bumping Incident
- 1940-01-26 Actor Ronald Reagan (28) weds Academy Award-winning actress Jane Wyman (23) at the Wee Kirk o' the Heather church in Glendale, California
- 1952-03-08 Future US President Ronald Reagan (41) marries Nancy Davis (30) at the Little Brown Church in San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles
- 1966-11-08 Movie actor Ronald Reagan elected Governor of California
- 1967-06-14 California Governor Ronald Reagan signs the Therapeutic Abortion Act, legalizing abortions in the state under certain circumstances, the second state after Colorado to do so
- 1967-06-15 Governor Reagan signs liberalized California abortion bill
- 1975-11-20 Ronald Reagan announces candidacy for Republican nomination for US President
- 1978-12-16 Ronald Reagan denounces President Jimmy Carter's recognition of People's Republic of China
- 1979-11-13 Ronald Reagan announces his candidacy for US President in NYC
- 1980-06-12 Ronald Reagan says he will submit to periodic medical tests
- 1980-07-16 Ronald Reagan nominated for US President by Republicans in Detroit
- 1980-07-17 Ronald Reagan formally accepts Republican nomination for US president
- 1980-10-14 Presidential nominee Ronald Reagan promises to name a woman to the US Supreme Court
- 1980-11-04 Republican candidate Ronald Reagan is elected President of the United States, defeating incumbent Democrat US President Jimmy Carter by a landslide
- 1980-12-16 President-elect Ronald Reagan announces Alexander Haig Jr. as 59th Secretary of State
- 1980-12-22 US President-elect Ronald Reagan appoints Jeanne Kirkpatrick (UN) & James Watt (Interior)
- 1981-01-20 Ronald Reagan inaugurated as the 40th President of the United States of America
- 1981-03-30 US President Ronald Reagan is shot and wounded in an assassination attempt by John Hinckley, three others are also wounded
- 1981-04-01 CNN airs a videotape that shows that Tamara Rand predicted that Reagan is in danger from someone named Jack Humley (a hoax)
- 1981-04-11 Ronald Reagan arrives home from hospital after Hinkley shot him
- 1981-08-03 13,000 Air Traffic Controllers (PATCO) begin their strike; US President Ronald Reagan offers ultimatum to workers: 'if they do not report for work within 48 hours, they have forfeited their jobs and will be terminated'
- 1981-08-28 John Hinckley pleads innocent to attempt to assassinate US President Ronald Reagan
- 1981-10-08 US President Ronald Reagan greets predecessors Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and Richard Nixon before sending them to Egypt for Anwar Sadat's funeral
- 1981-11-16 President Reagan decides on a covert plan to block the Cuban aid to Nicaragua and El Salvador
- 1981-11-23 President Reagan vetoes House Joint Resolution 357 which called for further appropriations for fiscal year 1982
- 1981-12-04 Reagan Executive Order on Intelligence (No 12333) that allows CIA to engage in domestic counter-intelligence
- 1982-03-10 US President Reagan proclaims economic sanctions against Libya
- 1982-04-27 Trial of John Hinckley begins for the attempted assassination of US President Ronald Reagan
- 1982-05-03 President Reagan begins 5 minute weekly radio broadcasts
- 1982-06-07 US President Ronald Reagan meets with Pope John Paul II at Vatican City, Rome and later Queen Elizabeth II
- 1982-06-08 US President Ronald Reagan addresses the British Parliament in his "ash heap of history" speech
- 1982-06-17 US President Reagan's 1st UN General Assembly address "We must serve mankind through genuine disarmament."
- 1982-06-21 John Hinckley found not guilty of 1981 attempted assassination of President Reagan by reason of insanity
- 1982-10-14 US President Reagan proclaims a war on drugs
- 1983-01-07 President Reagan ends US arms embargo against Guatemala
- 1983-01-21 President Reagan certifies El Salvador human-rights abuses have decreased making country eligible for US military aid
- 1983-03-08 President Reagan 1st known use of term "Evil Empire" (about the USSR) in speech in Florida
- 1983-03-23 US President Ronald Reagan introduces Strategic Defense Initiative ("Star Wars")
- 1983-04-14 US President Reagan signs $165 billion Social Security rescue
- 1983-04-20 President Reagan signs a $165B bail out for Social Security
- 1983-09-29 US Congress authorizes President Reagan to keep 1,600 US Marines in Lebanon
- 1983-11-02 US President Ronald Reagan signs bill establishing Dr Martin Luther King Jr. holiday
- 1983-11-11 President Reagan became 1st US President to address Japanese legislature
- 1984-01-29 President Reagan formally announces he will seek a 2nd term
- 1984-04-26 President Reagan visits China
- 1984-05-26 US President Ronald Reagan rules out US military intervention in Iran-Iraq war
- 1984-08-11 During a radio voice test, US President Reagan jokes he "signed legislation that would outlaw Russia forever. We begin bombing in 5 minutes."
- 1984-08-19 Republican convention in Dallas, Texas nominates incumbent Ronald Reagan for President
- 1984-08-22 Republican convention in Dallas renominates President Ronald Reagan and Vice President George H. W. Bush
- 1984-08-27 US President Ronald Reagan announces 'Teacher in Space' project
- 1984-09-26 President Reagan vetoes sanctions against South Africa
- 1984-11-06 Incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan re-elected President of the United States in a landslide; wins 49 states, and defeats Democrat Walter Mondale
- 1985-01-21 Jessye Norman sings "Simple Gifts" at the second inauguration of US President Ronald Reagan in Washington, D. C.
- 1985-05-01 US President Reagan ends embargo against Nicaragua
- 1985-05-23 President Ronald Reagan awards Jimmy Stewart the Presidential Medal of Freedom and promotes him to Major General on the Retired List
- 1985-05-27 Inaugural bands parade for President Reagan
- 1985-07-12 Doctors discover a cancerous growth in President Reagan's colon
- 1985-09-09 President Reagan orders sanctions against South Africa
- 1985-10-11 President Reagan bans import of South African Krugerrands to the USA
- 1985-11-16 President Reagan arrives in Geneva for a summit with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev
- 1985-11-19 US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev meet for the first time
- 1985-12-04 President Reagan appoints Vice Admiral John Poindexter as security adviser
- 1985-12-27 Terrorists kill 20 and wound 110 attacking El Al at Rome and Vienna airports. President Reagan blames Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
- 1986-01-07 US President Reagan announces economic sanctions against Libya
- 1986-02-03 US President Ronald Reagan announces formation of commission of enquiry on Challenger Accident
- 1986-05-12 President Reagan appoints Dr James C. Fletcher NASA Administrator
- 1986-05-27 President Reagan orders 2 Poseidon-class submarines be dismantled
- 1986-06-13 US President Reagan criticizes South African state of emergency
- 1986-06-20 Drs at Bethesda Naval remove 2 small benign polyps from Reagan's colon
- 1986-06-21 President Reagan gives speech defending his judicial appointments
- 1986-06-23 Tip O'Neill refuses to let President Reagan address House
- 1986-07-03 US President Reagan presides over relighting of renovated Statue of Liberty
- 1986-08-15 US President Ronald Reagan decides to support a replacement for Challenger
- 1986-10-11 Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev open talks at a summit in Reykjavik, Iceland
- 1986-10-16 US government shuts down due to disputes between President Reagan and the House
- 1986-11-06 President Reagan signs landmark immigration reform bill
- 1986-11-13 US President Reagan confesses weapon sales to Iran
- 1986-11-25 Iran-Contra affair erupts, President Reagan reveals secret arms deal
- 1986-11-28 US Reagan administration exceeds SALT II arms limitations for 1st time
- 1987-01-17 US President Reagan signs secret order permitting covert sale of arms to Iran
- 1987-02-04 US President Reagan's veto of Clean Water Act is overridden by Congress
- 1987-02-19 US President Reagan lifts trade boycott against Poland
- 1987-06-12 US President Ronald Reagan challenges Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down" the Berlin wall
- 1987-12-08 US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev sign a treaty eliminating medium range nuclear missiles
- 1988-01-02 Mulroney & Reagan sign Canada-US free trade agreement
- 1988-02-29 NYC Mayor Koch calls Reagan a "WIMP" in the war on drugs
- 1988-03-09 President Reagan presides at unveiling of Knute Rockne stamp
- 1988-03-22 US Congress overrides President Reagan's veto of sweeping civil rights bill
- 1988-11-03 President Reagan signs credit-card disclosure-bill
- 1988-11-16 President Reagan and the First Lady participate in the official state arrival ceremony, meetings and a state dinner with Margaret Thatcher
- 1988-11-16 President Reagan meets with Jerusalem's mayor Teddy Kollek
- 1988-11-23 President Reagan announces that he is pocket-vetoing a bill designed to further restrict lobbying by former federal employees.
- 1988-12-30 Oliver North subpoenas US Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush as defense witnesses for his upcoming trial
- 1989-01-19 President Reagan pardons George Steinbrenner for illegal funds for Nixon
- 1989-01-20 Reagan becomes 1st US President elected in a "0" year, since 1840, to leave office alive
- 1989-06-14 Ronald Reagan is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II (honorary knighthood)
- 1998-02-06 Washington National Airport is renamed Ronald Reagan National Airport
- 2004-06-11 Ronald Reagan's funeral is held at Washington National Cathedral.
- "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same." - Freedom
- "How do you tell a communist? Well, it’s someone who reads Marx and Lenin. And how do you tell an anti-Communist? It’s someone who understands Marx and Lenin." - Communism
- "Information is the oxygen of the modern age. It seeps through the walls topped by barbed wire, it wafts across the electrified borders." - Knowledge, Modernity
- "Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."