Ronald Reagan lived a rich life and had an amazing presidency. Let’s recall some highlights…
1. In his 1984 reelection bid, Reagan received 525 electoral votes, the most of any candidate in U.S. history, as he garnered 58.8% of the vote and won 49 states in his race against Walter Mondale.
2. When Reagan became President the top marginal tax rate was 70%. By the time he left office, it had dropped to 28%.
3. Reagan gave his famous “Tear down this wall” speech in 1987. Two years later in 1989, the Berlin Wall was torn down and two years after that, the Soviet Union collapsed.
4. Reagan inherited a 12.5% inflation rate from predecessor Jimmy Carter. When he left office eight years later, it had dropped to 4.4%.
5. Reagan started out as a Democrat and was a supporter of Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal policies. When he decided to change his affiliation, Reagan said he didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left him.
6. Despite his strong anti-Communist rhetoric, Reagan held four summits with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, resulting in nuclear arms cuts.
7. Reagan became governor of California in 1967 by defeating Democratic Gov. Edmund G. Brown and when he stepped down eight years later he was succeeded by Jerry Brown, the previous governor’s son.
8. In the 1976 presidential race between President Ford and Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan received one electoral vote from a “faithless elector” even though he wasn’t on the ballot.
9. President Reagan nominated five Supreme Court justices. Three were confirmed by the Senate (O’Connor, Scalia and Kennedy) and two weren’t (Bork and Ginsburg.)
10. After Russia shot-down Korean Airlines flight 007, Reagan announced that the military’s Global Positioning System (GPS) would be made available for civilian use once it was sufficiently developed.