Ronald Reagan was born Feb. 6, 1911. A graduate of Eureka College, Illinois, 1932, he worked as a life guard, and then announced for radio stations in Iowa. He became a sports announcer for Chicago Cubs baseball games and traveled with the team.
While with the Cubs in California, Ronald Reagan auditioned with Warner Brothers, landing a contract doing "B films." He was a Captain in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. During his career as an actor, Ronald Reagan appeared in over 50 films, including "Dark Victory"; "Knute Rockne, All American"; "This is the Army" and "Kings Row."
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He married Jane Wyman and had children Maureen, Christine (died a day old) and Michael (adopted). Ronald Reagan was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, switched from Democrat to Republican, and eventually became governor of California. His second marriage, to Nancy Davis, 1952, gave them children Patti and Ron.
At age 69, he was the second-oldest person elected U.S. president, and 69 days after his inauguration, he survived an assassination attempt.
Ronald Reagan stated at St. John's University in New York, March 28, 1985: "Government that is big enough to give you everything you want is more likely to simply take everything you've got."
Reagan remarked to the Heritage Council, Warren, Michigan, Oct. 10, 1984: "Henry David Thoreau was right: that government is best which governs least."
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In his 1964 speech, "A Time for Choosing," Ronald Reagan stated: "I suggest to you there is no left or right, only an up or down. Up to the maximum of individual freedom consistent with law and order, or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism; and regardless of their humanitarian purpose, those who would sacrifice freedom for security have, whether they know it or not, chosen this downward path."
Ronald Reagan stated in Beijing, China, April 27, 1984: "I have seen the rise of fascism and communism. Both philosophies glorify the arbitrary power of the state. ... But both theories fail. Both deny those God-given liberties that are the inalienable right of each person on this planet, indeed, they deny the existence of God."
On March 20, 1981, at the Conservative Political Action Conference Dinner, Mayflower Hotel, Washington, D.C., Ronald Reagan stated: "Evil is powerless if the good are unafraid. That's why the Marxist vision of man without God must eventually be seen as an empty and a false faith – the second oldest in the world – first proclaimed in the Garden of Eden with whispered words ...'Ye shall be as gods.' The crisis of the Western world ... exists to the degree in which it is indifferent to God."
In his autobiography, "An American Life" (Simon & Schuster, 1990, p. 409), Ronald Reagan warned of the danger of Islamic fundamentalist acquiring nuclear weapons: "Radical fundamentalist sects ... have institutionalized murder and terrorism in the name of God, promising followers instant entry into paradise if they die for their faith or kill an enemy who challenges it. Twice in recent years, America has lost loyal allies in the Middle East, the shah of Iran and Anwar Sadat, at the hands of these fanatics. I don't think you can overstate the importance that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism will have to the rest of the world in the century ahead – especially if, as seems possible, its most fanatical elements get their hands on nuclear and chemical weapons and the means to deliver them against their enemies."
On May 17, 1982, in a proposed Constitutional amendment on prayer in schools, President Reagan stated: "Our liberty springs from and depends upon an abiding faith in God."
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President Reagan proclaimed: "Now, therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, in recognition of the contributions and influence of the Bible on our Republic and our people, do hereby proclaim 1983 the 'Year of the Bible' in the United States. I encourage all citizens, each in his or her own way, to reexamine and rediscover its priceless and timeless message."
President Reagan told the National Religious Broadcasters, Jan. 30, 1984: "I was pleased last year to proclaim 1983 the Year of the Bible. But, you know, a group called the ACLU severely criticized me for doing that. Well, I wear their indictment like a badge of honor. I believe I stand in pretty good company. Abraham Lincoln called the Bible 'the best gift God has given to man. But for it,' he said, 'we could not know right from wrong.'"
Ronald Reagan wrote in his article, "Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation," the Human Life Review, 1983: "Lincoln recognized that we could not survive as a free land when some men could decide that others were not fit to be free and should be slaves. ... Likewise, we cannot survive as a free nation when some men decide that others are not fit to live and should be abandoned to abortion."
At the Alfred M. Landon Lecture Series, 1982, Reagan stated: "We can't have it both ways. We can't expect God to protect us in a crisis and just leave Him over there on the shelf in our day-to-day living. I wonder if sometimes He isn't waiting for us to wake up, He isn't maybe running out of patience."
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At Reunion Arena in Dallas, 1984, Ronald Reagan stated: "Without God there is no virtue because there is no prompting of the conscience ... without God there is a coarsening of the society; without God democracy will not and cannot long endure. ... America needs God more than God needs America. If we ever forget that we are One Nation Under God, then we will be a Nation gone under."
On Aug. 7, 1982, President Reagan wrote a letter to his dying atheist father-in-Law, Dr. Loyal Davis: "Dear Loyal, I hope you’ll forgive me for this, but I’ve been wanting to write you ever since we talked on the phone. I am aware of the strain you are under and believe with all my heart there is help for that. First I want to tell you of a personal experience I’ve kept to myself for a long time. During my first year as Governor you’ll recall the situation I found in Calif. was almost as bad as the one in Wash. today. It seemed as if the problems were endless and insolvable. Then I found myself with an ulcer. In all those years at Warner Bros., no one had been able to give me an ulcer and I felt ashamed as if it were a sign of weakness on my part. John Sharpe had me on Malox and I lived with a constant pain that ranged from discomfort to extremely sharp attacks.
"This went on for months. I had a bottle of Maalox in my desk, my briefcase and of course at home. Then one morning I got up, went into the bathroom, reached for the bottle as always and some thing happened. I knew I didn’t need it. I had gone to bed with the usual pain the night before but I knew that morning I was healed. The Malox went back on the shelf. That morning when I arrived at the office Helene brought me my mail. The first letter I opened was from a lady – a stranger – the Southern part of the state. She had written to tell me she was one of a group who met every day to pray for me. Believe it or not, the second letter was from a man, again a stranger, in the other end of the state telling me he was part of a group that met weekly to pray for me.
"Within the hour a young fellow from the legal staff came into my office on some routine matter. On the way out he paused in the door and said: 'Gov. I think maybe you’d like to know – some of us on the staff come in early every morning and get together to pray for you.' Coincidence? I don’t think so. A couple of weeks later Nancy and I went down to L.A. and had our annual checkup. John Sharpe, a little puzzled, told me I no longer had an ulcer but added there was no indication I’d ever had one. Word of honor – I never told him about that particular day in Sacramento. There is a line in the bible – 'Where ever two or more are gathered in my name there will I be also.'
"Loyal I know of your feeling – your doubt but could I just impose on you a little longer? Some seven hundred years before the birth of Christ the ancient Jewish prophets predicted the coming of a Messiah. They said he would be born in a lowly place, would proclaim himself the Son of God and would be put to death for saying that. All in all there were a total of one hundred and twenty three specific prophesys about his life all of which came true. Crucifixion was unknown in those times, yet it was foretold that he would be nailed to a cross of wood. And one of the predictions was that he would be born of a Virgin. Now I know that is probably the hardest for you as a Dr. to accept. The only answer that can be given is – a miracle.
"But Loyal I don’t find that as great a miracle as the actual history of his life. Either he was who he said he was or he was the greatest faker & charlatan who ever lived. But would a liar & faker suffer the death he did when all he had to do to save himself was admit he’d been lying? The miracle is that a young man of 30 yrs. without credentials as a scholar or priest began preaching on street corners. He owned nothing but the clothes on his back & he didn’t travel beyond a circle less than one hundred miles across. He did this for only 3 years and then was executed as a common criminal. But for two thousand years he has ... had more impact on the world than all the teachers, scientists, emperors, generals and admirals who ever lived, all put together. The apostle John said, 'For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son that who so ever believed in him would not perish but have everlasting life.'
"We have been promised that all we have to do is ask God in Jesus name to help when we have done all we can – when we’ve come to the end of our strength and abilities and we’ll have that help. We only have to trust and have faith in his infinite goodness and mercy. Loyal, you and Edith have known a great love – more than many have been permitted to know. That love will not end with the end of this life. We’ve been promised this is only a part of life and that a greater life, a greater glory awaits us. It awaits you together one day and all that is required is that you believe and tell God you put yourself in his hands. Love, Ronnie."
In 1961, Ronald Reagan stated: "One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people has been by way of medicine. It's very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. ... James Madison in 1788 ... said ... 'There are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power, than by violent and sudden usurpations.' ... What can we do about this? ... We can write to our congressmen and our senators ... Say right now that we want no further encroachment on these individual liberties and freedoms ... We do not want socialized medicine. ... If you don't, this program I promise you will pass ... and behind it will come other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known ... until, one day ... we will awake to find that we have socialism. And ... you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."
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