Editors Note: We're blogging through We Didn't Start the Fire by Billy Joel.
Ronald Reagan was our fortieth president.
Ronald Regan was born in Illinois. His family moved to a lot of different towns in Illinois while his father searched for the right job.
In school, Reagan acted in school plays and also performed in several sports. After graduation, Reagan became a sports broadcaster. After a while doing radio broadcasts, Reagan’s looks and voice were wanted in Hollywood. He starred in several movies, including Kings Row and Hell’s Kitchen.
We watched Hong Kong, starring Reagan. Harrison noticed that there was only one main plot, and hardly any subplots. I enjoyed that part of it, because then I didn’t have to keep any confusing subplots on the outskirts of my consciousness. Reagan played the part of an ex-militant very well, and only in the very last scene did either Harrison or I say ‘That looks like a president’.
In 1964, after changing from a Democrat to a Republican, Reagan agreed to give a speech on television for Barry Goldwater, the Republican candidate for president. He lost to Lyndon B. Johnson, but Ronald Reagan’s speech made himself a popular figure and he became well-known in politics.
He was governor of California for two terms, and went up against Gerald Ford for the Republican candidate for president in 1976. He lost the election for Republican candidate, and Gerald Ford became president.
After Jimmy Carter won president, defeating Ford, Ronald Reagan decided to again try to win presidency. With George H.W. Bush as his running mate, he won in a landslide against Jimmy Carter. Reagan was inaugurated on January 20, 1989, at the age of 69. He is the oldest president ever to be inaugurated.
Just over two months after Reagan became president, he was shot after giving a speech at the Washington Hilton Hotel. The would-be assassin, John Hickley, succeeded in killing one of the men riding in the car with Reagan, while Reagan himself suffered shots in his chest and arm, but he survived.
Reagan served as president for two terms, beating Walter Mondale in the 1984 election. He died of pneumonia in 2004, at the age of 93.