President Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States of America. President Reagan was an actor before he was a politician. At the time, Reagan was the only U.S. President to have been divorced before taking office. Reagan was also the oldest president to date.
1. 40th President
Ronald Reagan was the 40th President of the United States. He served for two terms from 1981-1989. In 1981, Reagan was wounded in an assassination attempt, in Washington, D.C. Ronald Reagan’s Secret Service code name was Rawhide. To date, Reagan is the oldest man elected president.
Reagan vigorously pursued tax and budget cuts, an economic policy that came to be known as “Reaganomics.” Reaganomics implemented policies based on supply-side economics and a philosophy that put the individual man back in the driver’s seat when it came to assuming responsibility for his own financial destiny. Reagan also sought to stimulate the economy with large tax cuts.
3. Thawing The Cold War
The Cold War was a mainly ideological conflict which morphed into a state of constant tension and competition and would last from 1945, the end of World War II, until the early 1990s. By the end of Reagan’s presidency, the ill will between the United States and Russia (USSR) had subsided. Some attribute the thawing of relations to Reagan’s open criticism of the Soviet Union and Communism and for his staunch defense policies, while other critics believe Reagan was most influential in his involvement in the Cold War because of his relationship with General Secretary Gorbachev.
From 1937-1961, Reagan worked as motion picture and television actor. As an actor, Reagan made over 50 movies, mostly westerns and action pictures. Reagan was first elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild in 1941 and would serve for two more terms.
5. General Electric Theater
Reagan was hired as the host of General Electric Theater. His GE contract required him to tour GE plants where he would commonly give up to fourteen speeches per day. Often, these speeches were politically motivated and written by Reagan himself. Eventually, the speeches became too controversial for GE and Reagan was fired. Following this dismissal, Reagan formally switched to the Republican Party.
6. Governor of California
From 1967-1975, Reagan served as governor of California. Reagan’s terms as governor helped to shape the policies he would pursue in his later political career as president.
7. Invading Grenada
Reagan ordered U.S. forces to invade Grenada, where a 1979 political takeover had established a Marxist-Leninist government aligned with the Soviet Union and Cuba.
8. Bombing Libya
In 1986, Reagan bombed Libya to stop dictator Muammar el-Qaddafi from terrorist actions.
9. INF Treaty
Reagan signed the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty with the Soviet Union in 1987. The INF Treaty eliminated an entire class of nuclear weapons.
10. Buried at Ronald Reagan Presidential Library
Reagan is buried on the grounds of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, 40 Presidential Drive, Simi Valley, Californial. He wrote many of his memoirs here and frequently spent time at the library even into his last years when he had Alzheimer’s disease.