Sunday, February 6, 2011

Ronald Reagan - 100th Birthday Anniversary

President Ronald Reagan in Germany, 1987
"General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" - President Ronald Reagan on June 12, 1987 in Berlin, Germany

Ronald Wilson Reagan, the 40th president of the United States, was born in Tampico, Illinois on the February 6th, 1911.

Reagan entered politics after an acting career. He first served as the 33rd Governor of California and was elected to Office in 1980. Reagan served two terms between 1981 and 1989 and survived an assassination attempt in March 1981. 

As president, Reagan implemented sweeping political and economic reforms. His policies that were later dubbed "Reaganomics" advocated reduction of tax rates to incite economic growth, control of the money supply to reduce inflation, deregulation of the economy, and reduction of the government spending. Reagan took a hard line against labor unions, completed the deregulation of the airline industry and ordered military actions in Grenada. 

He was reelected in a landslide election in 1984. His second term was primarily marked by foreign policy concerns, such as the relationship with Russia, military action against Libya, and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair. 

Like no other president before him, Reagan was determined to fight communism and end the Cold War. He publicly called the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and supported anti-communist movements worldwide.

Reagan left office in 1989 and was diagnosed later with the Alzheimer's disease. 

In 2007, Polish President Lech KaczyƄski posthumously awarded Reagan with the highest Polish distinction, the Order of the White Eagle. Reagan inspired the Polish people to work for change and mobilize against the oppressive regime. Together with Pope John Paul II, Reagan backed Poland throughout his presidency and supported the anti-communist Solidarity movement. 

Today, many conservative and liberal scholars alike, agree that Reagan has been the most influential president since Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was a man of a great charisma who left his imprint on American politics, diplomacy, culture, and economics. He rehabilitated conservatism, turned the nation to the right, and practiced a pragmatic conservatism that balanced ideology with the constraints of politics.