imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Ronald Reagan, 93, dies at California home

by By CARL LEUBSDORF Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 11:23 AM

Ronald Reagan, the one-time movie actor who became one of the nation's most important 20th-century presidents, died today at his California home. He was 93.

Ronald Reagan, 93, dies at California home

04:02 PM CDT on Saturday, June 5, 2004

By CARL LEUBSDORF / The Dallas Morning News

WASHINGTON – Ronald Reagan, the one-time movie actor who became one of the nation's most important 20th-century presidents, died today at his California home. He was 93.

Mr. Reagan, whose legacy combined extraordinary successes with some major missteps, was the oldest person ever elected president and lived longer than any other chief executive.

An icon to generations of Republicans who was seen by many as the ideological father of the current Bush administration, he had rarely been seen in public in recent years after his 1994 announcement that he had Alzheimer's disease.

His eight-year tenure included one of the longest economic expansions since World War II and the beginning of a new era in the U.S.-Soviet relations that led to the end of the Cold War.

He also reshaped the terms of domestic political debate, helped to create a new confidence among the American people and brought the Republican Party to its strongest position in a half century.

Mr. Reagan cut taxes but failed to reverse the steady growth of the welfare state and, while he helped the GOP control the Senate for six of his eight years in office, his party failed to break the Democratic grip on the House until six years after he left office.

His presidency was marked by record budget deficits, a series of scandals including the Iran-Contra affair abroad and the ethical problems of several top advisers.

But his memory was cherished by the Republican faithful, as well as by many other Americans. In every campaign since his retirement, GOP candidates for the White House have vowed to emulate his leadership and his policies.

During his two terms, Mr. Reagan survived a 1981 assassination attempt and 1985 surgery to remove a cancerous tumor in his colon. He left office weeks before his 78th birthday in apparent good health.

But 6 ½ years later, he disclosed in a handwritten letter to the American people that he had Alzheimer's.

"I now begin the journey that will lead me into the sunset of my life," he wrote on Nov. 5, 1994. Three months later, his biographer, Edmund Morris, disclosed that the former president hadn't recognized him for six months. Alzheimer's is a degenerative disease marked by memory loss and disorientation.

For several years, Mr. Reagan went to his office, entertained visitors and was seen near his California home. But in late 1999, his wife Nancy disclosed that he no longer recognized close friends and had stopped outside activities.

Historians agreed that Mr. Reagan's presidency was one of the most important of the post-World War II era.

"I think he'll probably turn out to have a rather significant place in American history," said Stephen Hess, a senior fellow at the nonpartisan Brookings Institution.

Professor George Edwards, director of Texas A&M University's Center for Presidential Studies, agreed. "He had a lasting impact on defense policy and on domestic policy and he changed the terms of American politics," he said.

But there was less agreement on the merits of his contributions.

"I don't think he was a good president," Mr. or Dr. Edwards said, citing the degree to which his policies polarized the American people and the legacy of massive deficits that his successors struggled to control.

"But I certainly think he was an important president."

Ronald Wilson Reagan had a genial, yet confident manner that was the source of much of his popularity. It enabled him to become one of Hollywood's best-known leading men during the 1930s and 1940s and then move seamlessly into the world of politics.

But it was accompanied by a laid-back style of management that was a source of controversy throughout his years in public office. During the latter half of his presidency, for example, some of the Iran-Contra disclosures revealed he was unaware of what top aides were doing.

His successor, George H.W. Bush, spent much of his first year cleaning up the residue of the Reagan years in areas ranging from the financial collapse of the savings and loans industry to U.S. policy in Central America.

And both Mr. Bush and the man who unseated him in 1992, Bill Clinton, were forced to seek massive packages of spending cuts and tax increases to curb the national debt that had spiraled during the Reagan presidency.

Later, however, his standing began to rise. A 1999 survey of historians by C-SPAN, which rated presidents according to 10 categories of skills and leadership, placed Mr. Reagan in 11th place, just behind John F. Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower and well ahead of George Bush, Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford.

Because he was the first president since 1960 to serve two full terms, Mr. Reagan enjoyed a historic opportunity to leave his imprint on the nation. He entered office vowing to restore America's global military supremacy and reverse the trends that built the modern welfare state.

The defense buildup that marked his first term slowed dramatically during his second term amid signs that four decades of a U.S.-Soviet "Cold War" were coming to an end. When the Soviet Union broke apart during the presidency of Mr. Bush, supporters and critics disagreed over the extent to which Mr. Reagan's defense buildup was responsible.

"Some people will say that it led to the collapse of the Soviet empire," Dr. Edwards said. "Others will say it merely affected the timing. Quite frankly, I don't see there's a way to definitely decide that issue."

But even Mr. Reagan's political rivals agreed that his presidency had transformed the nation's domestic political environment, emphasizing limits on the role of the federal government that forced future presidents to make hard choices on how to allocate reduced federal resources.

"Even the Democrats no longer talk much about the expansion of social programs," said Benjamin Ginsberg, a Cornell University professor of government who wrote a book on the Reagan legacy.

Just as Mr. Reagan's success as a tax cutter was linked to his failure as a budget balancer, these other aspects of his presidency were also marked by contradictory forces:

• Foreign policy. Entering office with an outspoken, anti-Soviet policy, Mr. Reagan wound up putting U.S.-Soviet ties on a firmer footing by forging a working relationship with Mikhail Gorbachev, the Soviet leader who took power midway through his presidency.

But his record also included failure to build on the Carter administration's progress in the Middle East, intervention in Lebanon that saw 241 Marines killed in a bomb blast, a Central American policy that neither produced stability nor ended Communist subversion and a failed effort to free U.S. hostages in Lebanon by selling arms to Iran.

• Defense buildup. Partisans credited his buildup in Pentagon spending with fostering improved U.S.-Soviet relations.

But public support for the buildup waned amid budget constraints spawned by the huge deficits, doubts about such major programs as the "Star Wars" space defense system and a major defense procurement scandal.

• American spirit. The first part of the Reagan presidency was marked by a patriotic surge that climaxed with the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles and the 1986 centennial of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

But his second term was clouded by scandals that affected such close associates as Attorney General Edwin Meese and White House aides Lyn Nofizger and Michael Deaver

• Judges. Mr. Reagan appointed more federal judges than any predecessor and also filled three of the nine seats on the U.S. Supreme Court, appointments that both friend and foe expected would shift the federal judiciary strongly to the right.

His high court nominations played a key role in a 1989 decision to permit states to enact stiffer restrictions on abortions. But he was rebuffed by the Senate in his efforts to install Robert Bork and Douglas Ginsburg on the high court.

• Political realignment. Mr. Reagan's election was accompanied by a Republican resurgence that took control of the Senate for the first time in 26 years and encouraged Republicans to believe they would soon become the nation's majority party for the first time since the 1920s.

But prospects for a national political realignment faded as Democrats regained the Senate in 1986 and the presidency in 1992.

Mr. Reagan got the major credit for the 1988 triumph of his vice president, Mr. Bush, the first time in 60 years that Republicans won a third straight White House term. And his presidency laid the basis for the stunning 1994 triumph that gave the GOP control of both houses of Congress for the first time in 40 years.

A native of central Illinois, Mr. Reagan was, like many other modern presidents, the son of a strong mother and an unsuccessful father.

His father, Jack, was a shoe salesman who often changed jobs and drank too much. Reagan biographer Lou Cannon called him "engaging, if alcoholic." His mother Nelle, recalled by neighbors as very religious, imparted her interest in theater to her son.

As a teenager, he acted in high school plays and became renowned for his exploits over seven summers as a lifeguard in Lowell Park. A plaque credits him with saving 77 swimmers in the Rock River.

At nearby Eureka College, he played football, was an active member of the drama club and became student body president. After graduation, he got a job as a sports announcer with WOO in Davenport, Iowa.

During his days at WOO, and later at its sister station, WHO, Des Moines, he became well-known through the Middle West as a baseball and football announcer under the name of Dutch Reagan, a nickname given him at birth by his father who said he looked like "a little bit of a fat Dutchman."

While in California covering spring training in 1937, an agent from Warner Brothers signed him to play the part of a radio announcer in a movie called Love Is on the Air. That was the first of about 50 movie roles, ranging from his best-known part as ill-fated Notre Dame football star George Gipp in Knute Rockne – All American to a part opposite a chimpanzee in Bedtime for Bonzo.

He married actress Jane Wyman, served in the military in a noncombat role during World War II and became active in the Screen Actors Guild when Congress was investigating Communist influence in all walks of American life, including Hollywood.

His increasing political involvement played a role in ending his first marriage. But through his union activities, he met Nancy Davis, an aspiring actress and the daughter of a strongly conservative Chicago physician. She , who became his second wife.

Later, Mr. Reagan became host of the GE Theatre, a television program sponsored by General Electric Co., and he began a new career speaking to business groups as his political views veered to the right.

He gained attention in the political world with a nationally televised speech for the doomed 1964 GOP candidacy of Barry Goldwater. Two years later, he was elected governor of California.

In 1968, Mr. Reagan made an abortive run for the White House. But eight years later, after the end of his second gubernatorial term, he nearly blocked the nomination of Gerald Ford, who became the nation's first unelected president when Richard Nixon resigned in the Watergate scandal.

In 1980, though 69 years old and considered too conservative, Mr. Reagan capitalized on discontent with Democrat Jimmy Carter's handling of the economy and the Iranian capture of 66 U.S. hostages to win the White House.

Four years later, he carried 49 of the 50 states against his Democratic rival, former Vice President Walter Mondale of Minnesota.

But he failed to lay out a new agenda and, as time passed and issues came up on which there was no firm notion of where he stood, "his type of management, his incuriosity and his sense of not taking hold of details caught up with him," Mr. Hess said.

That occurred most spectacularly in the bungled effort to sell arms to Iran in the hopes of freeing U.S. hostages in Lebanon. It became public in November 1986, at about the time that the GOP loss of the Senate ended talk of a Reagan-led political realignment.

"He suffered because he really didn't have a successful second term," said Kevin Phillips, a Republican analyst and author.

But Mr. Hess noted that few presidents have enjoyed successful second terms.

"An administration runs out of energy and becomes a lame duck after the sixth year elections," he said. "His failures in the second term were not unique." He correctly predicted that Mr. Reagan's personal shortcomings would seem less significant over time.

E-mail cleubsdorf@dallasnews.com

Report this post as:

LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 37 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
TITLE AUTHOR DATE
Simple Simple Simon Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 11:35 AM
Finally! Sheepdog Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 11:35 AM
fresca LOL Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 12:48 PM
Faves...loosely paraphrased Parmenides Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 12:57 PM
fresca laughing with satisfaction Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 1:22 PM
It's a shame... Walker, Texas Plumber Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 2:44 PM
Justice is served. Street Dancer Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 3:07 PM
Nuff said. Walker, Texas Plumber Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 3:18 PM
everyone should be sad Sheepdog Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 3:39 PM
It's sad indeed BA Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 4:52 PM
Some background on this scum Sheepdog Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 5:12 PM
fresca still laughing Sunday, Jun. 06, 2004 at 6:49 PM
And then there was the S & L 500+ billion rip off Sheepdog Monday, Jun. 07, 2004 at 1:16 AM
You mean like Whitewater? BA Monday, Jun. 07, 2004 at 3:30 AM
Remembering Reagan BA Monday, Jun. 07, 2004 at 4:15 AM
You mean like Silverado? Sheepdog Monday, Jun. 07, 2004 at 6:17 AM
more tidbits on St. Raygun Sheepdog Monday, Jun. 07, 2004 at 8:47 AM
Simple Simple Simon Monday, Jun. 07, 2004 at 1:02 PM
what a swell guy lucius Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 6:44 AM
my logical retort generic IMC conservative Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 7:08 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 9:04 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 9:08 AM
Reagan was the shiznit evil conservative Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 12:37 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 2:52 PM
The CIA Sheepdog Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 3:15 PM
fresca Hey jackass Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 4:32 PM
fresca Ha HA Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 4:36 PM
full spectrum asshole damn!! Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 8:09 PM
full spectrum beats JUST shit brown Kill a Com for Mom Friday, Jun. 11, 2004 at 10:36 PM
is there such a thing as fascist victory? lucius Saturday, Jun. 12, 2004 at 2:20 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Jun. 12, 2004 at 7:35 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Saturday, Jun. 12, 2004 at 7:41 AM
fresca So what? Saturday, Jun. 12, 2004 at 5:34 PM
I'd agree with that Barney Sunday, Jun. 13, 2004 at 3:55 PM
BTW Barney Monday, Jun. 14, 2004 at 2:23 PM
OneEyedMan KPC Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2004 at 7:33 AM
OneEyedMan KPC Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2004 at 7:44 AM

Local News

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A12 5:39PM

lausd whistle blower A10 11:58PM

Website Upgrade A10 3:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 1:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 11:58AM

Change Links April 2018 A01 11:27AM

Nuclear Shutdown News March 2018 M31 6:57PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 7:00PM

Join The Protest Rally in Glendale on April 10, 2018! M29 6:38PM

Spring 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! M19 2:02PM

Anti-Eviction Mapping Project Shows Shocking Eviction Trends in L.A. M16 5:40PM

Steve Mnuchin video at UCLA released M15 12:34AM

Actress and Philanthropist Tanna Frederick Hosts Project Save Our Surf Beach Clean Ups M06 12:10PM

After Being Told He's 'Full of Sh*t' at School Event, Mnuchin Demands UCLA Suppress Video M02 11:44AM

Resolution of the Rent Strike in Boyle Heights M01 6:28PM

What Big Brother Knows About You and What You Can Do About It M01 3:30PM

Step Up As LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Steps Down F14 2:44PM

Our House Grief Support Center Hosts 9th Annual Run For Hope, April 29 F13 12:51PM

Don’t let this LA County Probation Department overhaul proposal sit on the shelf F13 11:04AM

Echo Park Residents Sue LA Over Controversial Development F12 8:51AM

Former Signal Hill police officer pleads guilty in road-rage incident in Irvine F09 10:25PM

Calif. Police Accused of 'Collusion' With Neo-Nazis After Release of Court Documents F09 7:14PM

Center for the Study of Political Graphics exhibit on Police Abuse posters F07 9:50AM

City Agrees to Settle Lawsuit Claiming Pasadena Police Officer Had His Sister Falsely Arre F04 3:17PM

Professor's Study Highlights Health Risks of Urban Oil Drilling F04 12:42PM

Claims paid involving Pasadena Police Department 2014 to present F04 10:52AM

Pasadenans - get your license plate reader records from police F03 11:11PM

LA Times Homicide Report F03 1:57PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

UN Forum Wrestles with Economic Policies 10 Years After Financial Crisis Islands Call for A24 12:34PM

Xyloglossie attitudinale A23 8:07AM

Shadowgun Legends Hack and Cheats A23 7:24AM

What does the Quran Say About Islamic Dress?? A21 4:15PM

Biodiversité ou la nature privatisée A20 11:22AM

The Market is a Universal Totalitarian Religion A20 7:14AM

Book Available about Hispanics and US Civil War by National Park Service A19 5:52PM

The Shortwave Report 04/20/18 Listen Globally! A19 4:01PM

The Republican 'Prolife' Party Is the Party of War, Execution, and Bear Cub Murder A19 11:48AM

Neurogenèse involutive A18 9:21AM

Paraphysique de la dictature étatique A16 10:13AM

Book Review: "The New Bonapartists" A16 3:45AM

The West Must Take the First Steps to Russia A14 12:25PM

Théorie générale de la révolution ou hommage à feu Mikhaïl Bakounine A14 3:30AM

The Shortwave Report 04/13/18 Listen Globally! A12 3:50PM

“Lost in a Dream” Singing Competition Winner to Be Chosen on April 15 for ,000 Prize! A12 3:48PM

The World Dependent on Central Banks A12 4:43AM

Ohio Governor Race: Dennis Kucinich & Richard Cordray Run Against Mike DeWine A11 9:40PM

March 2018 Honduras Coup Again Update A10 10:52PM

Apologie du zadisme insurrectionnel A10 3:33PM

ICE contract with license plate reader company A10 1:14PM

Palimpseste sisyphéen A09 11:23PM

Black Portraiture(S) IV: The Color of Silence...Cuba No...Cambridge Yes A09 5:32AM

Prohibiting Micro-Second Betting on the Exchanges A09 4:18AM

Prosecutors treat Muslims harsher than non-Muslims for the same crimes A08 10:33PM

Amy Goodman interview on cell phone safety A08 10:29PM

Mesa, Arizona police officer kills unarmed white man A08 9:50PM

Israeli leaders should be prosecuted for war crimes A08 9:48PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy