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Podcast - Secrets of WWII and the Armed Forces
Audio Length: 21:09

Secrets of WWII and the Armed Forces

Armed Forces Day is upon us – it’s the 3rd Saturday in May. And right now, there’s an historic exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley - running through October 9th – called the Secrets of World War II honoring those brave men and women who served and supported our troops. Our curators have assembled hundreds of artifacts from museums and private collections - never before seen together – which reveal compelling stories of technological advancement, creative problem solving, and incredible human persistence under the backdrop of world’s largest and most destructive war in history. If you have a chance to visit the Reagan Library to see this exhibit, you’ll love it. And we’re mentioning this in our podcast, because President Reagan always remembered to honor those men and women currently wearing the cloth of our nation in a radio address to the nation on Armed Forces Day. It was created by President Harry Truman in August, 1949, to those all serving as well as those who sacrificed to defend our freedom.

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Podcast - High School Q&A with the President
Audio Length: 44:48

High School Q&A with the President

It turns out that Presidents like to visit schools and deliver remarks. President George HW Bush told a group of junior high students, “I’m not here to tell you what to do or what to think. Maybe you’re accustomed to adults talking about you and at you; well, today, I’m here to talk to you and challenge you. Education matters, and what you do today, and what you don’t do can change your future.”

In 1988, President Reagan told Junior High students they were living in a “time of unlimited possibilities, bounded only by the size of your imagination, the depth of your heart, and the character of your courage.” But earlier, in 1982, he went a step further. The President visited Providence-St. Mel’s High School in Chicago, and actually answered questions. The kids didn’t mince words – they asked him tough questions…from the meaning of the Falkland Island crisis, to the economy to nuclear weapons to gun control.

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Podcast - The President Returns to His Alma Mater
Audio Length: 33:35

The President Returns to His Alma Mater

It’s commencement address season and like all American presidents, our 40th delivered quite a few. One of his most memorable was at his Alma Mater, Eureka College on May 9, 1982, celebrating the 50th anniversary of his class of ’32. So in this podcast, we’ll listen to an excerpt from that historic Commencement address in which he used the occasion to launch the START program for reducing nuclear weapons for both the United States and Russia. In the second half of the podcast, we’ll hear his speech after he had been inducted into Eureka College’s Athletic Hall of Fame – get ready to smile and laugh. It’s a classic.

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Podcast - Softening Congress
Audio Length: 21:51

Softening Congress

By May, 1982, the President’s economic reforms were just starting to kick in, slowly. Once his economic reform package passed in August 1981, he relied on Republican Congressional support to reassure their constituents to have faith that the reforms would eventually kick the economy into full gear. As you might recall, Republicans were in the minority in the House with Tip O’Neill as the Speaker. In the Senate, Republicans held a small majority, only 53, seats with Howard Baker as Majority Leader.

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Podcast - Oil and OPEC
Audio Length: 12:02

Oil and OPEC

As you perhaps recall, in the late 1970's, the energy crisis was in full swing. The price of gasoline and oil were soaring as we waited hours in gas lines and worried about a shortage of heating oil in the winter. Demands for more energy ran up against serious environmental concerns. Sound familiar? Over a 5 year period, Governor Reagan, then out of office, delivered 85 broadcasts on the energy problem and environment – we’ll listen to two of them today…one entitled OIL I and the other entitled OPEC.

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Podcast - Nuclear Weapons
Audio Length: 28:35

Nuclear Weapons

40 years ago on April 15, 1982, President Reagan met with reporters in the Oval Office to announce his plans to speak to the United Nations’ Arms Limitation Conference in June. He also suggested that General Secretary Brezhnev of the Soviet Union would do the same. And he hoped he could meet with the elusive Soviet Leader during the Conference. Ultimately, Brezhnev did not attend the Conference but sent Andrei Gromyko, the Soviet Foreign Minister, in his place. Rumors were that Brezhnev was in poor health, and yes, ultimately confirmed by his death five months later in November 1982. But just a few days after President Reagan met with those reporters in the Oval Office in April, he felt compelled to report to the American people his approach and his strong beliefs on the subject of nuclear war and delivered this radio address on April 17th.

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Podcast - Soviet Aggression, Part 2
Audio Length: 29:37

Soviet Aggression, Part 2

As the world watches the Soviet Union march through Ukraine, terrorizing and pillaging, we’ll go back to the words of Ronald Reagan in his autobiography when he noted that in the 70’s, the Soviets interpreted our hesitation and reluctance to act, along with our reduced sense of National self-confidence, as a weakness and exploited it to the fullest, to create a communist dominated world.

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Podcast - Soviet Aggression
Audio Length: 30:22

Soviet Aggression

Russian aggression is top of mind today with their tragic invasion of Ukraine. Sadly, it’s not a new topic if you look at the Reagan archives where citizen Reagan was speaking to Americans. Let’s go back to these words from his speech in October 1964, 58 years ago.

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Podcast - Taiwan and China, Part 2
Audio Length: 49:44

Taiwan and China, Part 2

Today’s podcast continues on the theme of Taiwan and China, but we’re moving up to 1984. In the spring of 1984, President Reagan spent six days in the People’s Republic of China, visiting Beijing and Shanghai. This visit followed Premier Zhao Ziyang’s visit to Washington DC in January 1984, clearing the diplomatic path for the President to visit China.

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Podcast - Taiwan and China, Part 1
Audio Length: 11:06

Taiwan and China, Part 1

Today, we’ll begin a two-part podcast about Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China by hearing Ronald Reagan’s thoughts in the 70’s and 80’s. Governor Ronald Reagan was a vocal supporter of Taiwan and was first introduced to the country in 1971 when he traveled there at the request of President Nixon. His task was to reassure Chiang Kai-shek that the United States remained committed to U.S.-Taiwan relations, even though Henry Kissinger was holding secret meetings in the People’s Republic of China. Ronald Reagan regarded Taiwan as a loyal, democratic, longtime ally to whom we owed unqualified support and he was concerned how Al Haig and others in the state department were so eager to improve relations with the Peoples Republic of China, that, ultimately as president, tried to press him back from this pledge of support.

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Podcast - St. Patrick's Day
Audio Length: 16:52

St. Patrick's Day

For today’s podcast, we’re showcasing how President Reagan used humor and Irish wit to build relationships, defuse anger and reach across the aisle consistently. We know how he fought with Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill, and we also know how hard he worked to build a relationship with his political foe whom he considered a friend and colleague. You’ll hear him say that we live in “a country which permits two not-so-shy and not-so-retiring Irishmen to have it out on the issues rather than on each other or their countrymen.” A lesson our current politicians seem to have missed.

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Podcast - Newspapers
Audio Length: 25:48


The subject today? Newspapers. Every year in March, President Reagan would deliver a speech to the National Newspaper Association at their annual meeting, often inviting them to the White House. His remarks were always very entertaining – and well, you know the phrase, keep your friends close but your enemies closer? He always kept his eye on the ball.

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