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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Today’s podcast on the Olympics is inspired by some of the controversies surrounding the 2022 Beijing games, which is no surprise because controversies have plagued this global event for years. Today, you’ll hear Ronald Reagan’s critical thinking on the subject from the 1970’s.
It’s hard to believe that 80 years ago, the Voice of America, America’s radio outreach to spread freedom and truth globally, was created. So, 40 years ago, in February 1982, our 40th president celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Voice of America. We think you will truly enjoy these remarks – not only does he give a history of the Voice of America, but tells some great old radio stories to entertain his audience.
In Ronald Reagan’s eight years as president, he held a total of 46 press conferences which is one of the lowest numbers compared to other presidencies. For example, in their eight years, Eisenhower and Clinton faced the press 193 times, Bush ’43 met with the White House Press corps 210 times and to date, Biden is at number nine. Although President Woodrow Wilson held the first presidential press conference on March 15,1913, the modern idea of a live, televised press conference dates basically from the Eisenhower Administration. Prior to that, the rules governing press conferences favored the president.
The month of February held very special meaning for Ronald Reagan for a number of reasons. Yes, his birthday was February 6th followed by Valentine’s Day when he always honored his beloved wife, Nancy. But the other important event in February during his presidency was the opportunity to address the national prayer breakfast. In case you aren’t familiar with it, the National Prayer Breakfast is a yearly event held in Washington, D.C., usually on the first Thursday in February. It’s actually a series of meetings, luncheons, and dinners—and has taken place since 1953 and has been held at least since the 1980s at the Washington Hilton’s International Ballroom attended by some 3500 guests, with invitees attending from over 100 countries.
One of the most heartbreaking moments in Reagan’s presidency came early in his term, when his dear friend and colleague, Anwar Sadat, was assassinated. The President greatly admired everything about his leadership and character and worried about who would follow and uphold the principles the fine man initiated. Who would take the helm in Egypt? The man who followed Sadat, Muhammad Hosni El Sayed Mubarak, was an Egyptian military and political leader who served as the fourth president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011.
Ronald Reagan had tremendous respect for FDR, in many ways; in how he communicated and inspired the American people and how FDR was a devoted public servant. 40 years ago, on January 28th, 1982, the President delivered remarks at a White House Luncheon, celebrating the Centennial of the Birth of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. We’ll listen to these remarks but first, on May 25th, 1977, then former Governor Ronald Reagan delivered a radio address, entitled Public Servants. As you listen, think about the Air Traffic Controllers strike which occurred 4 years later in 1981, during his first year in office.
On January 27, 1987, President Ronald Reagan delivered his sixth State of the Union address, calling for cuts in domestic spending, an increase in the defense budget, and an assurance of no tax increases. But before he delivered the speech to Congress, he prepared a radio address to the nation, to be delivered several days before his annual State of the Union Address. Inspired by FDR’s Fireside Chats, Ronald Reagan felt there was an intimacy to radio which could not be replicated. And this intimacy provided an opportunity to touch the American people in a completely unique way. So, on January 24, 1987, in this informative address, the President gave the American people a little history on the State of the Union tradition.