On Reagan’s Birthday, His Legacy Lives On
Today marks President Ronald Reagan’s 101st birthday. Born in Tampico, Illinois, Reagan made his journey west to Iowa as a radio broadcaster, then on to California to take Hollywood by storm. He crossed America as a spokesman for General Electric, and then — after discovering the import of conservative values — entered the political arena, where he would ultimately lead his fellow citizens out of a wilderness of self-doubt, helping the country come to see that it could be morning in America once again.
We at The Heritage Foundation invite you to join us in celebrating Reagan’s life and legacy. For those of you on Facebook, click here to join the thousands of others who have already signed our virtual birthday card to President Reagan. Leave your message about what Reagan’s legacy means to you, share it with friends, and take part in this celebration today.
Upon his inauguration, Reagan was confronted with a deep economic crisis, one of the worst sustained inflations in America’s history, historically high unemployment, the fallout from an energy crisis, stagnation, massive government spending, an untenable tax burden, a hollow military, and the Soviet threat. Yet in the face of the economic crisis, President Reagan turned toward not more government, but less. And in the face of a global threat, he turned toward a stronger military and international leadership — not a weaker military and retrenchment. Reagan understood as well as any that the framework envisioned by the Founders — and set forth in the Constitution — was one that trusted the people to govern themselves, not one that subjugated them to the rule of the few, as reflected in his First Inaugural Address.