Ronald Reagan at 100

From the WSJ. Peggy Noonan, who was a speechwriter for Reagan:

At the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, in the foothills of the Santa Susana Mountain Range where old Hollywood directors shot Westerns, they will mark Sunday’s centenary of Reagan’s birth with events and speeches geared toward Monday’s opening of a rethought and renovated museum aimed at making his presidency more accessible to scholars and vividly available to the public. Fifty percent of the artifacts, officials note, have never been shown before—essays and short stories Reagan wrote in high school and college, the suit he wore the day he was shot, the condolence book signed by world leaders at his funeral. (Margaret Thatcher: “Well done, Thou good and faithful servant.”)

Much recently has been written about who he was—a good man who became a great president—but recent conversations about Reagan have me pondering some things he was not.

He wasn’t, for instance, sentimental, though he’s often thought of that way. His nature was marked by a characterological sweetness, and his impulse was to be kind and generous. (His daughter Patti Davis captured this last week in a beautifully remembered essay for Time.) But he wasn’t sentimental about people and events, or about history.

Read the rest here.

We Miss You, Mr. President!



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