Centennial celebration

A Family affair — Ron and Nancy Reagan surrounded by their children.

Actor turned political figurehead and now an American icon, Ronald Reagan’s life and legacy will be celebrated in a special Centennial Celebration hosted by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Library this year.

As a part of the celebration, the Reagan Foundation will be sponsoring “A Concert for America – A Tribute to Ronald Reagan” which will feature live music and tributes from world leaders and other prominent people whose lives have been impacted by the former president.

The concert will be streamed live Feb. 5 from 7 to 9 p.m. on the Foundation’s website reaganfoundation.org/live-webcasts.aspx. The event will feature The Beach Boys, Lonestar, Lee Greenwood, Fred Thompson, Jerry West and video tributes from George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

On Feb. 6, the Foundation will be streaming musical entertainment live from their website beginning at 10:00 a.m. with the program celebration beginning at 11:00 a.m. The program will include a 21-gun salute, an F-18 flyover and keynote remarks from Secretary James Baker, according to the Foundation’s website.

Before entering the presidential office, Reagan was best known for his acting roles in the 1930s and 40s. In 1949 he met his wife and fellow actress, Nancy, and they were married in March of 1952. During Reagan’s time in office, Nancy would go on to launch the “Just Say No” campaign against drug and alcohol abuse. The Reagans had two children, Patti, born in 1952 and Ron, born in 1958, and two children who were from a previous marriage named Maureen and Michael.

Reagan entered office in 1981 as the nation faced a time of economic downturn. During his inaugural speech as he took office, Reagan said he believed it was the government’s job to serve the people and inspired Americans to dream heroically.

“We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we’re in a time when there are no heroes, they just don’t know where to look,” he said.

During Reagan’s term in office, Congress passed legislation such as the President’s Comprehensive Crime Control Act that kept criminals behind bars, restricted the use of the insanity defense and toughened the penalties for drug dealers.

Reagan would later go on to fight for laws that would protect children signing legislation that made child pornography a separate criminal offense. He also fought for the rights of women, as he became the first president to nominate a woman, Sandra Day O’Connor, to serve on the United States Supreme Court.

Reagan was laid to rest on June 11, 2004.

Inscribed on his memorial site are the words “I know in my heart that man is good, that what is right will always eventually triumph and there is purpose and worth to each and every life.”

Events for the Centennial Celebration will be going on throughout the year. For more information, visit the Foundation’s website reaganfoundation.org.

“In all we do we must truly be peacemakers, for ourselves and for our children, for our nation and for the world.” ­­— Reagan, October 1980 at Liberty Baptist College.

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