Reagan 1981-1989

Inaugural Parade 1/20, from NA


Reagan proclaimed in his Inaugural Address that "government is not the solution to our problem" and proclaimed "Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will act."

but "voodoo economics" and "wedge politics" and "sleaze factor" and "nancyfication"

Hostages freed after 444 days on Reagan's $16m Inauguration Day

Nancy wore 4 dresses by Adolpho, Blass - Ron ordered 3.5 tons Jelly Bellys

White House renovations to cost $44 million; Nancy's new china to cost $209,508

Inaugural Family Photo (standing from left to right) Geoffrey Davis, Dennis Revell, Michael Reagan, Cameron Reagan, President Reagan, Neil Reagan, Dr. Richard David, Ron Junior. (sitting from left to right) Anne Davis, Maureen Reagan, Colleen Reagan, Mrs. Reagan, Bess Reagan, Patricia Davis, Patti Davis, Doria Reagan 01/20/1981 (NLS-WHPO-C140(12)) from NA
Inauguration was 1st on west front of Capitol facing the National Mall

Reagan agenda:
  1. Stop inflation - the "silent thief"
  2. Cut spending, taxes, welfare, bureaucracy
  3. Strengthen defenses
  4. Confrontation rather than negotiation
  5. Social Issues: pro-school prayer, anti-abortion
Poseidons on USS Charleston
Boeing E-3A AWAC

inner circle: James Baker, Chief of Staff, "grand producer" Michael Deaver, Deputy, Ed Meese, A-G

Triad of B-1 bomber, MX missile, Trident sub restored; 600-ship Navy and neutron bomb funded.

AL Haig at confirmation hearing for Secretary of State: "There are more important things than peace - things which we Americans must be willing to fight for."

Reagan Doctrine confronted the Brezhnev Doctrine behind the CIA "veil"

Reagan reversed Carter "leprosy letter" that had required American officials to avoid selling arms to foreigners. Instead, State Dept. appointee James Buckley initiated the sale of Boeing AWACS (Airborne Warning and Control Systems) radar jets to Saudi Arabia despite protests from Israel, and the sale of General Dynamics F-16 jet fighters to Pakistan, South Korea, Israel and Venezuela. The world's leading gun runner Sarkis Soghanalian helped Reagan sell arms to Panama, Iraq and Afghanistan.

The U.S. became global arms merchant    


"Rawhide" shot by John Hinckley March 30, told "Rainbow" "Honey, I forgot to duck"

Reagan waving to crowds immediately before being shot in an assassination attempt, Washington Hilton Hotel 03/30/1981 (NLS-WHPO-C1426(16)) from NA
Chaos outside the Washington Hilton Hotel after the assassination attempt on President Reagan 03/30/1981 (NLS-WHPO-C1426(26)) from NA

"Who's in charge?" - "Vicar" Haig (State) vs. "Cap" Weinberger (Defense) - Haig would resign June 1982, replaced by hawkish George Shultz.

1st shuttle Columbia flew April 12, 1981.

April 28 - Economic Recovery program speech proposed drastic cuts in domestic programs to stop the growing federal deficit. However, after the first year of the program, unemployment had risen to 10%, 17,000 businesses had failed, inflation remained high and the recession continued.

Sandra Day O'Connor first woman appointed to Supreme Court.

"Bonnie & Clyde" of the Far Right: James Watt tried to sell offshore oil leases; Anne Burford opposed the Clean Air Act (81,000 tons per day from autos; Mt. St. Helens produced 2000 tons in one day).

James Edwards appointed to Energy Department; Terrel Bell to Education

PATCO strikers
Sandra Day O'Connor 07/15/1981 (NLS-WHPO-C3015(7) ) from NA
1st Cabinet 02/04/1981 (NLS-WHPO-C487(2) ) from NA

Reagan fired PATCO strikers, called baseball strike "cultural terrorism"

Senate rejected 96-0 Reagan's proposed OASDI cuts (Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance), but passed Social Secuirty tax (SS & Medicare were 27% of total federal budget, part of the "safety net" protected by Congress since FDR)

Reagan signed largest U.S. tax cut and took David Stockman to the "woodshed" but in 1982 he would raise taxes with the Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act (TEFR). of 1982.

Poland martial law, Solidarity outlawed, Welesa imprisoned

Reagan responded with pipeline sanctions

Next - Reagan 1982

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