Reagan 1983

Return of the Jedi
Reagan on Mar. 23 proposed Strategic Defense Initiative (nicknamed "Star Wars") that will grow into a $17 billion program and become the major stumbling block to arms control talks with the Soviets. SDI became a 4th category in arms talks, with Strategic Arms Reduction Talks (START) and Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) and Mutual Balanced Force Reduction (MBFR). Return of the Jedi premiered May 25 with the largest opening day gross in movie history to date with $6.2 million as audiences cheered Luke's war against the Evil Empire.    


Reagan Addressing the Nation on National Security (SDI Speech) 03/23/1983 (NLS-WHPO-C13571(8A)) from NA

Reagan's popularity rose in 1983 due to foreign policy crises. - 1

Reagan speech Mar. 8 at Convention of National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, condemned Russian communism as "the focus of evil in the modern world." and urged Americans not to ignore "the aggressive impulses of an evil empire."

Reagan expanded military aid to Contras in Nicaragua, despite appeal July 28 of Contadora Group (Mexico, Venezuela, Colombia, Panama) to reject the use of force in Central America. Manuel Noriega became head of the Panama army in August and helped funnel U. S. guns and money into the region.

KAL007 with 269 aboard, including 61 Americans, was shot down by the "evil empire" Sept. 1 - "crime against humanity"

Lebanon bomb killed 241 Marines Oct. 23.

Granada invasion by 6000 troops Oct. 25, but Cubans only helping build airstrip for tourism.

NATO exercise Able Archer with newly deployed Pershing IRBM caused Kosygin fear of Armageddon; Soviet Op. RYAN escalated.

National Endowment for Democracy created by Congress Nov. 18 as propaganda agency and to fund anti-leftist organizations in foreign countries.

President and Mrs. Reagan honoring the victims of the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut 04/23/1983 (NLS-WHPO-C14159(28A)) from NA

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