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tv   The Presidency Nancy Reagan Centennial Tribute  CSPAN  May 5, 2022 2:55am-3:51am EDT

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it is the 100th birthday of nancy reagan. what a legacy. she has set an example for all first ladies to follow. i'm excited to be here at the reagan library be here to time commemorating such an important moment for such a wonderful person like nancy running ronald reg would not have been who he was of it weren't for nancy reagan. >> she supported ronald reagan to such a degree it gave him
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the optimism and confidence to carry out his program make americans proud to be americans. >> it's a real partnership for his career in the service of the nation. it's one from which be grateful just as i am grateful for the privilege and pleasure of having no nancy reagan. >> she is helping south of the president and first lady during the cold war to an end. that was good for everybody. >> she wanted her husband to go down in history as a great president, as a peacemaker. she does understand that with gorbachev, he potentially had a partner who could work with him on this. she is absolutely relentless in pushing for this cabinet. she was a lot more willing to trust the soviets then a lot of us were because she had a lot of faith in her husband's ability as a negotiator.
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>> certainly the most married couple that i have ever known. >> the two are inseparable in my memory just as they were in real life. it if ronald reagan had owned a shoe store, my neighbor once wrote, nancy wichman tapping pushing shoes and working the register. >> this year commemorates what would have been nancy reagan's h birthday. >> nancy reagan was a wonderful human being and a true american. her years as a first lady, her grace, her poise will always set the standard for first ladies for generations to come. >> it was through her revolutionary campaign against drug and alcohol abuse that millions of americans learn to just say no. so behalf of america, happy birthday mrs. reagan. >> so nancy, in front of all of your friends here today let me say thank you for all you
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do. thank you for your love. and thank you for just being you. [applause] >> it is great to see visitors once again grace our library. and it is very special to have all of you here on this particular day to kick off a year-long celebration on what would have been nancy reagan's h birthday. i would like to acknowledge several special guests we have with us today, shoot please stand when i recognize you? our own congressman mike garcia a great friend of the reagan library, congressman? california governor in the
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history of the state of california wilson former first lady of california governor gayle wilson. [applause] bryant from california state assembly woman said that office, brian. >> ventura county supervisor bob uber members of his team, bob. [applause] connie and gavin and joanne because a bird, two of the cochairs of the ansa nancy reagan centennial committee. author karen and her husband paul richter. chad fagan our sculpture is to unveiled the marquette of mrs. reagan earlier today.
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[applause] doctor should net that weatherspoon and rebecca naegele in their wonderful foster grandparents. [cheering] [applause] hometown favorite. lisa ceo of the boys and girls club of pasadena. [applause] eunice davis whose husband hal david was a dear friend to nancy reagan. [applause] of course the hard-working and dedicated volunteers of the reagan library who makes your visit in our work so rich and memorable. and finally of course our reagan library visitors to whom we are so grateful to see after such a long journey back to normal.
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[applause] thank you all for joining us today to honor nancy davis reagan. when simon and schuster contacted karen about writing the definitive book about mrs. reagan, at first she declined. she had written just about every kind of story you could imagine. but she had never written a book. even for a most experienced of biographers, writing a book about someone with the breath, character, and life experiences of nancy reagan would be a monumental task. but the editors persisted and eventually karen embraced the challenge. and boy, did she ever embrace it. there is no doubt about it,
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karen has written as what has become and i am sure will long stand as the definitive biography, the definitive work on the life and times of nancy reagan. then, defying the odds and the publisher gods, at the height of a worldwide pandemic, karen release this, her first book, the triumph of nancy reagan. it instantly became a bestseller. the washington post while the book deeply researched and compellingly crafted. and now late breaking news, just a few days ago karen was named the deputy editor of the "washington post" where she is also a recipient for the prize on political reporting,
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congratulations. before joining the post as a columnist for "time" magazine she penned more than three dozen cover stories. prior to that's our time, she spent years at our very own los angeles times reporting on congress, business, economics. karen received her bachelor of journalism from the university of texas at austin and an mba from the harvard business school. a little known fact particularly to karen as i would like to go into business with or selling this book. in her research for the book she uncovers stories event we at the reagan library did not know about. to say that she is thorough is an understatement. within the walls of this beautiful library we are surrounded by important historical artifacts represented in the life's work of both president and mrs.
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reagan. but karen is a storyteller and the story shows so expertly written expertly to this body of knowledge for this work helps us know nancy reagan by painting a verbal portrait of the woman we are here to honor today. it's my pleasure to introduce you karen, author of the triumph of nancy reagan. [applause] >> thank you so much, jon. i will just be a few moments here. nancy reagan would say over, and over, and over again, my life began when i met ronnie. i will just briefly like to take you back to an earlier
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day. a day 100 years before this day when a baby, whose name at the time was and frances robinson was born in a new york hospital. it was the most in auspicious of beginnings that we would all find ourselves here 100 years later. at this moment commemorating her birth is a story that is so un- likely something hollywood could not have dreamed up. she is known as nancy almost from the moment she was born. she was the product of a bad match between an ambitious actress and a not particularly successful car salesman. by the time she was born her
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parents marriage was already effectively over. and francis robbins would spend the next eight years of her life essentially having been abandoned by her mother to live with relatives while her mother went off to pursue her career. these six very, very lonely years really did cast a shadow on her spirit. and i think a longing for the sort of wholeness and security that she finally found and her husband. that is what she would say my life began when i met ronnie. it's also important to understand where he was when they met. when this future first couple met in late 1949, on what
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ronald reagan thought was a blind date, i came up in my research with the fact that nancy had been angling to make their paths cross for quite a while before he actually was convinced this was a blind date. he showed up for their first date literally a broken man. he was leaning on to keynes because he had spent two months in traction have been broken his leg in six places. it was in a charity baseball game. but spiritually, ronald reagan will he was in what he would call a deep freeze. he was approaching middle age, his movie career was hitting bottom, his first wife, jane wyman had essentially gotten bored with him and walked out. and she took their two children with her.
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just as she had the emotional scar tissue of a very difficult childhood, so did he as the son of an alcoholic. ronald reagan would say then came along nancy davis in save my soul. but no one, including reagan himself could possibly have imagined where his awakening interest in politics would lead the two of them. it's only by looking back that it is possible to really understand how essential a political partner she was, she helped build the scaffolding for the right of the most consequential figures of the 20h century. beyond that she was her husband's ever vigilant protector through presidential campaigns and in the white house.
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but her final gift to ronald reagan, i think is around us right now. because it will ultimately, tragically fall to nancy reagan as her husband is afflicted by alzheimer's it would fall to nancy reagan to become the shaper and the protector of his legacy. this library to her was a very, very much a part of it. she wanted to be not just a monument to the past, she wanted it to be a way of looking forward into the future. and i think that is why this library is where important political figures come to make their most consequential speeches. it is why so many republican
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presidential debates are held on the spot. given how grateful i am to the incredible resources that this library makes available to people like me trying to do research it really is wonderful to see again, this is not a museum. this is a living and growing thing. i think it nancy reagan, no one could be more excited than nancy reagan to see what lies ahead in this next chapter, thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the chief executive officer of the boys and girls club of pasadena, ms. lisa kathie eight.
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>> thank you, i was just transported karen. maybe think of a couple stories i'm going to tell that are short. when the reckons left the white house to come back to california i the pleasure of serving them to the nancy reagan foundation for close to ten years. we had other places we continued on with her work. i was really blessed to spend that time with her. today i want to recognize a couple of other people a few other people in fact you are here with this. first of all barbara marandi with juice stand and raise your hand? barbara ran for many years the first just say no effort in l.a. county. we are really pleased with what you did. and then john gustus and ann jamie walsh who were on our team at the nancy reagan foundation. [applause] first quick story, interview day, dress it to the nines in my 20s, new hairdo, new pumps, new suit i can remember
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it like it was yesterday. i'm taken through the back hallways of the beverly hilton hotel up to her sweets. i'm sitting in my chair ready to go this is nancy reagan i met her once in a crowd this is the first time ever in a one on one alone. i am just ready. in my mind i thought should be in a red suit with beautiful pumps may be carrying a chanel bag i did not know. and in she bounces in the bedroom area in running shoes, jeans and a big oversight sweater. i thought oh that is interesting. but it showed me right from the very get-go that mrs. reagan could be that person that in her private life was very much like you and me. in her jeans, and her running shoes was very sweet comment down to earth in those moments. i've never forgotten that. the other memory it was a
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moment ago and they're playing new york new york. we were in new york quite a bit. and it later years when she was caregiving i remember going there, she staying at a friend's apartment there was always this kissimmee tape, it has been a while. it was new york new york. we would put that in in the living room on the can't say another weight she slowed around the living room and the burden that she had their fruit fly in and fly back out. such a wonderful sweet moment with her. really trying to catch kids
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programs like just say nose or others were funded for a number of years the nancy reagan foundation. she felt and was backed by research prevention was a key to stopping the drugs problem in the country. catching them and just say no certainly one of those rallying cries. we heard literally thousands of heartbreaking stories constantly. i remember the impact how hard it was for her to hear those stories. i'm blessed each day to continue the same work really helping them to find adult mentors. ways to combat. pressure, academic success all those things we know make a difference for kids. that really began for me with mrs. reagan. this was so many years ago.
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she was known for saying quite often, if we can help even just one child avoid the ravages of drug abuse it is all worth it. so, while a lot of our work is pretty serious and we are all over the country and sometimes the world, all over the country work with groups to help prevent drug abuse we also had some fun. not only her dancing in the apartment in new york, but we had a lot of fun there is a lot of joy working with her. one of the greatest rewards for me and many others was to hear her laugh. and my mind i can hear that giggle. it started low with a giggle and then it went higher there she was at the higher pitched than something her she would smile, tilt her head back and laugh out loud, thank you.
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♪ ♪ ♪ >> thank you jack, that was terrific. governor wilson and his wife gayle have been wonderful friends of the library and
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supporters of our mission for so long. both gayle and pete have been of service to the nation and the state now for 50 years. gayle wilson graduated five beta kappa from stanford university as a first lady of california she focused on children's health in math and science education and was instrumental in getting the california state summer school for math and science program passed into law. i know she is very proud of that. she serves as the chairman emeritus to this date. she is active on the gilead science board which produces rem does severe the therapy and many doctors turned to at the height of covid-19. and we are delighted that she is here representing all of
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the former first ladies of california as an honorary cochair of the nancy reagan centennial commission. as for the governor, after attending a gale on an rotc scholarship, pete wilson served ten years as marie corr infantry officer before he went on to get a law degree from berkeley. a short four years later he was elected to the california assembly, mayor of san diego and then elect for two terms in the united states senate. he definitely missed california as the weather is so much that he came back to be elected governor of california in 1990 and 1994 again. i would like to invite our former governor from the great state of california, pete wilson to the stage. [applause]
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>> thank you very much john. as john has indicated, i have had a lengthy political career. the nicest part in many respects was the fact that twice i was put into the company of the man for whom this library and foundation are named. and of course is loving and lovely wife nancy whom's birthday we are celebrating today, 100 years after her birth. i was first involved in the fortunes of then governor reagan, mrs. reagan,
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went for five years of his eight years in sacramento as governor i was in the state legislature. more exciting than that with the six years that i spent in the united states senate on the armed services committee, as someone who was a stalwart backer of a tough but reasonable foreign policy. i think it is fair to say that ronald reagan in his eight years in the white house delivered us from the cold war with honor, with great, great goodwill, so i am here today to try to repay in debt the
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debt of gratitude that i feel to the reagan's, the president, governor, and nancy. my wife, gayle has also experienced what it is to celebrate after the votes are counted let's put it this way, the awakening to reality that occurs when you enter the governor's office in sacramento. gayle and i are delighted to be here with you to celebrate the centennial of nancy reagan's birth. both gayle wilson and nancy reagan had the honor and the
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challenge of serving as first lady of california. so, what is required of first ladies? of the thousands of pages of the legislation enacted by members of the california legislature and the endless pages of regulations the fact is, there is no job description anywhere in those pages that defined the duties of the first lady of california. now obviously there are some expectations both the president reagan and i of course receive the love and care from our wives that maintained our physical and mental health through the
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pressure and rigors of service as governor. but we also received from them, suggestions prompted indeed by their truly thoughtful, deep and enduring desire to be of service to others than just their husbands. gayle was instrumental in the creation of the california state summer school for math and science as john has told you. it is a program for high school students who are academically talented in the stem field. if it slips your memory with the initials stem stand for, science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. it is our hope that someday and maybe my expectation really, that one of these now
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bright high schoolers will leave one day celebrated as the winner of the nobel prize in one or several of these fields. it is something that certainly not beyond the realm of possibility. and something to be hoped. throughout her life, nancy reagan was an advocate for many as you have heard. she was the one who first said, just say no. she fought for the rights of her fellow actors as part of the screen actors guild. she took the stigma away from talking about breast cancer and made it perfectly acceptable to say those two dreaded words aloud by sharing
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with her own personal experience. she supported veterans, prisoners of war, those missing in action and later in life her heart led her to be an advocate for alzheimer's research and caregiving while she cared for her beloved husband. but now, way back in 1967 as first lady of california, nancy reagan, visited a school for special needs children. it was there that she discovered the foster grandparent program. it was love at first sight. from that day forward, she began a life long cherished
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relationship with that wonderful organization. and now more than 50 years later we are pleased and grateful to welcome so many volunteers, foster grandparents, in ventura county who are here with us today. [applause] they are here, first because of the duty they feel to help children in need of their help. and second, i think they feel rightly they owe a debt of gratitude to nancy reagan, who never missed an opportunity to be an advocate for what their organization stands for and that is helping children with special needs.
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in fact, this is a rather distinguished audience because it contains members from local chapters, the pepperdine chapter and next year will celebrate its jubilee anniversary. it is the longest running chapter in the country. [applause] in fact, i'm going to do the saying that is most dangerous. that is for a speaker to attempt to pronounce names when she's on familiar if not with the names i more than familiar with the works foster
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grandparents and those joining us today are those who volunteer their time. in the moment i'm going to tell you how spectacularly generous they are with their time. with their attention, they do that to enrich the quality of life for children in preschools, kids who are homeless, and those who are in community programs. so foster grandparent if you are not familiar with what they do, if you join up they may just tell you it is your duty, to this day to help rock a baby or to feed a baby or simply to play with the baby. land maybe you can help preschoolers learn their
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colors and shapes and develop their motor skills. i hope there's not an age limit on teaching. or if they tutor older children, they do that in a number of subjects the most important of which is reason. in fact i picked up on their very good work. we listen volunteers, and be reading tutors very hard-working and ambitious. the university of southern california who gave at least an hour a week with the understanding they would come
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back and tutor the same student each week. it was not simply a chore it was a date, a study date if you will understand many of you have been involved. let me just take a moment to recognize some of the most dedicated of foster grandparents who are in our audience. here today we have just whom i apologize right now. and maria, who've given 13 years of service. wait there is more. price with 14 years of
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service. [applause] and geraldine wakefield with 17 years of dedication to these children. ladies if you are president please stand so we can recognize and thank you. in 1982 when mrs. reagan had been in washington she was able to speak with great passion in the foster program she was moved to put a book quote to love a child.
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and in it she highlights the stories many like the stories of richard with us today. the immensely popular composer 's wife was here earlier with us today. to love a child. and to put a cherry on top it was recorded by frank sinatra. he cannot be that younger.
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she'd be so proud and justly so we honor you for all that you do, whether it's foster grandparents received from them the attention the attention they deserve. living in a free country requires you perform some duties with the rights god bless those who recognize the including many who lay down their lives for it. they did it to make a more perfect union and to keep it nancy knew that, certainly the president knew that she be so
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proud to take advantage of the moment in her name in his escapist's country strong and generous and those who are in need of help god bless you all in her name i think you ♪ ♪ ♪
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federal, state, and local government representative here today to whom we are so appreciative of their efforts to commemorate the centeno nancy reagan. if you will be coming up to join us on stage. we will start with student leadership and page barela, page. >> on behalf of the city of simi valley i hear bright proclaim july 6, 2021 as nancy reagan's centennial celebration day. [applause] trucks i would like to welcome
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insurer county bob hubert to stage, bob? >> thank you. it is indeed an honor to be here on behalf of the board of supervisors but had the occasion over the years to have a cordial relationship with both ronald and nancy reagan. they are wonderful people. they've given a lot back to our community and our area we are very proud to be your today on behalf of the board of supervisors. we have linda parks the board of supervisors are you here today linda? matt lavera supervisor first district, linda parks chair of the board second district.
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kelly long, myself the fourth district and the fifth district. we are all very proud of the legacy of the reagan's. i've been in this library since it was open multiple times as i'm sure all supervisors have. very proud that both ron and nancy at leg and had area here, our community the people who were here we followed in their footsteps admirable leaders here today we appreciate you very much being here today to honor them. i have a resolution signed by all five members of the county board of supervisors. linda parks in the chair of the board, matt levee your supervisor first district, kelly long supervisor third district, fifth district and myself with the fourth district. on behalf of the county of
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ventura we are very proud to be your today. we are very thankful the reagan's chose this area to give back leadership, thank you for inviting us. we appreciate it. [applause] >> i would like to welcome brian, chief of staff assemblywoman to the stage. brian? >> alright thank you very much that was a lovely program. we have a copy of resolution 94 eligible to be heard on the assembly floor and it works today is a very special day the 100th birthday of nancy reagan who also served her life to public service. [applause] last but definitely not least in our book, congressman if you would please join us on
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the stage? [applause] well, i will be brief as well. john and the foundation thank you for letting me be a part of this very special occasion. to be able to take part in the celebration of nancy reagan's 1h birthday on what many of us considered to be a truly remarkable experience. thank you. i'll just say and i'll be brief as a father a 14-year-old and a 4-year-old i think it takes a little bit more and hugs and kisses. sometimes it takes an awful lot of patients to love our kids. god bless the grandparents are taking care of our children. it is an honor and what nancy would love to see happen on this very special day as well. i have the honor of submitting to the congressional record a proclamation in honor of nancy reagan's 100th birthday on
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behalf of the now 11 republicans in congress from the california delegation which is by the way 50% more than it was a year ago. we are making progress in that regard. [applause] we will reclaim this mrs. wilson want to thank you for everything you have done for our beautiful state and our country. it has been a long journey. you are not only icons in california but also heroes and folks more people should emulate just like mr. and mrs. reagan. this political world can be nasty. the spouses and the significant others don't get the better half of those who serve and many ways the spouses and significant others are the ones actually serving and deeper depth nancy reagan did that with passion she did that with grace more than anyone else. simply put, we would not have ronald reagan if we did not
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have nancy reagan. we would not have some of the things that make our state and our nation as precious and valuable as it is if we did not have nancy reagan. for him to have someone to come home to who knew his strengths, knew his weaknesses made him better on a daily basis as a service to the country we cannot repay. we cannot repay it in words alone at the celebration. but we can and honoring her and continuing the legacy of the reagan's. so on behalf of the now 11 republican members of congress representing california and washington d.c. want to thank the foundation, this beautiful graceland the library here for having us. we pay her respects on a daily basis. we will not ever forget what we came from. we will ever forget the sacrifices needed to make sure this country remains the best country in the world in the history of the world and continue the legacy of the reagan's throughout our lifetime. thank you for having us.
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[applause] thank you congressman if you would remain on stage for one more minute. remaining participants were join us on stage to wish us a happy birthday that would be karen, and lisa, governor and mrs. wilson. [background noises] [background noises]
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♪ ♪ happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ happy birthday to you ♪ ♪ happy birthday dear nancy ♪ ♪ happy birthday to you ♪
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♪ [applause] enjoy the rest of yourby searc'e
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john f. kennedy under fives, antoinette antonio and i'm janice hodgson. i'm the museum curator here


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