Key Dates in the Life of Ronald Reagan

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

Feb. 6, 1911: Born in Tampico, Ill., younger of two sons of Nelle and
John Reagan.

1932: Graduates from Eureka College, Eureka, Ill.

1932-1937: Works as radio announcer at WOC, Davenport, Iowa, and then
WHO, Des Moines.

1937: Makes film debut with "Love Is on the Air."

Jan. 26, 1940: Marries Jane Wyman, actress. Children: Maureen, born
1941, Michael, born 1945, and Christine, born four months premature in
1947 and died the next day. Marriage ends in divorce in 1949.

1940: Plays "the Gipper" in "Knute Rockne:
All-American," one of his best-known roles.

1942-45: Serves war effort by making air force training films.

1947: Becomes president of the Screen Actors Guild.

March 4, 1952. Marries Nancy Davis, actress. Children: Patti, born
1952, and Ronald, born 1958.

1952, 1956, 1960: Though a Democrat, campaigns for Republicans Dwight
D. Eisenhower, Richard Nixon. Formally switches to Republican Party in

1954-62: Works as host and performer on General Electric Theater, tours
as speaker for GE.

Oct. 27, 1964: Gives influential speech in favor of GOP presidential
candidate Barry Goldwater.

Nov. 8, 1966: Elected California governor over incumbent Democrat
Edmund G. "Pat" Brown.

1968: Makes last-minute bid for Republican presidential nomination.

Nov. 3, 1970: Elected to second term as governor.

1976: Challenges President Ford unsuccessfully in the Republican

Nov. 4, 1980: Elected president over incumbent Jimmy Carter, garnering
51.6 percent of the popular vote to 41.7 percent for Carter and 6.7
percent for independent John Anderson.

Jan. 20, 1981: Sworn in as 40th president of the United States. Iranian
hostages released.

March 30, 1981: Wounded by one of six shots fired as he left a
Washington hotel after giving a speech.

June 5, 1981: The AIDS crisis begins when the U.S. Centers for Disease
Control reports five gay men in Los Angeles are suffering from a rare

July 7, 1981: Announces he is nominating Arizona judge Sandra Day
O'Connor to become the first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court.

August 1981: Fires more than 11,000 air traffic controllers after they
go out on strike against the Federal Aviation Administration.

Oct. 23, 1983: 241 U.S. Marines and sailors are killed in a suicide
truck-bombing in Lebanon.

Oct. 25, 1983: U.S. troops invade island of Grenada after a leftist
coup there.

Nov. 6, 1984: Re-elected, besting former Vice President Walter Mondale
with nearly 60 percent of the popular vote. He took 49 out of 50 states
for an Electoral College vote of 525-13, the most lopsided since Franklin
Roosevelt defeated Alf Landon in 1936.

May 5, 1985: Visits German military cemetery at Bitburg as a gesture of
reconciliation, inciting worldwide protests because 49 of Adolf Hitler's
dreaded Waffen SS troops are buried there.

July 13, 1985: Undergoes successful surgery for colon cancer.

Nov. 19-21, 1985: Summit in Geneva with Soviet leader Mikhail
Gorbachev. Reagan calls it a "fresh start" in U.S.-Soviet

April 15, 1986: United States launches an air raid against Libya in
response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin 10 days earlier. Libya
says 37 people, mostly civilians, were killed.

Oct. 11-12, 1986: Summit in Reykjavik, Iceland, on arms reduction, U.S.
strategic defense initiative or "Star Wars."

November 1986: The Iran-Contra affair becomes public. White House
admits selling arms to Iran but denies it sold arms for hostages. Later in
the month, Reagan announces aide Oliver North has been fired and national
security adviser John Poindexter has resigned. It is disclosed that up to
$30 million in arms-sale profits were diverted to Nicaraguan rebels, known
as the Contras.

March 4, 1987: Reagan acknowledges in a televised speech that his
Iranian initiative deteriorated into an arms-for-hostages deal, saying,
"It was a mistake."

Oct. 23, 1987: Senate rejects Reagan's nomination of Robert H. Bork for
the Supreme Court.

Dec. 8-10, 1987: Summit in Washington. Reagan, Gorbachev sign treaty to
eliminate intermediate-range nuclear forces, but disagreement over Star
Wars blocks progress on a strategic arms reduction treaty.

May 29-June 2, 1988: Summit in Moscow. Reagan, Gorbachev exchange
ratified texts of the INF treaty, discuss strategic and conventional arms
and stroll in Red Square.

Nov. 8, 1988: Reagan's vice president, George H.W. Bush, defeats
Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis for the presidency.

Dec. 7, 1988: Summit in New York City. Gorbachev's plan to reduce
Soviet armed forces is discussed. President-elect Bush takes part.

January 1989: Returns to California after second term ends.

November 1990: Publishes his memoir, "An American Life."

Nov. 4, 1991: Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif.,
dedicated; with President Bush and former Presidents Reagan, Carter, Ford
and Nixon in attendance.

Nov. 5, 1994: Discloses he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease.

Jan. 12, 2001: Breaks his hip in a fall at his home.

March 4, 2001: Christening of the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan.

Aug. 8, 2001: Daughter Maureen dies of cancer.

Oct. 11, 2001: Becomes the longest-lived president ever, having lived
33,120 days. The nation's second chief executive, John Adams, lived 33,119
days, from 1735 to 1826.

July 12, 2003: U.S. Navy commissions its newest aircraft carrier, the
USS Ronald Reagan, the first carrier to be named for a living president.

June 5, 2004: Reagan dies at 93.

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