Reagan: Highlights of the 1960s

1961: “Ronald Reagan Speaks Out Against Socialized Medicine”

(10 minutes) This speech is a terrific introduction to Reagan’s inimitable ability to frame complex issues – like socialized medicine – into a verbal and conceptual framework that the lay individual can clearly understand. I occasionally revisit this magnificent speech to remind myself just how much content can be compressed into ten minutes, if one knows what he (or she) is doing.

1962: “The Truth About Communism”

(2 hours) This documentary, narrated by Reagan, is an awesome introduction to, and overview of communism’s origins and history. Listening to him describe the brutal, anti-human nature of communism, I cannot help but wonder if some of the anger that is periodically apparent in his voice is the residue of the threats he received for daring to speak out against communists’ relentless efforts to take over Hollywood.

1964: “A Time For Choosing”

(28 minutes) As well known as Reagan was until 1964, this blockbuster speech was his final, national “coming out.” On the cusp of the election between Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, he gave a crystal-clear summary of the grave importance of the choice facing American voters. Although Johnson won in a blowout, this speech is credited with catapulting Reagan into national awareness as a serious political figure, and laid the groundwork for “the Reagan Revolution,” sixteen years later.

1966: Reagan announces his candidacy for governor of California

(30 minutes) In the wake of his stellar speech for Goldwater in October 1964, Republican leaders throughout California urged Reagan to run for governor. Reagan was reluctant, but agreed to spend much of 1965 traveling the state, to speak to citizens, and get their take on their concerns, and whether he might be a good fit for the job. After discussing it with his family before and during the 1965 holiday season, Reagan decided to seek the Republican gubernatorial nomination. What you’re about to see was Reagan’s first political speech in which he was promoting only himself. It aired on January 4, 1966.

1967: John Wayne TV commercial for Reagan

(1 minute) By today’s standards, this is a really rough ad. But in its time, and for its purpose, it was probably as good as they came – and it worked. Reagan won by a landslide. (Note: If you have ad-blocking software, you’ll just need to wait 30 seconds for the video to load; see top of frame)

Reagan, after his victory was announced:

1971: Gov. Reagan on “Sonny & Cher”

(8 minutes) Reagan accepts the first-ever “Bono” Award – and, with his typical grace, played straight man to Sonny & Cher. A class act in an era that desperately needed one.


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Freedom-oriented multimedia graphic designer, writer and creative consultant. Disruptor. Creator of the ILoveIsrael project ( Author of memoir "Saved By Shayna: Life Lessons From A Miracle Dog". Writer-director of documentary"TWITTER EXPOSED: Enabling the Taliban - but stopping a campaign to rescue US allies FROM the Taliban".

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