Society - People
By: - at October 15, 2013

15 Interesting Facts about Ronald Reagan

Ronald Reagan was a wonderfully loved president

Ronald Reagan is one of the most talked about presidents in history; he went through a lot while in office and had one of the highest approval ratings. His re-election campaign was more of a foregone conclusion than an actual race for the presidency and after his death many are still looking for ways to connect with the great man. Uncovering interesting facts has always been a good way to get to know about an individual and everything they stand for, so here are some interesting facts about Ronald Reagan you may or may not have known about.

15)  Reagan Was Once a Democrat
The consummate republican many other republicans look to as an example did not actually start out as one and he is well known for supporting the efforts of President Franklin D. Roosevelt to pass the New Deal. The quote from Reagan in regard to the matter was, “I did not leave the Democratic Party the Democratic Party left me”.

Those close to the president agree that it was his time spent as a General Electric spokesman that made Reagan lean more toward a conservative bend. Even in his conservative nature, what made Reagan such a beloved president was his ability to straddle the line between the parties because he weighed out matters carefully to assure they were given the attention they deserved.

Other accounts say it was his relationship with Nancy Davis that helped spur him on to become a republican because Nancy was an actress well known for her Republican ideals. The last Democrat that Reagan supported was Helen Gahagan Douglas by helping her win a Senate seat in 1950, he later helped Nixon get elected as President.

Add of Democrat Ronald Reagan as the General Electric spokesman
Ronald Reagan was a democrat when he was the General Electric spokesman

Ronald Reagan and Nancy Davis engagement photo
Nancy Davis, now Nancy Reagan, influenced Ronald Reagan to be Republican

Helen Gahagan Douglas Flyer
Ronald Reagan helped Helen Gahagan Douglas get her senate seat for California

Richard Nixon
Ronald Reagan helped Richard Nixon get into office

14)  Reagan Did Not Like Jelly Beans

Old Herman Goelitz Candy
Company picture

Herman Goelitz Candy Company supplied jelly beans to Ronald Reagan
By Jelly Belly,

Jelly beans were on just about every desk, in all his boardrooms and anywhere Reagan was planning to spend a little bit of time. What you may not know was that Reagan wasn't fond of them; he started eating jelly beans as a means of giving up pipe smoking.

The first kind of jelly beans Reagan consumed were made from pectin and his preferred jelly beans were made by the Herman Goelitz Candy Company until Jelly Bellies started producing jelly beans in 1976. It was at this time that Reagan made a switch to the ‘gourmet’ jelly beans. Prior to becoming the president, the jelly beans consumed by Reagan were provided from Herman Roland and after being elected as president, the candies were supplied directly by the Goelitz headquarters in the Chicago area. In 1981 the inaugural festivities included a new flavor of blueberry that had red white and blue colors, 3.5 tons were shipped to the White House.

Jelly Belly factory and visitor center
Ronald Reagan's Jelly beans were made by the Herman Goelitz Candy Company, which is now Jelly Belly
By Amadscientist, via Wikimedia Commons

The Inauguration of President Reagan
Red, white and blue jelly bellys were shipped to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan

13)  Did Not Like Brussels Sprouts
One of the facts many people close to Ronald Reagan can agree on was that the President was not a fussy eater. Having spent a lot of time on public-speaking circuits, there was not a lot of room for debate about what was being served. Reagan learned to eat just about anything that was put in front of him but he never liked the taste of Brussels sprouts; Nancy Reagan also attests that the president was not fond of tomatoes.

The White House kitchens were given strict instructions to avoid using Brussels sprouts on the menu for internal meals and for state affairs. While Regan was in office, the White House staff was able to make sure that he never had to encounter any of the foods he disliked.

President Regan kept his least favorite foods a secret from the public because he didn't want farmers who made their living from the foods he didn’t favor to become alienated. All efforts to keep Brussels sprouts and tomatoes off the president’s plate were done quietly but effectively to avoid any problems.

Ronald Reagan disliked brussel sprouts and tomatoes

12)  Thank Reagan for Not Getting Lost
Just about everyone uses Global Positioning System (GPS) to get where they are going; it is built into many electronic devices and is available as a separate unit. They provide useful information about exactly where on the planet you are and how to get where you need to go; all of this is thanks to Ronald Reagan. While he did not create the technology for GPS, he was responsible for making it available to the public.

The GPS technology was originally developed for use by the military to know what troops, equipment, aircraft and vehicles were located at any given time. The technology was demilitarized as a result of the Korean Airlines flight 007 being shot down by the Russians,  it could not be identified and at that time it was immediately clear just how necessary this technology was for everyday use.

The technology went through extensive development in the hands of the military and even more after it was made available to the public. What started as a large device capable of being found by satellites is now small enough to fit in your back pocket.

Devices that have GPS
Ronald Reagan made it so GPS was available to the Public

Artist's rendition of HL7442, the KAL 747 lost during Flight 007
Artist's rendition of HL7442, the KAL 747 lost during Flight 007.
By Anynobody, Wikimedia Commons

11)  Nominated Five Supreme Court Justices
Most presidents think it is a red letter day if they are able to elect just one justice to the Supreme Court but Ronald Reagan was able to make history by electing five justices to this ethereal position. Two of the justices, Bork and Ginsburg, were not confirmed but  Kennedy, O’Connor and Scalia were. The ability to put three people into position on the Supreme Court gave the President considerable sway in policy making because the laws would not be struck down as being unconstitutional due to the Supreme Court being predominately right wing.

Of the three justices named, two have been iconic decision makers on a variety of subjects. They have been able to provide considerable influence over the decisions that have been made over the years, despite none of his appointees ever stepped into the role of chief justice. This is just one of the many ways in which Reagan has been able to maintain a position of authority in United States politics even after leaving the office.

Bork and Reagan
Bork was one of President Reagan's unconfirmed Supreme Court Justices

Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of Reagan's nominee's

Anthony Kennedy
Anthony Kennedy became Supreme Court Justice because of Ronald Reagan

Sandra Day O'Connor
Sandra Day O'Connor Supreme Court Justice got her position from Reagan

Antonin Scalia
Antonin Scalia became a Supreme Court Justice because of Ronald Reagan

10)  Received Electoral Vote When Not on Ballot
During the Presidential race of 1976, President Ford and Jimmy Carter were battling it out. When the votes were tallied, it came to the attention of those in charge that Ronald Reagan had received an electoral vote but Reagan was not even on the ballot at the time.

Electoral votes are supposed to follow the will of the popular vote, each state has members of the Electoral College who ultimately vote the president into power on behalf of the people. While this system is not always 100 percent representative of what the popular vote is, it is an effective way to elect a president. To receive an electoral vote when your name is not on the ballot is unheard of and didn't happened before hand or since then after.

The electoral vote in question was cast by a “faithless voter” and was meant more as a protest to the two individuals who were running for the office of president. Many did not appreciate either of the two candidates on the ticket and this may very well be the determining factor that led to Ronald Reagan running for president just four years down the road.

President Ford
Reagon received and electoral vote when President Ford and Jimmy Carter were running for President

Jimmy Carter
Reagon received and electoral vote when President Ford and Jimmy Carter were running for President

9)  Received the Highest Number of Electoral Votes for Re-election
Ronald Reagan received the most electoral votes ever counted for a President in U.S. history, which was 525. This was a direct result of the fact the popular vote was 58.8% in favor of Ronald Reagan and that he won 49 of the 50 states. President Reagan was very popular with the public and a majority didn't want Walter Mondale taking over the presidency from Reagan.

Many close to the campaign and political experts have determined that the United States public was enamored with the president, they could not see anyone else running the country. It is a popular belief that Bush was only able to win the presidency following Reagan because many hoped it would mean the continuation of a great presidency but Bush wasn't re-elected due to a less than stellar first term.

It is unlikely that any other politician will receive this number of electoral votes in the future, since every ballot contains at least three political candidates running for office. Sharing the electoral votes three ways is not the only reason though; many doubt there will be another president as loved as Reagan in office for a long time.

Reagan's Electoral Votes
Ronald Reagan received the most electoral votes ever
By Tilden76, Wikimedia Commons

President Bush
President Bush didn't do as well as Ronald Reagan

8)  Run as Governor Surrounded by Brown
Ronald Reagan took the seat as the governor of California in his 1966 election and was able to beat Democrat Governor Edmund G. Brown. Brown was excited to run against Reagan, calling him an extremist and an aging Hollywood star. The expectation was that the election would turn in favor of Brown because of the inexperience Reagan was bringing to the election and the talk was about how easy it was going to be to win against him.

Whether it was the fact that Reagan had already been the president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) or that he was a natural, is for you to decide. What came as a shock to Brown was that in deference to the 1965 polls that showed Reagan as weak, Reagan was able to win the Governor position.

It appeared that Regan was going to make a run at the presidency after he stepped down in 1974. Jerry Brown, Edmund Brown’s son, succeeded him in the office. This led to a very unique appearance in the history books of Reagan being preceded and succeeded by a Brown.

SAG Logo
Ronald Reagan was the SAG President

Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown was elected Govenor after Ronald Reagan

7)  Heavy Influence on Nuclear Arms Reductions

Mikhail Gorbachev
Ronald Reagan made peace with Mikhail Gorbachev in reducing Russian nuclear arms

The Reagan era was right in the heart of the Cold War era when the United States and the Soviet Union built up nuclear arsenals for protection against a nuclear attack. It was an idea of aversion where each side hoped that the other side would see they were serious by showing their teeth and hesitate to start any trouble but all it did was cause a lot of tension.

Ronald Reagan was a big opponent of the Cold War and his position was so strong that he was able to get over his dislike for communist regimes then hold four summits with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev. The summits were a success because Reagan was able to get the Soviet Union to agree to reduce their nuclear arms.

At no time did Reagan give any indication he was fine with a communist regime or the ideals held by those who did. It was an astonishing display of putting aside politics for the greater good of the country and the world. After being President, Reagan was called on to work out further arrangements for nuclear scale backs with the Soviet Union and other countries.

6)  Influential in Tearing Down the Berlin Wall
One of the iconic moments in the ‘80s was the tearing down of the Berlin Wall and Ronald Regan was part of it. Germany had constructed a wall to separate West Germany from East Germany and Berlin was split by the wall that separated democratic Germany from the parts of Germany devoted to Socialism. The wall went through four versions before it was ultimately torn down; many viewed it as a deterrence to unification of the German people and of the world as a whole.

Reagan was at the forefront of those opposed to the existence of the Berlin Wall and he demanded that it be torn down in a 1987 speech. In the speech, he says these famous words: “…tear down this wall!” and it was only two years afterward that Germany decided to do that.

He was later given a bunch of credit for creating a strong voice for the movement to unify Germany and that was just one more factor that led to the overall approval of his presidency, despite that it wasn't his intention to be the spokesperson for a liberal movement.

Berlin Wall 1975
Ronald Reagan detested the Berlin Wall
By Edward Valachovic, via Wikimedia Commons

Ronald Reagan's "Tear Down This Wall" speech
Ronald Reagan's Tear Down This Wall Speech was in support of taking down the Berlin Wall

5)  Ronald Reagan Lowered Taxes
Many candidates promise to keep more money in the hands of the public by lowering taxes but it's not always a possibility with demands for government dollars in a variety of different programs. It also doesn't help that most efforts to lower taxes and spending are countered in congress. However, Ronald Reagan was not plagued by these difficulties because there was no war to shoulder and congress was stacked in his favor.

As a result of such positive factors, Reagan was able to lower the marginal tax rate from 70 percent to 28 percent. This is a number that has not been seen before and has not been seen since. While fluctuations can occur while any president is in office, they generally are just fluctuations and return to fairly high taxation rates.

Lowering taxes was never a strong campaign speech with Reagan but it was a promise he was serious about. This is why Bush felt the need to reiterate that he would not create any new taxes when he was trying to run for president after Reagan. This was a promise he was not able to keep and ultimately led to his short stay in office of only one year.

Reagan outlining plan for Tax Reduction Legislation on July 1981
Taxes were reduced under Ronald Reagan

4)  Inflation Rate Dropped
Inflation occurs when the public has little faith in the dollar and another important achievement for Ronald Reagan was his ability to lower the inflation rate The less the public feels secure in the government or economic factors, the more they feel items are worth. Inflation dropped from a staggering 12.5 percent to only 4.4 percent while Reagan was in office.

The reason for the drop in inflation can be attributed to several factors but most point out ‘Reaganomics’ as a reason for the change. This was an economic model introduced by Ronald Reagan in an effort to stabilize and improve the economy. This model harkened back to the New Deal, which was a program Reagan supported through Franklin D. Roosevelt. The other nicknames for the economic model were:  supply-side economics, used by proponents, and trickle-down economics, used by opponents. The economic model was designed to:  reduce spending,  reduce federal income, reduce capital gains taxes, reduce government regulation and control money supply.

It obviously worked, regardless of what it's name was. Reagan was able to claim one of the best drops in inflation and did it all with the approval of most of the population. Unfortunately, the inflation rate went up when Bush was elected into office.

Reagan speaks about his economic plan
Ronald Regan made Reaganomics

3)  Only President to Have Divorced
No president in the history of the United States has entered into office after a divorce, despite several presidents have been elected without a wife on the campaign trail with them. James Buchanan was the only president to have been elected and to have left office without ever being married. Grover Cleveland was a bachelor when elected president but subsequently married while in office. Chester Arthur, Martin Van Buren, Andrew Jackson, and Thomas Jefferson were widowed before being elected as president; these presidents did not remarry while in office. Woodrow Wilson, Benjamin Harrison, and John Tyler all lost their wives while in office.

The distinction between all of these other presidents and Reagan is that none of them chose to leave their wives. The original marriage to Jane Wyman occurred in the early 1940s but was not destined to last. They were divorced in 1948 and Reagan moved on to marry Nancy Davis, who is now known as Nancy Reagan. As mentioned earlier, it was the marriage to Nancy that led Ronald Reagan to join the Republican Party.

There is no shame in being divorced; it was just an anomaly in the history of the office. Only time will tell if another President will ever be in the same predicament, but it is unlikely.

James Buchanan
James Buchanan had no wife while in office
Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson was widowed
Chester Arthur
Chester Arthur was widowed
Grover Cleveland
Grover Cleveland was widowed
Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson was widowed
Jane Wyman
Jane Wyman was Ronald Reagans first wife but they divorced
Benjamin Harrison
Benjamin Harrison lost his wife while in office
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was widowed
John Tyler
John Tyler lost his wife while in office
Woodrow Wilson
Woodrow Wilson lost his wife in office

2)  Reagan Was Partially Deaf in One Ear
The image of the president is always one of health and vigor, which is why it is a surprise to many to discover he was deaf in one ear. His hearing was lost when he was filming in the late 1930s due to a gun that was fired too close to his ear and he immediately lost partial hearing in it. The damage done to his ear never healed but Reagan was still able to function by turning his head whenever he needed to hear anything better.

His partial loss of hearing in one ear lead to his support of Michael Jackson after being burned in the filming of the famous Pepsi commercial; he sent a letter to Jackson wishing him luck in his recovery from being burned.

The loss of hearing was never made public to maintain the appearance of a healthy President; this continued even after he left office and made it difficult when the family wanted to announce his failing health. It came as a shock to many to discover how long Ronald Reagan had been dealing with health issues because of how private it was kept.

Michael Jackson 1988
Michael Jackson Singing - 1988
By Zoran Veselinovic, via Wikimedia Commons

1)  Reagan’s Last Movie was The Killers

The Killers poster
The Killers was Ronald Reagan's last movie he was in

In 1964, Reagan was featured in his last film called The Killers. Reagan was the star of many original films over the years but he was predominantly known for his roles in Western films. While there were rumors that Reagan was originally offered the position to star in Casablanca, this was found to be only a rumor because Humphrey Bogart was always intended to play the lead role in the film.

This does not mean to say that Reagan was not approached for other films after The Killers or even after becoming president. Reagan’s insistence not to star in any more films was a decision to insure he would be held in higher regard for political office. While the expectation was not that he would star in a film that would embarrass him, there was a concern about being involved with any film makers who had political affiliations.

Reagan is not the last movie star to run for political office, Arnold Schwarzenegger recently became the governor of California. As of yet, no other film star has risen to the office of president. The ease by which Reagan was able to accomplish this feat is testament to his political cunning and his ability to curry favor with the public.

Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger was elected as govenor of California
By Gage Skidmore, via Wikimedia Commons

Final Words
Many feel Ronald Reagan was taken from the world too early and that he still had a lot to offer. While this may never be known, what is for sure is there is still so much to learn about this amazing individual. An actor who aspired to greatness in everything he did and brought these aspirations of greatness to politics; he deserves to be remembered for everything he accomplished as well as everything he was capable of.

These 15 facts are highly interesting but they only begin to scratch the surface of the man Ronald Reagan was. Regardless of political affiliation or cultural background, it is impossible to deny the accomplishments of this man. It is no wonder there is still so much interest in his life years after his passing and decades after his time as President.





Specific People
15 Things You Should Know About Stephen Hawking
15 Fascinating Facts about Michael Jackson
15 Fascinating Facts about Al Capone
15 Interesting Facts about Mother Teresa
15 Interesting Facts about Walt Disney
15 Interesting Facts about George Washington
15 Interesting Facts about Gandhi
15 Interesting Facts about Franklin Roosevelt
15 Interesting Facts about Ben Franklin
Top 15 Interesting Facts about Archimedes
15 Little Known Facts about Martin Luther King
15 Interesting Facts about Ronald Reagan
15 Interesting Facts about Nelson Mandela
15 Interesting Facts About Shakespeare
15 Interesting Facts about Marie Curie
15 Interesting Facts About Julius Caesar
15 Interesting Facts about Leonardo Da Vinci
15 Interesting Facts about Captain James Cook
15 Interesting Facts about John F. Kennedy
15 Interesting Facts About Cleopatra
15 Interesting Facts about Barack Obama
15 Interesting Facts About Albert Einstein
15 Interesting Facts about Adolf Hitler
15 Interesting Facts about Christopher Columbus
15 Interesting Facts About Bill Gates

People Related
15 Most Bizarre Things Purchased by Celebrities
Top 15 Reasons Why People Commit Suicide
25 Individuals Who Thrived with Savant Syndrome
20 Celebrities Who Invented Amazing Things
Top 15 Drugs People Commonly Overdose and Die From
Top 15 Myths about Death
15 Unusual Ways People Have Died
15 Crazy Festivities Around the World
55 Celebrities With Physical Imperfections
15 Funny and Unusual Ways Interviews Have Been Held
15 Weird Ways People Improve Their Confidence
15 Of the Darkest Crime Personalities We Hope to Never Meet
15 People Who Killed for a Living
15 Famous Celebrity Meltdowns
14 Fun Activities That Have Ended Up In Death
15 Facts & Info About Human Trafficking
Shorter Top Lists:
10 Billionaires as Wasteful or Fanciful as They are Wealthy
10 Ruthless Serial Killers Who Were Never Caught
10 Dangerous Serial Killers

Detecting Lies: How to Tell Whether or Not Some is Truthful
Cannibalism in History and the Modern World
What Your Favorite Color Reveals About You
What is a Weirdo? Defining Weirdness in Society
Media's Effect on Society
How to Attract Beautiful Women


Copyright © 2017 YurTopic All rights reserved.

Protected by Copyscape Online Plagiarism Software

There has been a total of

hits counter
Unique Visitors to YurTopic
(Since January 1st 2013)

About  |  Terms and Conditions  |  Contact