(VUS.13,15) Ronald Reagan – “Morning in America”

  • Reagan Takes Office

    Reagan Takes Office
    Reagan’s policies had an impact on the relationship between the federal and state governments. The conservative philosophy of prompted a re-evaluation of the size and role of government in the economy and society. Reagan advocated: tax cuts, transfer of responsibilities to state governments, appointment of judges who exercised “judicial restraint”, reduction in the number and scope of government programs, cut regulations and strengthen American military. MORE
  • Hostage release (VUS.15f)

    Hostage release (VUS.15f)
    After 444 days, the remaining 52 American hostages were released hours after Reagan’s inauguration, ending the national nightmare.
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    Ronald Reagan Administration

    Reagan’s policies had an impact on the relationship between the federal and state governments. The conservative philosophy of prompted a re-evaluation of the size and role of government in the economy and society. Reagan advocated: tax cuts, transfer of responsibilities to state governments, appointment of judges who exercised “judicial restraint”, reduction in the number and scope of government programs, cut regulations and strengthen American military.
  • Assassination attempt

    Assassination attempt
    President Reagan was shot in the chest by John Hinckley, Jr. – a psycho who was trying to impress an actress. Secretary James Brady was also severely wounded, and the action sparked the handgun control debate. Reagan nearly died in the hospital, but recovered within two weeks. MORE
  • The First Space Shuttle Launch (VUS.15c)

    The First Space Shuttle Launch (VUS.15c)
    The Space Shuttle program was another victory in the Space Race, as the new technology allowed the craft return home safely carrying astronauts. This was to be the new era for NASA – and shuttle flights continued for 30 years! MORE on the first launch
  • Feeding the Soviets (VUS.13d)

    Feeding the Soviets (VUS.13d)
    Reagan lifted the grain embargo on the Soviet Union that was established by Jimmy Carter. He still hated the commies, but realized that starving them would only harm the situation. Besides, the American farmers needed the export. Reagans later actions would help bring pressure on the Soviet Union and bring an end to the Cold War.
  • Judicial Appointment, Sandra Day O’Connor (VUS.15a)

    Judicial Appointment, Sandra Day O’Connor (VUS.15a)
    Reagan appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court. Sandra Day O’Connor would sit on the court for about 30 years, and represent the changing “face” of the Supreme Court which would reflect greater diversity.
  • Air Traffic Controller Strike

    Air Traffic Controller Strike
    Reagan fired all of the Air Traffic Controllers who had gone on strike which halted air traffic and commerce across the United States. Citing a violation of federal laws against industry strikes, they were temporarily replaced by military personnel.
  • Reaganomics Begins (VUS.15d)

    Reaganomics Begins (VUS.15d)
    Sometimes called “trickle-down”, or “supply side” economics, the basic program involves cutting taxes and regulations on business. With more capital (money) available, businesses would invest and expand as workers would have more money available to buy stuff. Increasing demand would facilitate the economy, businesses would continue to grow and the economy would recover. Read MORE
  • Reagan announces military build-up (VUS.13d, 15d)

    Reagan announces military build-up (VUS.13d, 15d)
    The President announced increased building of the American Arsenal to put pressure on the Soviet Union. Some denounced the revival of the arms race and dangers associated with it, but VA benefitted economically from the Cold War policies, as the home to the Pentagon and many defense contractors – especially in the Hampton Roads area.
  • Announcing “New Federalism” (VUS.15d)

    Announcing “New Federalism” (VUS.15d)
    Part of the “Reagan Revolution”, in the State of the Union Address Reagan asked for less federal spending and more state initiatives to solve social and economic problems. The desire was to shrink the size and power of the federal government, returning more power to the states and localities. “Government is not the solution to the problem, government is the problem.” MORE
  • Motorola DynaTAC 8000X is available (VUS.15c)

    Motorola DynaTAC 8000X is available (VUS.15c)
    Cell phone technology is on the way – this “dinosaur” was state of the art. Priced at just under $4,000, it featured short battery life and incongruent service. People would be able to improve communications and access to information as this technology improved and became more affordable with better service. Read MORE about life in the 1980’s
  • Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) (VUS.13d)

    Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) (VUS.13d)
    Nicknamed “Star Wars”, Reagan urged the development of a missile defense system based on satellite based lasers that could detonate incoming nuclear warheads in outer space. The program would be super expensive – and Reagan knew the Soviets could not keep up their spending efforts in the arms race, as their economy was severely faltering. MORE
  • The recession is over (VUS.15d)

    The recession is over (VUS.15d)
    Reports on the GNP and employment (both economic indicators) reveal that with the economic growth in 1983, the recession is ending and economic recovery is on its way. Many believe it has to do with the tax cuts and Reaganomics – more likely it was the military defense spending.
  • Sally Ride; The first American Woman in Space (VUS.15c)

    Sally Ride; The first American Woman in Space (VUS.15c)
    Sally Ride represented the changing roles of women, as she became the first American woman to travel into space when she lifted off in the space shuttle.
  • Grenada Invasion (VUS.13d)

    Grenada Invasion (VUS.13d)
    A bloody coup in Grenada, along with a perceived threat to American students on the island provided the U.S. with an excellent excuse to eliminate a Marxist regime allied to Fidel Castro's Cuba. The invasion was quick and decisive, and occupation ended on Dec. 15. The action was condemned by the United Nations, but quite popular in America. MORE
  • Reagan withdraws troops from Lebanon (VUS.15f)

    Reagan withdraws troops from Lebanon (VUS.15f)
    After two attacks on American Marines stationed in Beirut, Lebanon, during their “civil unrest”, Reagan ordered troops to relocate to ships in the Mediterranean. Iranian radicals were linked to both attacks, MORE
  • Reagan Crushes Mondale (VUS.15d)

    Reagan Crushes Mondale (VUS.15d)
    This was even more of a landslide than the election of 1980.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev becomes new Soviet Premier (VUS.13d)

    Mikhail Gorbachev becomes new Soviet Premier (VUS.13d)
    Facing internal and external pressures, and an economy that simply could not recover, Gorbachev set out to reform the Soviet Union by offering Perestroika (limited economic reforms to allow some capitalism) and Glasnost (meaning openness). People were given greater freedoms, and these reforms would eventually lead to the collapse of the Soviet Union. More about Gorbachev's Reforms
  • Shiite Extremists hijack Airliner (VUS.15f)

    Shiite Extremists hijack Airliner (VUS.15f)
    A TWA airliner was hijacked, hostages were taken, and an American was killed. The Syrian government convinced them to release the hostages, but not until some prisoners were released in Israel. MORE
  • South Africa Policy, limited sanctions (VUS.13e)

    South Africa Policy, limited sanctions (VUS.13e)
    Reagan announced limited sanctions against South Africa as a protest against the drastic policy of Apartheid. Believing that harsher sanctions would end up harming the poor black population the most, Reagan was hesitant. Many American companies had already privately boycotted South Africa in protest.
  • Movie Star, Rock Hudson, Dies of AIDS (VUS.15c)

    Movie Star, Rock Hudson, Dies of AIDS (VUS.15c)
    The disease and virus had yet to be fully understood, but the first America to die of AIDS lived in New York. A deadly disease that spread rapidly during the 1980’s caused panic and condemnation. Still a major health issue, many medical advancements have been made to slow the effects and the spread of the disease has slowed in America. MORE on the history of AIDS
  • Palestinian Liberation Front attacks (VUS.15f)

    Palestinian Liberation Front attacks (VUS.15f)
    The hijacking of an Italian cruise ship en route to Egypt – killing an American passenger – surrendered to Egyptian officials who promised them safe passage. They were captured and returned to Rome for Prosecution. Later, in December, members of the same group opened fire in an airport in Rome, killing 20, including an 11-year-old American girl.
  • Challenger Disaster (VUS.15c)

    Challenger Disaster (VUS.15c)
    The space shuttle had a malfunction at liftoff and exploded during its ascent. The first “civilian” traveling into space, teacher Christa McAuliffe was among the astronauts who died in the explosion. MORE
  • West Berlin Discotheque Bombed (VUS.15f)

    West Berlin Discotheque Bombed (VUS.15f)
    Terrorists detonated a bomb at a night club which was frequented by American servicemen stationed there, killing 2 Americans and injuring 230 (including 79 Americans). The Libyan government was believed to have planned and sponsored the terrorist attack. MORE
  • Limited Air Strike against Libya (VUS.15f)

    Limited Air Strike against Libya (VUS.15f)
    President Reagan addressed the nation to announce that he had authorized a series of air strikes against Libya as retaliation for the Berlin terrorist bombing. Mamar Qaddafi, the leader of Libya was known to have given aid to terrorists and supported attacks against the United States and its allies. MORE
  • Summit in Iceland (VUS.13d)

    Summit in Iceland (VUS.13d)
    In their first meeting, Reagan and newly appointed Soviet Premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, discussed the topic of arms reduction. Reagan felt he had “won” – even though no agreements were made. It seemed evident that the Soviet Union was economically in peril, giving Reagan the desire to put more pressure on the Soviets. MORe
  • Iran-Contra Scandal (VUS.13d)

    Iran-Contra Scandal (VUS.13d)
    A commission was formed to study the allegations that the White House had been illegally diverting funds from the sale of weapons to the anti-communist rebels in Nicaragua. Reagan denounces executive privilege, ordering complete compliance with the investigation. The Administration would not be found guilty of wrongdoing, but Reagan’s people looked bad. MORE
  • Reagan Apologizes

    Reagan Apologizes
    Reagan gives a televised address to the people, apologizing for and accepting the responsibility of the Iran-Contra Affair. Claiming it happened without his knowledge, he still admitted he should be held responsible for his administration.
  • “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” (VUS.13d)

    “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” (VUS.13d)
    While visiting West Berlin, Ronald Reagan challenged the moral legitimacy of the Soviet Union – demanding that the Berlin Wall be ordered down. It had been a symbol of the tyranny of the Soviet Union’s domination of Eastern Europe. MORE
  • Gorbachev visits D.C. (VUS.13d)

    Gorbachev visits D.C. (VUS.13d)
    Over three days, the President and the Premier meet, discuss, and sign an agreement to reduce arsenals of intermediate range missiles. It is now evident that Mikhail Gorbachev has plans of reducing tensions with the United States. The END OF THE COLD WAR is near.
  • Reagan visits Moscow (VUS.13d)

    Reagan visits Moscow (VUS.13d)
    Another summit meeting, this time much more friendly, Reagan and Gorbachev discuss further disarmament and economic recovery strategies. It seems that the Cold War is winding down as the antagonistic characteristics between the two governments, and leaders, diminishes. The END OF THE COLD WAR is near.
  • George H.W. Bush elected (VUS.15d)

    George H.W. Bush elected (VUS.15d)
    Defeating the Democrat, Michael Dukakis, the election of Reagan’s Vice-President continues the auspices of the “Reagan Revolution”
  • Pan Am Flight 103 (VUS.15f)

    Pan Am Flight 103 (VUS.15f)
    The flight from London to New York exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing all 243 passengers, and 11 people on the ground. Believed to be a terrorist response to American actions against Libya, the terrorists are believed to have planted the bomb when the plane was in Frankfurt, Germany. The men indicted were already “safe” in Libya, and extradition was refused. MORE to the story