He left us in 2004, but February 6th will mark the former President Ronald Reagan’s 105th birthday.
Here are 9 things that former President Reagan did for the United States of America:
1. He reduced the unemployment rate from 7.5% to 5.4%.
In January 1981, the economy was in recession and the unemployment rate was 7.5%. By the time Reagan left office in 1989, it was reduced to 5.4%. (Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics)
2. He survived an assassination attempt.
On March 30, 1981, Ronald Reagan was walking out of the Washington Hilton when he was shot by a gunman. After two hours of surgery at George Washington University Hospital, Reagan was announced to be in “good” and “stable” condition, and quickly bounced back to lead the country. (Source: New York Times)
3. He signed into law historic income tax cuts.
Reagan and taxes
In both 1981 and 1986, Ronald Reagan signed into law bipartisan tax reform acts that lowered individual and corporate tax rates to historic lows. His tax reforms helped grow the economy and led to the 1980s boom. (Source: Reagan Foundation)
4. He called the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”
On March 8, 1983, Ronald Reagan addressed the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, and referred to the Soviet Union as an “evil empire.”
5. He told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down this wall” and ended the Cold War.
On June 12, 1987, Ronald Reagan addressed the people of West Berlin near the Berlin Wall and challenged Mikhail Gorbachev, the General Secretary of the Soviet Union, to “tear down this wall.”
(Source: CBS News)
6. He was re-elected with 525 electoral votes, the most in U.S. history.
In 1984, amid a booming economy, Ronald Reagan won re-election against Democrat Walter Mondale with 525 electoral votes, winning every state except Minnesota and Washington, D.C. It was the biggest landslide in the electoral college in U.S. history.
(Source: US Election Atlas)
7. He fired 11,345 federal air traffic controllers who were on strike.
On August 5, 1981, Ronald Reagan fired more than 11,000 air traffic controllers who ignored his executive order to return to work and held an illegal strike. The move reinforced the country’s perception that Reagan had every intention to reform the federal bureaucracy.
8. He told this hilarious joke about his old age.
When asked why his old age wasn’t a problem during a debate in the 1984 presidential election, Ronald Reagan gave this hilarious response that even got his opponent to laugh.
9. He appointed the first woman to the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor dancing with Ronald Reagan.
In 1981, Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor to the Supreme Court, making her the first woman to ever serve on the bench.
(Source: Supreme Court)