Timeline: Reagan's Life
The following timeline chronicles the major events in President Ronald Reagan's life:
Feb. 6: Born in Tampico, Ill.
Summer: Began lifeguarding. Reagan eventually would save 77 people and have a plaque erected in his honor.
Graduated from Eureka College with a degree in economics and sociology.
Became a play-by-play announcer for the University of Iowa's football games and the Chicago Cubs.
Signed a $200 dollar a week deal with Warner Brothers after doing a screen test.
Jan. 24: Married actress Jane Wyman.
Jan. 4: Daughter Maureen Elizabeth was born.
March 18: Adopted son Michael Edward was born.
Dec. 9: Honorably discharged from Army with a rank of captain.
Elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, a job he would hold seven times.
July 19: Divorced Jane Wyman.
March 4: Married Nancy Davis.
Oct. 21: Daughter Patricia Ann, aka Patti Davis, was born.
Emceed a variety show in Las Vegas.
Began hosting General Electric's Theatre television series.
May 20: Ronald (Skip) Prescott was born.
Registered as a Republican after years as a Democrat.
October: Gained prominence after giving a 30-minute televised speech endorsing presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.
Jan. 6: Took office as governor of California.
Jan. 6: Left office after serving two terms as governor of California.
Began a radio commentary program and wrote a syndicated column.
Feb. 26: Reagan won the New Hampshire primary, pulling 51 percent of the vote in a seven-way race. William Casey was hired as campaign manager. From New Hampshire on, Reagan was the frontrunner.
July 17: Reagan accepted the Republican nomination for president. In his acceptance speech, he said: "They say that the United States has had its day in the sun, that our nation has passed its zenith. They expect you to tell your children that the American people no longer have the will to cope with their problems, that the future will be one of sacrifice and few opportunities. My fellow citizens, I utterly reject that view."
Nov. 4: Reagan trounced Carter, winning 44 states in the general election, and Republicans gained control of the Senate for the first time since 1964.
Jan. 20: Inaugurated as America's 40th president. On the same day, Iran released the 52 remaining hostages who had been held at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran for 444 days, while Carter was president.
Feb. 18: Reagan unveiled his "program for economic recovery" to a Joint Session of Congress. Reagan called for $41.4 billion in cuts. He also called for a 30 percent tax cut over three years and an increase in defense expenditures, and vowed not to cut Social Security.
March 30: John W. Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate the president.
April 11: Reagan recovered from a gunshot wound and left the hospital.
April 28: Reagan appeared before Congress for the first time since the assassination attempt, receiving a hero's welcome and overwhelming support for his economic package.
July 29: President's proposal for a three-stage tax cut, the biggest in U.S. history, was approved by Congress.
Sept. 25: Sandra Day O'Connor was sworn in as the first woman justice on the Supreme Court.
Oct. 6: Egyptian President Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated by Muslim fundamentalists.
Nov. 12: Reagan adopted "zero option" in Europe. The U.S. set a date for deployment of Pershing II missiles, while promising to cancel it if the Soviets dismantled all intermediate weapons targeted at Western Europe.
June 6: Reagan addressed the meeting of combined Houses of Parliament (first U.S. President to do so) and took Britain's side against Argentina in the Falklands conflict.
June 7: Met with the Pope at the Vatican.
June 8: Reagan delivered a speech in front of British Parliament. He predicted the ultimate triumph of freedom over communism.
Aug. 9: John Hinckley was sentenced to be indefinitely committed to a mental hospital.
March 8: In a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals meeting in Orlando, Fla., Reagan said the U.S.S.R. was the "focus of evil in the modern world."
March 23: President urged research and development of the Strategic Defense Initiative.
July 4: Soviet Premier Yuri Andropov's letter to Reagan suggested elimination of the nuclear threat. Reagan sent cordial reply suggesting that U.S.-Soviet negotiators pursue this goal in Geneva.
Nov. 23: The first Pershing II missiles was deployed in West Germany. U.S.S.R. broke off International Nuclear Forces (INF) talks in Geneva.
December: Time magazine chose Reagan and Andropov as "Men of the Year."
Jan. 29: Reagan formally announced he was seeking reelection.
June 6: Reagan delivered a speech at Pointe du Hoc, where he stood on the dramatic rock cliff jutting into sea that U.S. Army rangers had climbed during invasion of Normandy. The veterans of this invasion were his audience.
Nov. 6: President reelected.
Jan. 20: Reagan sworn in for a second term.
May 5: Reagan visited Bitburg Cemetery and Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The visit was intended to honor the victims of World War II and the Holocaust, and to celebrate the reconciliation between the U.S. and West Germany. A great deal of controversy surrounded Reagan's visit to the German military camp at Bitburg, which contained graves of Nazi soldiers of the Waffen SS.
July 13: President had a malignant colon polyp removed; vice president served as acting president for eight hours while Reagan was in surgery (first use of Section 3 of the 25th Amendment since ratification in 1967).
Jan. 15: Reagan signed legislation making Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday to be celebrated on the third Monday of January.
Jan. 5: Reagan underwent prostate surgery.
March 4: On national television, Reagan acknowledged mistakes on Iran-Contra.
June 12: Reagan, in a speech at the Brandenberg Gate, asked Gorbachev to raze Berlin Wall. "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!"
May 29: President visited the Soviet Union for the first time.
June 29: Reagan made his first campaign appearance on behalf of then-Vice President Bush in Miami.
Jan. 11: Gave farewell address.
Spoke at Republican National Convention in Houston.
Nov. 5: Reagan publicly announced he was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease.
Feb. 6: Name of airport in Washington, D.C., officially changed to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport.
July 12: USS Ronald Reagan commissioned in Norfolk, Va.
June 5: Ronald Reagan dies in his California home at the age of 93.