Monday, 1 September 2008

Ronald Wilson Reagan

Ronald Wilson Reagan - 40th President of the United States; Actor

Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1930s, where he became an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric (GE). His start in politics occurred during his work for GE; originally a member of the Democratic Party, he switched to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.

As president, Reagan implemented new political initiatives as well as economic policies, advocating a limited government and economic laissez-faire philosophy, but the extent to which these ideas were implemented is debatable. The supply side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", included substantial tax cuts implemented in 1981. After surviving an assassination attempt and ordering controversial military actions in Grenada, he was re-elected in a landslide victory in 1984.

Reagan's second term was marked by the ending of the Cold War, as well as a number of administration scandals, notably the Iran-Contra Affair. The president ordered a massive military buildup in an arms race with the Soviet Union, forgoing the previous strategy of détente. He publicly portrayed the USSR as an "evil empire" and supported anti-Communist movements worldwide. Despite his rejection of détente, he negotiated with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to shrink both countries' nuclear arsenals. Reagan left office in 1989; in 1994 the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He died ten years later at the age of ninety-three, and ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating.

Ironically, in recent years a belief in the Catholic faith has not been an essential prerequisite for potential members who have the right connections. Non-aristocratic parties can now be initiated by the "Magistral Grace" of the Grand Master, although not in Britain, Germany and other European countries with a strong tradition of nobility. However, this has allowed many Americans to join, and an "Order of Merit" is bestowed upon those who have outstandingly served the Knights or their works. Past Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush are such honorary initiates, and Reagan was the toast of an extravagant dinner held by the Order in 1989.
In 1989, the American Association received national recognition when His Most Eminent Highness Fra’ Andrew Willoughby Ninian Bertie, Grand Master of the Order, presented President Ronald Reagan with the Collar of the Order pro Merito Melitense. This presentation at the Association’s annual dinner was the first time in the Order’s history that an American President had formally recognized the Order. According to the Association’s president, J. Peter Grace, “The President … [received] this award for his vigorous defense of the pro-life cause during his eight years in office, his commitment to Christian moral principles, and his dedication to traditional family values[12]”. Perhaps, Reagan’s remarks provided one of the best insights into this Order[13].
the Knights of Malta conferred on then President Ronald Reagan their highest honor - the Grand Cross of Merit Special Class - at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel Jan.13.
Cardinal and Reagan

LEAD: President Reagan is to be interviewed during his stay in New York this weekend by John Cardinal O'Connor. Mr. Reagan is in New York to receive an award from the Knights of Malta. The interview is to be shown on ''Face to Face With John Cardinal O'Connor'' on Channel 2 at 7:30 A.M. Sunday. Cardinal O'Connor is expected to speak with the President about religious issues during Mr. Reagan's tenure and how his beliefs influenced his leadership.
Uncivil Liberties
Trillin, C. | February 13, 1989 issue

The article focuses on government's policy for the homeless in the U.S. Cardinal John O'Connor of New York asked President Ronald Reagan the other day about criticism that his Administration had made virtually no effort at all to build housing for the homeless. This was when the President was a guest on the Cardinal's television show just before receiving an award in New York from the Knights of Malta of America, which was described in the newspaper as an organization dedicated to serving the sick and the poor. Reagan explained to the Cardinal that most of the people who live on the street are there because they prefer that way of life.
Perhaps the best of Reagan’s one-liners came after he attended his last ceremonial dinner, with the Knights of Malta in New York City on January 13, 1989. The evening’s m.c., a prominent lay Catholic, was rendered so emotional by wine that he waved aside protocol and followed the President’s speech with a rather slurry one of his own. It was to the effect that Ronald Reagan, a defender of the rights of the unborn, knew that all human beings begin life as “feces.” The speaker cited Cardinal John O’Connor (sitting aghast nearby) as “a fece” who had gone on to greater things. “You, too, Mr. President—you were once a fece!”

En route back to Washington on Air Force One, Reagan twinklingly joined his aides in the main cabin. “Well,” he said, “that’s the first time I’ve flown to New York in formal attire to be told I was a piece of shit.”
Reagan, Ronald BGC, SMOM • 40th President of the United States (1981-89)
• member, United World Federalists
• Committee on the Present Danger
• D. 2004
The Order of Merit pro Merito Melitensi of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a knightly order of merit established in 1920. It is awarded to men and women who have brought honour and prestige to the Sovereign Military Order of Malta or actively promoted Christian values or works of charity in the Christian tradition as defined by the Roman Catholic Church. Although, strictly speaking, honorees become knights or dames, they are not invested in a religious ceremony as knights and dames of the Order of Malta itself (which is a military order of chivalry); therefore the Order pro Merito Melitensi (sometimes "Melitense") may be bestowed upon non-Catholics. Conferees include prominent statesmen, such as Ronald Reagan (who received it while still in office) and George H.W. Bush. The Order of Merit has certain ranks (such as knight commander) no longer used in the Order of Malta, and has no nobiliary grades. In this way it is comparable to numerous orders of merit around the world, including the Papal orders.
Circumstantial evidence:
Remarks at the Annual Dinner of the Knights of Malta in New York, New York

January 13, 1989

Your Eminences, Your Excellency, Your Most Eminent Highness, President Peter Grace, and ladies and gentlemen, tonight for me is a moment from humility: to stand here before you, the members of the most ancient order of its kind in the world, formed in the Holy Land 900 years ago -- or as some of us would say, only yesterday. [Laughter] But to stand in this way before the members of this order with its remarkable history, which speaks to the entire ebb and flow of Western civilization, and its noble present, which is a monument to the highest values of free men and women, is to be reminded once again that the only true calling of man is service to God, and to have served in that calling is cause not for pride but for gratitude.
SMOM by mention:
Social Network Digram:

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pages cited this search: 437

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for the short history about former President Reagan, this will help a lot.

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