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President Reagan's 1984 Visit to Parkersburg

He wanted to come to Parkersburg, WV, to show that WV was a good state. In his speech he said "West Virginia was worth visiting."


I was teaching elementary school at the time and I was so fortunate to get a ticket. I was among the last 12 people to be admitted into the building. When President Reagan took the stage and the applause died down, he smiled and said, "How 'bout them eers" The crowd went crazy.


I remember being about 10 years old at the time. My family was standing close to where the old Broughton's was over by Emerson Ave. I remember seeing him in his limo as it went by to the high school.


Accomplishments:

The demise of the Soviet Union was, obviously, the major accomplishment of the Reagan presidency. But it could be that it was as much the encroachment of popular western culture into the U.S.S.R. by satellite, computers and even rock'n'roll, that helped the Soviet people realize that they were living in poverty even though their country was a "Superpower." But Reagan and his "Star Wars" concept certainly got the attention of Soviet leaders!


Uniting the nation. Making people feel good about being an American.


The rich got richer, and the poor got poorer. Being on the poorer side, I didn't like it much. (Kind of like the current "recovery", when my husband & I are facing our worst financial struggles in 20 years of marriage.)


He helped America to regain self-respect as a nation.


How will historians remember President Reagan:

As a strongly principled, idealistic leader. Perhaps too idealistic but his optimism was infectious.


I think they will remember him very well.


He was one of the worst presidents we have ever had.


I would hope that Ronald Wilson Reagan will go down in history books as the greatest president of the 20th century. He was a man of conviction and honor. He held to his beliefs even when it seemed the rest of the world thought he was doing the wrong thing. He was a man of his word. He was THE MAN instrumental in winning the cold war. He was not , or though it appeared, afraid of what others thought of him and his convictions. As many have stated, he was a man who believed in an America which many of us had never seen or trusted before.


Historians will remember Reagan as the one who ended the Cold War. He will be remembered for his great speeches.


I hope that history will be more objective regarding Reagan than those who have been enamoured by his charisma. Nothing, not even Clinton's Lewinski affair, was more embarrassing to me (and in my opinion, to the country) than Reagan's constant illusion that we were in the 1950's. A country that wished for that happier age was more than happy to go along with the fantasy.


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