Ask anybody: “Who are the great men in human history?” Likely you will hear names such as Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, or perhaps even Ronald Reagan. What do these men have in common? What made them great? They were successful because they were powerful, and with this power they changed the course of history by their heroic actions, or by ruling countries or even whole continents. Ronald Reagan was born in 1911. I have said before I am not a Republican nor a Reagan fan, but it is significant history for northern Illinois and needs to be talked about. Today we see the Ronald Reagan Birthplace building. He was born in the second floor apartment of a commercial building in downtown Tampico, Illinois. Where did president Ronald Reagan go to college ? The Reagan’s lived in the second floor apartment. For a case of pareidolia, notice the apparition in the window, who could that be? From 1915-1919 the structure housed a bakery and from 1919-1931 a bank, First National Bank. Today the first and second floor have been restored. The first floor is a spot-on recreation of a 1920s bank that incorporates original elements from the building’s stint as a bank, such as the vault. The second floor is done as a period apartment from the era when the Reagan’s occupied the space. Interestingly, the apartment features a skylight in the center of its main room and is decorated to the period when the Reagans lived there, although none of the original Reagan furnishings are there. Did Ronald Reagan go to college ? The Graham Building matches up with the harmony of the rest of the district
he building is very similar to the other structures in the Main Street Historic District. It is two stories with three upper floor, flat-headed windows. The Graham Building also has a metal cornice which closely matches the cornice lines of the adjacent structures, contributing to the overall architectural harmony of the historic district. When I went it was July, 105 degrees, and the woman inside, a volunteer, seemed truly glad to see me. In fact she chased me down on the hot street. Initially, when I tugged at the door, I couldn’t get it to open, I think she thought I was inept but it really wouldn’t open. But she came outside to get me, eventually she gave me a free tour of the bank, the apartment and told me numerous tales about the Reagan family. Even recalling when Ronald Reagan actually visited the birthplace during the 1980s or 1990s or some such. It was very interesting and for her kindness I bought a magnet and donated five dollars to the museum. As president, Reagan implemented bold new political and economic initiatives. His supply-side economic policies, dubbed “Reaganomics,” included deregulation and substantial tax cuts implemented in 1981. In his first term he survived an assassination attempt, took a hard line against organized labor, and ordered military actions in Grenada. He was reelected in a landslide in 1984. Reagan’s second term was primarily marked by foreign matters, namely the ending of the Cold War, the bombing of Libya, and the revelation of the Iran-Contra affair. The president had previously ordered a massive military buildup in an arms race with the Soviet Union, forgoing the strategy of détente. He publicly described the USSR as an “evil empire” and supported anti-Communist movements worldwide. He negotiated with Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, resulting in the INF Treaty and the decrease of both countries’ nuclear arsenals. Reagan left office in 1989; in 1994 the former president disclosed that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease earlier in the year and died ten years later at the age of ninety-three. He ranks highly among former U.S. presidents in terms of approval rating.