Today In History Spotlights Feb. 6, 1911, Ronald Reagan is Born

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Today’s History Spotlight

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Ronald Reagan is born in Tampico, Illinois. After moving to California at a fairly young age, he began a career in sports broadcasting. Not long after, he became a Hollywood actor, and during this time, starred in movies such as “Bedtime for Bonzo,” in which he acted with a chimpanzee. A Democrat until 1962, he then switched to the Republican Party and became a leading voice for Barry Goldwater and the “New Right.”

Reagan rose to prominence in the political arena following his delivery of an impressive speech at the 1964 GOP Convention in San Francisco, California, and he served as governor of the state from 1967-1975. He served as president from 1981-1989 and his greatest accomplishments were revitalizing America’s economy and bringing the Soviet Union to its knees with a “Peace through Strength” initiative. Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 1994 and passed away on June 5, 2004. He remains an icon of the Republican Party.

What Happened On This Day – February 6

  • 1996 The crash of a Boeing 757 aircraft leaves no survivors. Birgenair Flight 301 was the worst accident involving this type of aircraft.
  • 1989 The Round Table Talks start in Poland. The negotiations between the Polish government and the trade union Solidarność, or Solidarity in English, marked the beginning of the end of communism in Eastern Europe.
  • 1959 The first microchip is patented. For his invention of the integrated circuit, Jack Kilby was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize in Physics.
  • 1952 Elizabeth II becomes Queen of the United Kingdom. She succeeded her father, George VI, who died that day.
  • 1840 New Zealand becomes a British colony. While the Treaty of Waitangi is generally celebrated as the country’s founding document, many Māori claim they were deceived and unwittingly stripped of their right to govern the country.

Births On This Day – February 6

  • 1950 Natalie Cole – American singer-songwriter, actress
  • 1945 Bob Marley – Jamaican/American singer-songwriter, guitarist
  • 1911 Ronald Reagan – American actor, politician, 40th President of the United States
  • 1895 Babe Ruth – American baseball player
  • 1665 Anne, Queen of Great Britain

Deaths On This Day – February 6

  • 2011 Gary Moore – Irish singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer
  • 2007 Frankie Laine – American singer-songwriter, actor
  • 1999 Don Dunstan – Australian politician, 35th Premier of South Australia
  • 1918 Gustav Klimt – Austrian painter, graphic artist
  • 1804 Joseph Priestley – English chemist, minister, philosopher

The sections “What Happened On This Day,” “Births On This Day,” and “Deaths On This Day” originally appeared at and is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

Garrett Smith
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