Pete Souza
Pete Souza

19 Photos of Ronald Reagan With Various Celebrities

Pete Souza
Pete Souza

It seems like a good time to bring up one of my favorite websites, the Reagan Presidential Library—specifically the MEETING WITH V.I.P.s and CELEBRITIES section of the library's historical photo archives. It's a who's who of the 1980s, with shots of The Gipper and First Lady alongside everyone from Michael Jackson to Roger Clemens, Brooke Shields to Brigitte Nielsen, and Dudley from Diff'rent Strokes to Mr. T. Here are some of the highlights:

The '86 Giants

Harry Carson dumping Gatorade (popcorn) on President Reagan with Nancy Reagan watching at the Diplomatic entrance. President Reagan met the New York Giants football team after Super Bowl XXI victory. 2/13/87.

Frank Sinatra

President Reagan cutting in on Nancy Reagan and Frank Sinatra dancing at the President's birthday party in the East Room. 2/6/81.

The King of Pop

After lending his hit song "Beat It" to a campaign against drunk driving, Michael Jackson was rewarded with a Presidential Special Achievement Award by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. 5/14/84. © Bettmann/CORBIS

Mike Seaver, Phyllis Diller, Lucy and Webster

President Reagan attending the Bob Hope Salute to the United States Air Force 40th Anniversary celebration with Kirk Cameron, Phyllis Diller, Lucille Ball and Emmanuel Lewis at Pope Air Force base in Fayetteville, North Carolina. 5/10/87.

Muhammad Ali

President Reagan "punching" Muhammad Ali in the oval office. 1/24/83.

The Cast of Diff'rent Strokes

Nancy Reagan on the set of television show "Diff'rent Strokes" with Conrad Bain, Todd Bridges, Dana Plato, and Mary Jo Cattlett. 3/9/83.

San-T Claus

Mr. T, of the television show "The A-Team," poses as Santa Claus to help First Lady Nancy Reagan unveil the White House Christmas decorations. 12/12/83. © Bettmann/CORBIS

Superman and Frank Gifford

President Reagan talking with Christopher Reeve and Frank Gifford during a reception and picnic in honor of the 15th Anniversary of the Special Olympics program in the Diplomatic Reception room. 6/12/83.

Patrick Ewing

President Reagan looking up at Georgetown basketball player Patrick Ewing, with Senator Robert Dole looking on, in the oval office. 8/13/82.

Sly Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen

President and Nancy Reagan posing with Sylvester Stallone and Brigitte Nielsen during a state dinner for Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew of Singapore. 10/8/85.

The Great One

President Reagan greeting Hockey player Wayne Gretzky at a Luncheon for National Hockey League All Stars. 2/8/82.

Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs and Brooke Shields

President Reagan and Nancy Reagan posing for photo with Christie Brinkley, Cheryl Tiegs and Brooke Shields at a Tribute to Bob Hope's 80th birthday at the Kennedy Center. 5/20/83.

The Future Fellow-Governor of California

President Reagan having a photo taken with Arnold Schwarzenegger at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas. 8/23/84.

Cal Ripken

President Reagan talking with Cal Ripken Jr. in the Baltimore Orioles dugout at Baltimore Memorial stadium, Maryland. 6/24/86.

Roger Clemens and Don Baylor

President Reagan posing with Roger Clemens and Don Baylor of the Boston Red Sox baseball team in the Roosevelt room. 9/10/86.

Jimmy Johnson

President Reagan hosting the NCAA football champion University of Miami Hurricanes in the White House East Room (Coach Jimmy Johnson is at left). 1/29/88.

John Travolta and Princess Diana

Princess Diana dancing with John Travolta in the entrance hall at the White House. 11/9/85.

Mary Lou Retton

President Reagan posing with Mary Lou Retton and the 1984 U.S. Olympic team at the Century Plaza Hotel, Los Angeles, California. 8/13/84.

Harry Caray

President Reagan in the press box with Harry Caray during a Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates baseball game at Wrigley Field in Chicago. 9/30/88.

If you grew up in or are particularly fond of the '80s, check out the Reagan Library's archives for more great photos, featuring Tom Selleck, Tom Cruise, Cher, Rock Hudson, Bill & Hillary Clinton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, David Stern, Ricardo Montalban and Rodney Dangerfield. You can order some poster-size prints.


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On This Day in 1933, FDR Gave His First Fireside Chat
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Getty Images

On March 12, 1933, Franklin Delano Roosevelt gave his first "fireside chat" on the radio. It was just eight days after his inauguration. He began: "I want to talk for a few minutes with the people of the United States about banking." Citizens across the nation tuned in to listen.

During the depths of the Great Depression, FDR took to the airwaves to explain to Americans why there had been a recent, ahem, "bank holiday." After a series of bank failures, FDR closed all U.S. banks on March 6, to prevent them from failing as panicked citizens tried to withdraw their holdings. While the banks were closed, a program of federal deposit insurance was created in order to insure the stability of the banks when they reopened.

So imagine, if you will, that your bank has been closed for six days, banks are failing left and right, and the newly-inaugurated president gets on the radio to talk about the situation. You would likely listen, and you'd want a really solid answer. That's just what Americans got.

It was a stunning moment, a roughly 13-minute speech in which the American president spoke directly to the people and asked them to understand how banks work. As an extension of that understanding, he asked people to trust what he and Congress were doing to resolve the problem. While the chat didn't solve the country's financial problems overnight, it did create a remarkable sense of connection between FDR and the citizenry, and it helped prevent a complete collapse of the banking system.

FDR's "fireside chats" (the phrase was coined by press secretary Stephen Early, conveying the intimacy of communication) were among the best examples of a president using mass media to bring a time-sensitive message to the American people. He would go on to do 29 more chats over the course of his long presidency.

So if you've never heard that first "fireside chat," take a few minutes and listen. Here it is with slightly cleaned-up audio:

If you're not into audio, just read the transcript. The text is a model of clear communication.

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The Only 4 Private Citizens to Lie in Honor at the U.S. Capitol
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Billy Graham, the most famous Christian preacher of the past century, died in his home on February 21 at age 99. As a noted spiritual advisor of U.S. presidents, he held a special position of influence in American history. Now, he's being granted another privilege extended to very few Americans: This week, his body will lay in honor in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda.

From February 28 to March 1, members of the public will be invited to visit the Capitol and pay their respects to the late reverend. It's an honor that has been bestowed upon only 33 Americans since the tradition began with Henry Clay in 1852. Of the distinguished citizens who have "lain in state," 11 were U.S. presidents. Several elected officials and military officials have also been commemorated under the rotunda, but only three private citizens—and with Graham, four—have their names among their ranks.

The first two private citizens to lie in honor were Capitol Police officers Jacob Chestnut and John Gibson. Both were killed in the line of duty during the Capitol shooting incident in 1998.

The third private citizen to receive the distinction was Rosa Parks. She died in 2005, 50 years after refusing to give up her seat on a bus for a white passenger, thus helping set the civil rights movement in motion. So far, she's the only woman whose body has lain in honor at the U.S. Capitol.

Congress chooses which individuals get to receive the honor, either by passing a resolution or having congressional leadership obtain permission from the surviving family. When Graham's body arrives at the Capitol this week, it will be displayed on the same platform used to support Lincoln's body and that of every person (except the two police officers) who has lain in the rotunda since 1865.



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