How well do you know Ronald Reagan?

By: Scott Nordlund
Image: Wiki Commons

About This Quiz

Ronald Reagan knowledge quiz: Test your knowledge of the 40th president of the United States. From Hollywood actor to governor to president, see how much you remember about the legend and the man.

When was Ronald Reagan born?

Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911. Reagan's father was a salesman and a storyteller, the grandson of Irish Catholic immigrants from County Tipperary, while his mother was of half Scottish and half English descent.

Where was Ronald Reagan born?

Ronald Reagan was born on February 6, 1911, in Tampico, Illinois. Tampico is located about 110 miles west of Chicago.

What was Ronald Reagan's middle name?

Ronald Reagan's middle name was Wilson. Reagan had one older brother, Neil (1908–1996).

What was Ronald Reagan's childhood nickname?

Ronald Reagan's father nicknamed him "Dutch" when he was a child. The name nickname was due to his "fat little Dutchman" appearance, and his "Dutchboy" haircut.

What was Ronald Reagan's first job?

Ronald Reagan's first job was as a lifeguard at the Rock River in Lowell Park, near Dixon, Illinois, in 1927. Over a six-year period, Reagan reportedly performed 77 rescues as a lifeguard.

What did Ronald Reagan major in while in college at Eureka College in Illinois?

Ronald Reagan majored in Economics while at Eureka College, and he also studied sociology. He became a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and he was a cheerleader. He graduated with a C average.

After college, Ronald Reagan worked as an announcer for what organization?

After college, Ronald Reagan drove to Iowa, where he landed a job as the baseball announcer for the Chicago Cubs. His specialty was creating play-by-play accounts of games, using as his source only basic descriptions that the station received by wire as the games were in progress.

While traveling with the Cubs in California, what life-changing decision did Reagan make?

In 1937, while traveling with the Chicago Cubs, Reagan first took a movie screen test. That test led to a seven-year contract with Warner Bros. This was Reagan's "big break" into the movie industry.

What was Ronald Reagan's first screen credit?

Ronald Reagan's first screen credit was for the movie, "Love Is on the Air." The movie was released in 1937. By the end of 1939, he had already appeared in 19 films.

When did Ronald Reagan enlist in the Army Enlisted Reserve?

Ronald Reagan enlisted in the Army Enlisted Reserve on May 25, 1937. He completed 14 home study courses and then enlisted. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Officers Reserve Corps of the cavalry. Reagan was ordered to active duty for the first time on April 18, 1942. Due to his poor eyesight, he was classified for limited service only, which excluded him from serving overseas. Reagan never left the United States during the war.

When was Ronald Reagan elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG)?

Ronald Reagan was first elected to the Board of Directors of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) in 1941. At that time, he served as an alternate member. After World War II, he resumed service and became third vice-president in 1946. The adoption of conflict-of-interest bylaws in 1947 led the SAG president and six board members to resign; Reagan was nominated in a special election for the position of president and was subsequently elected.

During the late 1940s, Reagan provided what organization with names of actors that he believed to be Communist sympathizers?

Ronald Reagan, in his capacity as SAG president, provided the FBI with names of individuals that he believed were Communist sympathizers. He was a firm anti-Communist. He testified before the House Un-American Activities Committee on the subject as well.

What was the name of Ronald Reagan's first wife?

Reagan and Wyman married on January 26, 1940, in Glendale, California. They had two biological children (one only lived one day) and adopted a third. Wyman filed for divorce after they disagreed about Reagan's political ambitions.

How did Ronald Reagan meet his second wife, Nancy Davis?

Ronald Reagan met Nancy Davis in 1949 after she contacted him in his capacity as president of the Screen Actors Guild to help her with issues regarding her name appearing on a Communist blacklist in Hollywood. She had been mistaken for another Nancy Davis. They were engaged at Chasen's restaurant in Los Angeles and were married on March 4, 1952, at the Little Brown Church in the Valley. They had two children: Patti (born October 21, 1952) and Ronald "Ron" Jr. (born May 20, 1958).

How long were Nancy and Ronald Reagan married?

Nancy and Ronald Reagan were married from March 4, 1952, until his death on June 5, 2004. They were married for a total of 52 years. Their marriage was described as close, authentic, and intimate.

What pet name did Ronald Reagan often call his wife, Nancy?

Ronald Reagan often called Nancy "Mommy" and she called him "Ronnie." They truly stuck by each other through thick and thin.

Reagan first registered as a Democrat. When did he move to the right and switch to Republican politics?

An FDR supporter, Reagan campaigned for Helen Gahagan Douglas in her fruitless 1950 Senate race against Richard Nixon and encouraged Dwight D. Eisenhower to run for President as a Democrat in 1952. By the time his party affiliation changed in 1962, Reagan's decision to cross over to the GOP didn't come as much of a surprise. "I didn't leave the Democratic Party," he famously said. "The party left me."

What was the title of the speech Reagan gave in his capacity as General Electric motivational speaker, that established his national political visibility?

The A Time for Choosing speech was given on October 27, 1964. Reagan gained national attention in his speeches for conservative presidential contender Barry Goldwater in 1964. Speaking for Goldwater, Reagan stressed his belief in the importance of smaller government.

In late 1965, after the momentum of the Time for Choosing speech, Reagan announced his candidacy for what office?

Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy for governor of California in late 1965, for the 1966 election. Reagan won the election. He was involved in several high-profile conflicts with protest movements of the era, including his public criticism of university administrators for tolerating student demonstrations at the University of California, Berkeley campus. He ultimately served two terms.

Reagan announced his candidacy for President of the United States in ________ and therefore took on ________ in the party nomination race.

Ronald Reagan announced his candidacy in 1976 and took on the incumbent, President Gerald Ford, for the Republican Party's nomination. Reagan soon established himself as the conservative candidate with the support of like-minded organizations such as the American Conservative Union, which became key components of his political base, while President Ford was considered a more moderate Republican. Reagan ultimately lost the nomination.

Reagan ran against incumbent Jimmy Carter in the 1980 presidential election, during what hostage crisis?

The Iranian Hostage Crisis was a diplomatic standoff between Iran and the United States. The hostage situation lasted for 444 days, from November 4, 1979, to January 20, 1981. It was a major issue in the 1980 presidential election. Reagan ultimately won the election and weathered the storm.

When the US presidents are listed in chronological order, where does Ronald Reagan's name appear?

Ronald Reagan became the 40th US president on January 20, 1981. At the time, Reagan was the oldest person elected to the office, at age 69. In addition, he was the oldest president at the time of inauguration.

A lone gunman tried to assassinate Ronald Reagan in his first term, on what date?

Ronald Reagan survived this attack on March 30, 1981. He recovered and was released from the hospital on April 11, becoming the first serving U.S. president to survive being shot in an assassination attempt. The incident had great influence on Reagan's popularity; polls indicated his approval rating to be around 73%. Reagan believed that God spared his life so that he might go on to fulfill a greater purpose.

Who tried to kill Reagan?

John Hinckley, Jr., attempted to kill President Reagan on March 30, 1981. Hinckley was declared insane and sent to St. Elizabeth's mental hospital in Washington, D.C. O'Neill, then-Democratic Speaker of the House, actually liked Reagan as a person.

Who was President Reagan's vice president?

George Bush was President Reagan's vice president. VP Bush once headed the CIA. He also served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Texas.

Reagan pushed through Congress what was then the biggest tax cut in American history. What was the overall percentage rate of tax reduction over three years?

President Reagan pushed through a percentage rate of tax reduction of 25%. President Reagan actually wanted a 30% cut, but compromised with Congress. Congress had been concerned about deficit spending.

Reagan was once quoted as saying: "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" Which wall was he referring to?

Ronald Reagan gave a speech on June 12, 1987, at the Brandenburg Gate of the Berlin Wall. He said: "General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!" A large piece of the onetime Berlin Wall is exhibited outside Reagan's presidential library in California.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is located where?

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum is located in Simi Valley, California. The street address, 40 Presidential Drive, is numbered in honor of Reagan's place as the 40th President. The site was dedicated on November 4, 1991.

Reagan announced a war on what in 1982?

Reagan announced a War on Drugs in 1982. The announcement came in response to concerns about the increasing crack cocaine epidemic. Although President Nixon had previously declared a war on drugs, Reagan advocated more militant policies, driven by his conservative stance. He promised to fight for drug-free schools and workplaces. He expanded drug treatment, law enforcement, drug interdiction efforts, and greater public awareness.

Reagan was diagnosed with what in August 1994?

In August 1994, at the age of 83, Reagan was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. After her husband's diagnosis and death, Nancy Reagan became a stem-cell research advocate, urging Congress and President George W. Bush to support federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, something Bush opposed.

Reagan set a record in October 2001 - what was it?

Ronald Reagan held the record for the longest-living American president. The previous record was 90 years and 247 days, held by John Adams. Reagan was 93 years and 119 days when he died on June 5, 2004. President Gerald Ford beat his record when he died in 2007. He was 93 years and five months old, a mere month older than Reagan when he died.

Reagan died of pneumonia, complicated by Alzheimer's disease, on what date?

Ronald Reagan died on June 5, 2004. On June 9, Reagan's body was flown to Washington, D.C., where he became the tenth U.S. president to lie in state. Over a period of thirty-four hours, 104,684 people filed past the coffin

Which airport was renamed the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport in his honor?

On Reagan's 87th birthday, in 1998, the Washington National Airport was renamed Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. It was accomplished by a bill signed into law by President Bill Clinton, a Democrat.

Ronald Reagan was the first US President who was what?

Ronald Reagan was the first American president to be divorced. He and his first wife divorced after they disagreed about his political ambitions.

Ronald Reagan produced how many training films during World War II?

In 1942, the Army Air Force called Ronald Reagan for active duty. He ended up making more than 400 training films for the Army while serving at the 1st Motion Picture Unit in Culver City, California.

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