Reagan 1985-1989


Reagan at Bitburg

Reagan proclaimed a "second American revolution" in Jan. 31 State of the Union speech.

Bernhard Goetz walked, but not John Walker and his "Family of Spies" who was arrested May 19, or General Dynamics that was investigated by Sen. William Roth - displayed $600 toilet seat - 1

Saudia Arabia's Fahd and Sultan of Brunei gave $2.5 million to Nancy's "Just Say No" fund, at the same they gave $30 million to Ollie North's secret Swiss bank accounts.

Reagan criticized for May 8 visit to Bergen-Belsen and Bitburg on 40th anniversary of defeat of Hitler - cartoon - song

Congress approved humanitarian aid only for contras

Nabih Berri's Shiites hijack TWA Flight 847 June 14 - Navy Seabee diver Richard Stethem killed.

Achille Lauro hijackers captured in Oct., but Abul Abbas went to Iraq - 1

On October 1, Israel bombed the PLO headquarters in Tunisia, killing 60 including civilians, but not Yassar Arafat whose residence was located at the Tunisian headquarters but he was not home at the time. The Israeli raid was made possible by spy Jonathan Pollard, the Jewish analyist in Naval Intelligence who gave the Israelis information about Arafat, the headquarters, the air defense systems of Tunisia and Libya. The raid was in retaliation for the Sept. 25 killing of 3 Israeli civilians by the PLO group called Force 17.

Gramm-Rudman bill passed House, and Dow hit 1500.

Gorbachev replaced Chernenko - began "glasnost" (openness) and "perestroika" (restructuring) in USSR

Reagan recovered for 8 months following colon cancer surgery

1st Reagan-Gorbachev "fireside" summit Nov. in Geneva, but argued over SDI

Reagan prepares for Summit
Reagan and General Secretary Gorbachev at the first Summit in Geneva 11/19/1985 (NLS-WHPO-C31982(11)) from NA
Reagan's Star Wars fantasy


Voyager passed Uranus 1986-article
NSC briefing on Libya 04/15/1986 (NLS-WHPO-C34348(20)) from NA

Ghorbanifar proposed "diversion" plan Jan. 22 - Stage 3

NBC Evening News for January 27, 1986 showed confidence

Challenger exploded Jan. 28, but Mir stayed up

Marcos, Baby Doc Duvalier helped out; Noriega used BCCI to launder drug money

"Battle" of Sidra - Kaddafi vs. the Carl Vinson - 1

U.S. helicopters used to fly Honduras soldiers against Nicaragua troops

Op. Blast Furnace failed in Bolivia, Op. Alliance began in Mexico

Tax Reform passed; Ivan Boesky arrested for inside trading

Immigration Reform & Control Act passed - preference system applied to refugees

Poseiden subs dismantled but not cruise missiles - SALT II dead

Supreme Court upheld Roe, Baby Doe

1st Reagan speech on South Africa - "constructive engagement" reaffirmed

2nd summit at Reykjavik

Eugene Hasenfus shot down in Nicaragua Oct. 5

Iran-contra scandal story broke Nov. 3


First $1 trillion budget, total debt above $2 trillion, GNP doubled to $5 trillion

Garland case gave pregnant women job protection; Johnson case added women to affirmative action

Rehnquist Court with Kennedy & Scalia, not with Bork & Ginsberg

Reagan's first public speech on AIDs, appointed commission

Welfare reform proposed - AFDC drop 442,000 families, food stamps drop 1 million

Medicare benefits up 196% for 56 million

Tower report, Iran-contra hearings on TV, Ollie North testifies - "a vast communal exercise in make-believe" (Gary Wills)

USS Stark hit by Iraqi missiles and 37 killed in the "tanker war" between Iran and Iraq; compensation never paid by Saddam

U.S. helicopters sink Iranian mine layer, speedboats

Black Monday Oct. 19

INF Treaty signed Dec. 8 at 3rd summit - the first treaty to eliminate an entire class of missiles, the land-based intermediate range nuclear missile

Reagans and Gorbachevs at the White House State Dinner 12/08/1987 (NLS-WHPO-C44119(15)) from NA
Nancy Reagan and Riza Gorbachev at the summit
The SS-20 and Pershing missiles that were made obsolete by the INF Treaty, [photo from the Milestones of Flight Gallery in the National Air and Space Museum]


Noriega and Ollie North indicted

Shamir rejected U.S. peace plan, suppresses Palistinian uprising

Iraq killed 5000 Kurds with poison gas; Jesse Helms demanded sanctions, not pesticides (sold to Iraq through the Ex-Im Bank, sales ended by Congress Dec. 1989 but restored by Bush Jan. 1990)

Reagan & Gorbachev clashed at 4th summit in Moscow - "nancyfication" failed

USS Vincennes accidently shot down Iranian Air Bus in Arabian Gulf July 3, killing all 290 passengers, and fact that it was in Iranian territorial waters was covered up. Iran-Iraq war would end August 1988.

Gorbachev speech at UN Dec. 7 - began unilateral military force reductions

In Poland, when the communist government of Jaruzelski raised prices, a wave of strikes swept the country, marking the beginning of the triumph of Solidarity

Bush/Quayle defeat Dukakis/Bentsen 54%-46%, 426-112 electoral votes - 1




  1. Cannon, Lou. Reagan. New York: Putnam's, 1982.
  2. Cannon, Lou. President Reagan: the Role of a Lifetime. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1991.
  3. FitzGerald, Frances. Way Out There in the Blue: Reagan, Star Wars, and the End of the Cold War. New York : Simon & Schuster, 2000.
  4. Hixson, Walter L. "'Red Storm Rising': Tom Clancy Novels and the Cult of National Security," Diplomatic History, Fall 1993, pp. 599-613.
  5. Wills, Gary. Reagan's America. New York, Viking Penguin, 1988.


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